Palestine v Jordan: Wilkins hoping for attacking improvement
Jordan coach Ray Wilkins will be hoping fortune favours the brave as his side prepares to face the fairytale story of the 2015 Asian Cup, Palestine on Friday.
The Jordanians made a losing start to their Asian Cup campaign, struggling in the final third as Iraq won a dull Group D encounter 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last week.
Jordan managed just three shots on target throughout the contest, while they struggled to keep possession, with their passing success rate at just 59.9 per cent.
Much of the build-up leading into the clash at Melbourne's AAMI Park has surrounded Jordan and their discontent with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), whom they claim mistreated striker Ahmad Hayel during a routine drug test following their loss to Iraq.
But Jordan must turn their attention to Friday's fixture and with so much up for grabs, Wilkins acknowledges his side must improve in the front third if they are to advance past the group stage.
"That's the slight problem we've been having," said Wilkins.
"We've put teams in difficulty when we've attacked but unfortunately, as I've said, we need a little bit of luck to go our way."
On paper, Jordan are expected to make light work of Asian Cup debutants Palestine, who were routed 4-0 by defending champions Japan last time out.
But that is not a foregone conclusion, despite Palestine's winless history against Jordan, having drawn four games and lost three previously.
Jordan have lost six consecutive international matches and have not won any of their past 11.
Palestine - winners of the AFC Challenge Cup in May - were clearly outplayed by the Japanese in Newcastle - but the war-torn nation will continue to play with pride, after being taught a footballing lesson by Javier Aguirre's men.
"The difference is huge in terms of the level of competition and also in the level of individual and team abilities," said Palestine coach Ahmed Al Hassan.
"Japan have players who play at the best clubs in Europe. We have learnt a lot from playing this match against such a big team."
Al Hassan added: "The most important part was having the Palestine flag and the national anthem in Australia.
"We want to produce a good performance to show everyone that Palestine with all the trouble at home, can still play football. We will show that in the next two matches."