New Zealand

Burning Questions: Socceroos vs Syria

The Socceroos live to fight another day at the Asian Cup after a 3-2 win over Syria in Al Ain on Wednesday morning AEDT.
Goals to Tom Rogic, Chris Ikonomidis and a stunner from Awer Mabil sealed the victory, that sets up a Round of 16 clash with either Uzbekistan or Japan.

Graham Arnold’s side answered a number of questions with a solid showing in the clash, but a range of new headaches emerged for the coach in the slender win.

HERE ARE THE BURNING QUESTIONS FROM THE SOCCEROOS’ WIN OVER SYRIA…

DOES GRAHAM ARNOLD REVERT TO TRENT SAINSBURY IN DEFENCE/MARK MILLIGAN IN MIDFIELD?

While this answer is somewhat dependent on who the Socceroos face out of Uzbekistan or Japan, this seems likely.

At times, Australia looked genuinely vulnerable without Sainsbury’s size down back, especially when Omar Al Somah was looking dangerous.

Adding Sainsbury’s confidence and smarts on the ball into the back four will drive plenty of confidence.

As for the midfield, the Socceroos look better protected with Milligan screening in front of the back four.

The skipper was imperious against Palestine and while Jackson Irvine and Massimo Luongo battled hard throughout the game, neither is a traditional holding midfielder. Arnold will likely look to utilise one or the other alongside Milligan.

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