Australia vs. Chile: Key Selection Decisions for Ange Postecoglou
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has a number of selection issues to decide on before his side's opening World Cup clash with Chile on Friday.
Written off by virtually everybody as Group B's unbackable underdogs, the Socceroos are not expected to win a game, but they would still like to leave Brazil with their heads held high.
Against the high pressing of Chile, Postecoglou is likely to use speed as his primary weapon, in the hope of catching the South Americans off guard at the back.
Here are four things the manager has to ponder when naming his starting XI.
Who to Choose on the Right?
Postecoglou will likely play Tim Cahill as a centre-forward and use Tommy Oar as a winger/left-sided forward.
His main dilemma up front is who to select on the right.
Mathew Leckie is the favourite to take up that role, as he has been used there in the last two warm-up games.
The FSV Frankfurt man offers both pace and guile, though he occasionally lacks composure in front of goal, which may be a concern for the manager.
Another option is Dario Vidosic, who is less explosive but very comfortable on the ball. He would be a safer choice if Postecoglou wants someone who can drop back and help out in midfield.
Ben Halloran is most likely to be used off the bench for impact, but the speedster is also in with a chance of starting.
Is Bresciano Ready?
If healthy, Mark Bresciano would be a certain starter, but Postecoglou must decide whether he has recovered from a back injury and is fit enough to start.
If Bresciano is not ready, Dario Vidosic, James Troisi, James Holland or Matt McKay could take his place in the middle.
Wilkinson or McGowan at Centre-Back?
Matthew Spiranovic is a certain starter in the centre of defence, but Postecoglou will have to decide who his best partner is.
Ryan McGowan, who started in Spiranovic's absence against South Africa, is a viable option, but the man most likely to get the nod is Alex Wilkinson.
Whichever two are chosen, they will need to forge an understanding very quickly, considering the opposition they'll be coming up against.
Cahill to Play Behind a Striker?
As a Plan B, Postecoglou may opt to use Cahill in a slightly deeper position and play another striker in front of him.
This would be another option if Bresciano was ruled out, especially.
Cahill is good enough to link up play and is still an aerial threat when he arrives late in the box.
It would also allow the Socceroos to field three speedsters in Leckie, who could play the No. 9 role, Oar and Halloran.
Other strikers that could be utilised are the in-form youngsters Troisi and Adam Taggart.