FIFA World Cup Qatar: Socceroos coach Graham Arnold ‘ready for war’ in game against Tunisia

Coach Graham Arnold prepares his Australians for a football war.

The Socceroos’ World Cup ambitions hinge on Saturday’s clash against Tunisia in Qatar.

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After beating France 4-1, another loss will see Arnold’s Australians knock out of the group stage cup.

And while reigning champions challenged France with flair and finesse, Tunisia blaze with fanatical fire.

“We have to be prepared for this war,” Arnold told reporters.

“They are aggressive and will have 40,000 fans behind them and again it will be a really amazing experience for everyone.”

Graham Arnold during the Socceroos game against France. Recognition: Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Arnold’s message to his players is blunt.

“Fight fire with fire, especially from the start,” he said.

“And when we’re up, put out the fire.”

Arnold is likely to call in playmaker Ajdin Hrustic, who missed the Les Bleus loss.

The attacking midfielder has not played since suffering an ankle injury on October 3. Having to come off the bench against the French, he stayed on hold due to the defeat.

“Ajdin Hrustic’s ankle is good, 95 (per cent), so the other five don’t matter,” Arnold said.

“He can start.”

Arnold was excited about other possible changes in his line-up against France, a game he said Australia were more technically than tactically exposed.

“All the stats showed (the players) they pocketed 100 percent plus,” he said.

Ajdin Hrustic is expected to return for the Socceroos. Recognition: Ryan Pierse – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

“But it’s those little mistakes that become big mistakes.

“If anything was shown, it was the technical side of it.

“Pace of work, commitment – ​​everything was fantastic.

“It wasn’t the intention to fall that far behind, but technically we turned the ball around, which pushed us further back.

“Overall, we have to face them (Tunisia’s) and prepare for it.”

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Tunisia drew with Denmark in their cup opener and fielded a wall of five defenders, which Arnold said was a change from their tradition.

“They only played this (formation) once,” he said.

“Tunisia, every game we’ve watched they’ve played a four-three-three and we expect them to come back to that.

“They went into that first game against Denmark more defensively with a five-man chain.”

And Arnold’s research has highlighted Tunisia’s main weapon, her captain Youssef Msakni.

“He runs the show. We have recognized that and will find a solution,” said Arnold.

Australia vs Tunisia at a glance

Saturday 26 November 2100 AEDT

Al Janoub Stadium, Doha, Qatar

World Ranking: Australia 38, Tunisia 30

All-time high: Australia 14 (2009), Tunisia 14 (2018)

Lowest rank ever: Australia 102 (2014), Tunisia 65 (2010)

Head-to-Head: Played: 2. Australia 1 win 1 loss

Past meetings:

10/01/97: Australia 3-0 (friendly, Tunis, Tunisia)

21/6/05: Tunisia 2-0 (Confederations Cup, Leipzig, Germany)

– AAP

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https://7news.com.au/sport/world-cup-soccer/socceroos-coach-graham-arnold-ready-for-war-in-must-win-game-against-tunisia-fight-fire-with-fire-c-8968504 FIFA World Cup Qatar: Socceroos coach Graham Arnold ‘ready for war’ in game against Tunisia

James Brien

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