England manager Roy Hodgson is after revenge on Australia thirteen years after that defeat at Upton Park.
In 2003 the Socceroos, then under Frank Farina, defeated Sven Goran-Eriksson’s England side 3-1 in east London. The two countries meet for the first time since that fateful evening on Saturday morning (Australian time), and Hodgson revealed that loss is still fresh in the memory.
“We still have in our minds the defeat that they inflicted on us at Upton Park some years ago,” he said.
“We know they’re a very good team. We’re expecting a very tough game tomorrow night.
Around 8,000 Australian fans are expected to attend the friendly at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.
Socceroo head coach Ange Postecoglou said Australia’s historic sporting rivalry with England hasn’t factored in his calculations for this game.
“For us it’s a great opportunity to test ourselves where we’re at as a team against a good quality opponent away from home,” he said.
“A chance to explore a few things before the World Cup campaign starts. Obviously there’s a great deal of interest and excitement about the game, but that’s fine.
“That’s good as well. But it doesn’t really change what our objectives are.”
Postecoglou admitted it is a tad unusual for the Socceroos to have so much support at an away fixture.
“We didn’t get that many in Tajikistan and Bangladesh to be fair, it’s a harder place to get to,” he mused.
“There’ll be a big crowd tomorrow, a big atmosphere and again that’s part of the exercise as well.”
Postecoglou is expected a difficult encounter with England.
“Whatever’s presented to us on the night we’ll be ready for it,” he said.
“They were pretty impressive in the (Euros) qualifiers, in the recent friendlies it looks like their players are coming off pretty good seasons.”comments