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Socceroos captain expected to face England


Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak sat out training overnight, Australian time, but is still expected to line up against England on Friday.

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Coach Ange Postecoglou opted to give Crystal Palace skipper Jedinak an extra day to recover from Saturday’s bruising FA Cup final, rather than risk him in the squad’s first session since arriving.

The remaining 22 players were put through a light hour-long run at Sunderland’s Academy Of Light, and will step up their preparations on Wednesday with a higher intensity session.

On Friday, Jedinak will likely be up against three opponents he faced in the FA Cup final, with Manchester United trio Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford all expected to play.

Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo says he doesn’t expect United’s tumultuous week – with the sacking of manager Louis van Gaal – to affect the three players.

“Nah I don’t think so … when our manager goes or comes in, it’s out of our control,” he said.

“We just have to deal with it when we see it, so I’m sure they’ll be thinking the same thing.

“They’re good enough players to cement their spot with their new manager anyway. They won’t be too bothered.”

Luongo is hoping for game time against England, having pulled out of next month’s two-match series in Australia against Greece with his partner due to give birth.

“I didn’t fancy a trip to Australia knowing she was going into labour, I’d be stressing,” Luongo said.

Luongo watched England’s friendly against Turkey on the weekend and admits Australia is facing a stiff challenge against a team that won all 10 of its European qualifiers.

But the 23-year-old did see enough to suggest Hodgson’s side were beatable.

“Having (Eric) Dier holding there, sitting there, they might be tough to break down, but also they do probably expose themselves because of the attacking ability they have which we can probably expose at times,” Luongo said.

“That’s our strengths, boys in the pockets, get in the pockets and turn them and get them running back to their own goal.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work off the ball to do. When we have the ball we can hurt a lot of teams.

“At this level every team is going to get chances.”


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