Booters hoping for a fight against Socceroos
Even though Bangladesh coach Javier Cabrera is eager to show improvement of his charges, the men in red and green will probably look to avoid embarrassment in their opening World Cup Qualifiers fixture against Australia at the AAMI Park in Melbourne today.
The match will get underway at 3:00pm Bangladesh time.
The Socceroos, 27th in FIFA ranking and 156 places ahead of Bangladesh -- are in superb form as they made it to the World Cup Round of 16 last years before losing 2-1 to eventual champions Argentina.
The only question before this uneven battle between is whether Bangladesh can salvage respectability against a team that had beaten them 5-0 and 4-0 during the Russia World Cup Qualifiers in 2015.
In quest of acclimatising with the chilly weather in Melbourne, the men in red and green reached Australia five days before the match. Cabrera prepared his charges to function in low-and-mid-blocks in a bid to foil attacks from the physically and technically superior Australia side, and if possible, attack on the break.
"Obviously for teams like us it is a huge challenge, so hopefully we will be able to fight. Hopefully we will be able to not give away too many corners-kicks or free-kicks. We have prepared but we will see tomorrow [Thursday] how we mange," Cabrera said at a pre-match press conference.
"Hopefully we will get some chances. I think we have to try to be ourselves as much as possible. That idea of playing is what brought us here and to take this opportunity and I don't think we will get anything from changing that just for a game," the 39-year-old coach said.
Bangladesh have been performing well under Cabrera since the SAFF Championship in June-July, and the coach's desire is to carry the inspiration from Australia match into matches against Lebanon and Palestine.
Despite knowing the challenge, captain Jamal Bhuiyan is optimistic about performing well and producing a good result in front of Bangladeshi expats.
"I know it is going to be tough for us but we want to produce a good result," Jamal said. "Anywhere we play in the world, the Bangladeshi fans make us happy to be honest because they come long way and do everything they can and give us extra motivation. So it is a crucial game and we want to prove that Bangladesh is a good team and have good players."
Even though Graham Arnold did not get his full squad to train together until the eve of the match, the Australia coach is confident about continuing the standard they have set.
"We have set our own standards. You know it is a mentality and the mindset of going out there with that mentality to perform. When you put on that Socceroo shirt or the Australian national team shirt, it is about performing at your best because you only get limited occasions or times to do that. So as soon as we go out there tomorrow night and we are playing for the nation. We threat every opposition the same," Arnold said at the pre-match press conference.