Socceroo skipper Mile Jedinak says Australia will be ready to face Chilean star Arturo Vidal if he returns from injury for Friday’s World Cup opener.
The dynamic Juventus playmaker, who is recovering from a knee complaint, has long been in doubt for the clash with Australia on June 14.
But Jedinak insists the Socceroos have prepared to play against him and also have plans in place to confront a Vidal-less Chilean side if he is unable to take the field.
“You go through their squad and it’s one player,” Jedinak said.
“It’s an important player but they have many players who are playing at a good level.
“They have a number of players particularly in this position where they are very strong.
“Of course, we know what he’s about and how he does things but, in saying that, we have to prepare normally whether he’s playing or not.
“We can’t control that so you have to prepare something for both scenarios.
“We know what they’re like going forward. We know what they like to do, aggressive, press and things like that.
“They’re a very good side. We all know that. But it’s going to be how we try and exploit them so to speak, that’s what we’re working on.
“We know it’s going to be a difficult task but in saying that we have to be up for that challenge.”
A box-to-box midfielder who can both score and create goals, Vidal is the star of the Chilean team.
The 27-year old has scored 28 goals in 95 appearances for Juventus and first made his name in Europe with a five-year stint at Bayer Leverkusen.
Jedinak described the Socceroos time in Brazil as having been “a great experience so far”, and said the signs are encouraging that his team will hit their peak in Cuiaba against La Roja.
“It’s great that it’s finally coming around,” the Crystal Palace captain said.
“You can see the progress and it’s very encouraging. You have to take every game as it’s your last.
“We need to have that sort of mentality where you get something out of the game and you never know where the next one will take you.
“But the sole focus has to be on the first game and that’s the way it’s been and that’s the way it should be.”
Mark Bresciano’s improved fitness has been a boost for the Australia national team and Jedinak said all of the Socceroos are “chomping on the bit” to kick off their World Cup.
“I’ve been asking him every day how he’s been feeling and he said he’s doing well and it’s coming along well,” he said.
“You can just see that there in training today he’s moving freely and getting in on the ball and that’s encouraging.
“In saying that we’re all chomping on the bit to get out there and play an important part in a crucial game for us.”1 comment