• As the picture with Ryan McGowan in focus shows (right), the Socceroos are relaxed. It's the rest of us whose nerves are jangling!
  • More on how important this game is to Australia’s World Cup hopes. We don’t need reminding that a loss simply isn’t that good … but we’re reminded anyway.
  • Gatty makes the point that we can be a little more relaxed this evening than we might have been, thanks to the UAE’s win over Saudi Arabia. He also looks at the permutations, noting that if we beat Japan, we’ve qualified because the final game for Japan and Saudi Arabia is between the two of them.
  • Ange says Mooy and Rogic can play together and warns players not to go overboard with the physicality? But we’re not physical, are we?
  • Evan Morgan Grahame at The Roar says Ange has to ‘abandon’ his attacking instincts. Good luck with that. 
  • Japanese coach, Vahid Halilhodzic, says there’s no surprises in any of the Socceroos players. He knows them like he knows his own.
  • Ok, so we and Vahid know about Australia, but who are the players to watch for Japan?
  • And proving that he’s just not clever with a ball at the head, Tim Cahill says we must get results against Japan and Thailand.
  • OUR TIP: Ange will attack this game like he does all the others. Australia will win. 

Jackson Irvine

  • The long-haired Socceroo has signed a three-year deal with Championship side Hull City (hopefully they’ll tell him to get a hair cut. It really doesn’t suit him).


  • Hmm. He’s a Canberra boy and no self-respecting Canberra person is going to say otherwise … but Nikolai Topor-Stanley says Canberra deserves A-League action, just like his assistant coach/manager/CEO/whatever role Lawrie has today also said.
  • Hakoah may have lost, but they certainly made their mark on Melbourne City in the FFA Cup match earlier this week. Reports suggest Melbourne City captain, Bruno Fornaroli, could miss up to two months after the crude tackle in the FFA Cup fixture.


  • Michael Lynch takes a look at the Matildas squad named by Alen Stajcic yesterday for the two-match series against Brazil in September, noting that on-fire Sam Kerr is the lynchpin (no pun intended). 


  • Tom Smithies makes the point that something needs to be sorted about grounds for next year’s FFA Cup. Matches like the one between Bankstown Berries and Sydney FC earlier in the week was ostensibly a home ground for the Berries – except it wasn’t, it was at Edensor Park. That suits big teams, rather than small ones trying to defy the odds.
  • And good ol’ Arnie says he’s happy with the draw. Of course he is.
  • Forget Hungry Jack’s. The Bergers are better at Olympic Village, writes Michael Lynch, where Heidelberg United will take on Adelaide United in the next round.

socceroos, world cup qualifier, matildas, ffa cup, jackson irvine, bruno fornaroli, melbourne city, #jpnvaus, vahid halilhodzic