Mile Jedinak is hoping to be fit to play tonight.
Mile Jedinak is hoping to be fit to play tonight. Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Skipper eyes a start for Jordan clash

Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak will do everything he can to be fit for tonight's crucial World Cup qualifier against Jordan.

The Crystal Palace midfielder has not trained since picking up a thigh injury in the 7-0 win over Tajikistan in Adelaide last Thursday, but will try to convince coach Ange Postecoglou he is fit enough to take the field at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. The Socceroos need only a draw to reach the next stage of qualification for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

A loss to Jordan would mean the Socceroos would have to qualify as one of the four best runners-up in the eight groups from the Asian conference, and with 18 points already secured, that would be enough to progress.

Despite that equation, Jedinak said he was desperate to help avoid another shock 2-0 defeat such as the one suffered at the hands of tonight's opponents earlier in qualifying.

"It's been hard to sit out the last couple of days not being involved," Jedinak told reporters.

"I'll do everything I can - that's what I've been doing the last few days to make sure I'm ready."

Postecoglou said he would give his skipper as much time as possible to prove his fitness, with former Melbourne Victory midfielder Mark Milligan - who came on for Jedinak at half-time against Tajikistan in Adelaide - likely to take the 31-year-old's holding midfield role.

With new coach Harry Redknapp inspiring an 8-0 win over Bangladesh in his first game in charge of Jordan last week, Postecoglou is unlikely to make wholesale chances with his starting line-up tonight.

Star striker Tim Cahill, who did not play last week, will almost certainly lead the line, with Celtic star Tom Rogic also a possible starter after a superb performance as a sub in Adelaide.

Even if Jedinak misses out, Postecoglou hinted at other changes to his line-up for Jordan.

"Everyone's in good nick which is great," Postecoglou said.

"They've recovered really well since the last game which is positive.

"The beauty of it is we have options all over the place and that's the point we want to get to."

Asked what impact Redknapp could have on tonight's opponents, Postecoglou said: "I don't think we'll see anything remarkably different.

"He's really only had a few days with them. He's a very experienced manager and he'll know how much influence he can have in a few days and I don't think it will be much different to what we have seen in the past."



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