Australia forward Mathew Leckie believes his side can become the latest to cause an upset at the World Cup on Wednesday when it faces a Netherlands team fresh from hammering defending champion Spain 5-1.
The Socceroos desperately need to take something from the game if they are to match their run to the last 16 from 2006 after going down 3-1 to Chile in the opening game.
However, Leckie thinks they showed enough in that game after going down 2-0 inside the first 15 minutes to suggest they can cause the Dutch problems.
“I’m sure Chile didn’t expect such a hard game as what they got and Holland, obviously they’ve now seen that game and they’ll probably review it as well.
“But we’ll definitely hit them in areas they won’t expect and hopefully we can be clinical in the opportunities that we get and we can put a few goals away.
“We’ll go out there with our game plan and hopefully we can play as well as we did for that 70 minutes against Chile and I think we’ll definitely have our opportunities to win.”
Australia’s most potent weapon in attack against Chile was from crosses towards Tim Cahill, who became just the eighth player to score in three World Cups with a fine header to bring his side back into the game at 2-1.
And Leckie believes the New York Red Bulls frontman will be key again if they are to trouble the Dutch. “We exposed Chile a lot on the wings, we have a lot of speed on the sides and we have Timmy who is one of the best headers in the game, so if we can get into wide areas and get some good crosses in, I think it’s going to be tough for any side to stop us.”
The Netherlands, though, will be full of confidence after humiliating Spain to avenge its defeat from the final four years ago. Star duo Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben were both on target twice as Louis van Gaal’s men ran riot in Salvador, but captain Van Persie said experience has taught him not to get ahead of themselves.
“The tournament has barely started yet,” he told FIFA.com.
“We achieved an impressive result but we have a long way to go to win this tournament. This is my fifth tournament and I know how these things work: the euphoria vanishes just as quickly as it appears. So we have to make sure that we hold on to it, not only for the people and fans, but also for ourselves.”
And the Manchester United striker believes his new boss at club level, Van Gaal, will be prepared for the very different task offered by Australia.
“It was an amazing start for our World Cup and I think we’ve made a lot of people very happy. I’ve seen the spectacular footage and images from the celebrations across the world and that makes me so proud.
“However, as I said, those were only the first three points. Now the focus is on Australia and I think that will be completely different to the game against Spain.
“Australia has a very different style and I think we are going to have to adjust our own game to beat them
“It’s an interesting process, having to adjust your game every time. However, we have a fantastic technical staff who know exactly how to prepare us for matches, so I’m not worried.”
Van Gaal is expected to name the same side that started against Spain with Wesley Sneijder joining Van Persie and Robben in attack.
Australia boss Ange Postecoglou will be forced into at least one change due to an injury suffered by Ivan Franjic, with former Heart of Midlothian defender Ryan McGowan set to deputise.