Postecoglou names Socceroos line-up for Honduras clash

Skipper Mile Jedinak will start alongside Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine and Massimo Luongo in midfield for the first leg of the Socceroos' World Cup playoff with Honduras.

Socceroos

Socceroos training at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifier playoff against Honduras Source: LatinContent WO

Mooy is restored after controversially being left out of startling side against Syria in Sydney last month, but is deployed further forward, with Hull’s Irvine and Aston Villa’s Jedinak, who hasn't played a full match since June, pairing up in central midfield.

Jedinak and Luongo are expected to play as holders, with Mooy and Irvine in attacking roles.

In balmy conditions, a feverish crowd has filled Estadio Olympic Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula for Saturday's (AEDT) match, which precedes the home leg in Sydney on Wednesday.

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At the back, Trent Sainsbury will be partnered by Bailey Wright and Matt Jurman, with Aziz Behich and Josh Risdon in wide roles.

As expected, Mat Ryan is in goal, with Tomi Juric the central striker - and Tim Cahill on the bench, likely to be used only if needed.

While Mark Milligan, Robbie Kruse and Mat Leckie are unavailable in Honduras, coach Ange Postecoglou said earlier he was confident of securing a positive result.

"With this group, I'm confident the 11 we put out will be the 11 that can get something out of the game here, knowing we can back up with four, five days' time with an equally strong 11," he said.

"Knowing (Milligan, Kruse and Leckie), who are such important players for us in this process, are available and will have no travel fatigue, no game fatigue, I think that's going to be an enormous asset for us (in Sydney)."

Honduras striker Eddie Hernandez has not been selected by Jorge Luis Pinto to start, with Ovidio Lanza up front instead.

Postecoglou's side must defeat the Central Americans on aggregate over the two legs to go to next year's World Cup in Russia.

Australia (3-2-4-1): Mat Ryan; Trent Sainsbury, Bailey Wright, Matt Jurman; Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo; Josh Risdon, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Aziz Behich; Tomi Juric

Honduras (4-2-3-1): Denis Escobar; Bryan Beckeles, Henry Figueroa, Johnny Palacios, Emilio Izaguirre; Jorge Claros, Alfredo Mejia; Anthony Lozano, Alex Lopez, Romell Quioto; Ovidio Lanza


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Published 11 November 2017 at 8:20am