Friendly match: England – Australia
Out of the friendly matches scheduled for Friday, the one between England and Australia will certainly be one of the most interesting. England have been in a truly outstanding form lately, which makes them clear favourites of the duel but Australia have been fighting for their spot in the 2016 FIFA World Cup and so far, their qualifying campaign has been impressive too. With that said, we are likely to be up for a highly attractive and entertaining fixture as these two sides will battle it out in the Friday friendly game. Starting at 8:45 PM (CET), the clash between England and Australia will be played at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.
With a number of talented players in almost all positions for the first time in years, England have been getting into a formidable shape ahead of the EURO tournament. Boasting fabulous qualifying results, the English want to claim a medal in France and they picked their preparatory matches accordingly. Since the end of the qualification, the Three Lions have played 5 friendly games in which they lost to Spain (0:2), beat France (2:0) and Germany (3:2), succumbed to Holland (1:2) and claim a win over Turkey (2:1). What makes their latest triumph over Turkey even more valued is the fact that the team´s coach Hodgson missed several of his players who were unavailable due to their engagement in the FA Cup final. On Friday, they will be ready to play but the team will not be complete again as its brightest attacking star Jamie Vardy from Leicester will be having his wedding on that day. Yet, the English side should be able to cope with this absence and claim a win in the game.
The Australians are amidst their world cup qualification and so far, they have been very successful with their campaign. The Socceroos won seven out of their last eight qualifying matches, totally destroying most of their recent opponents. Australia hammered Bangladesh twice (5:0 and 4:0), annihilated Tajikistan (7:0) and in their last game, they produced another glorious win over Jordan (5:1). As for European opponents, the best result the Aussies have recently gained was a surprising 2:2 draw claimed at the reigning world champions Germany. Led by captain Jedinak from Crystal Palace, the current Australian squad boasts several other players from top-notch European leagues such as the goalkeeper Ryan from Valencia, defender Smith from FC Liverpool and forward Krus from Bayer Leverkusen. Obviously, the Socceroos have a competitive and well-organized side that might give the English favourites a hard time in the Friday fixture.
Looking to claim a medal in France, the English have been getting ready for the EURO tournament. On Friday, the Hodgson´s side will be in for another warm-up match as they will host Australia. After a series of games against some of European heavyweights, the upcoming duel against Australia might seem somewhat less challenging and prestigious but the Aussies are sure to put up a good fight in the match, hoping to surprise Rooney and his teammates with a confident performance. Will England really live up to the expectations and obtain a victory over their Australian rivals? We will know by Friday night.