Vietnam vs Australia World Cup 2022: Date & Time, Team News, Preview, Predictions
The Socceroos will aim to make the most of home ground advantage on Thursday night (January 27) as the battle for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification heats up.
Australia is currently third in group B and has no margin for error against Vietnam with matches against group leaders Saudi Arabia and Japan to finish the qualifying campaign.
The top two in the group will progress directly to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while third-place will go through a playoff route involving another Asian team and finally a South American nation.
Vietnam are bottom of the group without a win but they proved to be a troublesome opponent in their 1-0 loss to Australia in September.
Date and Time
Date: Thursday, 27 January 2022
Venue: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia
Kick-off: 8:10pm AEDT
Australian playmaker Ajdin Hrustic will miss this game through suspension due to an accumulation of bookings, so either Tom Rogic or Aaron Mooy could fill the void behind Duke.
Mathew Ryan and Aziz Behich will reportedly only have one training session with the Socceroos before Thursday's game due to late arrivals from Europe, so there may be scope for uncapped left-back Joel King to earn some minutes here.
Arnold is unlikely to name an inexperienced side given his team's desperate need for points, as Martin Boyle and Mathew Leckie provide some potentially crucial experience in the wide areas.
As for Vietnam, both Tuan Anh Nguyen and Thanh Chung Nguyen are suspended for this fixture after picking up their second yellow cards of the group last time out, although the former is not in the squad for this round of fixtures anyway.
Thanh Chung's spot in the back three could be filled by Dung Tien Bui alongside Thanh Binh Nguyen, as 60-cap center-back Ngoc Hai Que remains absent.
Striker Cong Phuong Nguyen - the highest goalscorer in the current squad with 11 strikes to his name - was only used as a substitute in the AFF semi-final defeat to Thailand but will expect to return upfront here.
Australia possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Grant, Sainsbury, Degenek, King; Irvine, Rogic; Boyle, Mooy, Leckie; Duke
Vietnam possible starting lineup:
Tran; Bui, Thanh Binh, Phong Hong; Ho, Quang Hai, Hoang Duc, Van Thanh; Phan, Cong Phuong, Minh Vuong
After navigating the first two rounds of World Cup 2022 Qualifying with ease, Australia have since come unstuck in round three and are facing quite the battle to confirm automatic qualification for the Qatar tournament.
Graham Arnold's side opened Group B with three successive victories, but pitting their wits against the big boys has led to a downturn in fortunes, with Saudi Arabia, Japan, and China all taking points off Australia in their last three matches.
The Socceroos were on course to record a slender win over China courtesy of Mitchell Duke's effort before Wu Lei leveled the scores from the penalty spot, and Arnold's side now find themselves in third place - one point behind second-placed Japan and five adrift of leaders Saudi Arabia.
|Photo: Tien Phong|
Australia ought to feel confident about their chances of progressing via the intercontinental play-offs should it come to that, but a top-two finish is still firmly within their reach ahead of a crunch battle with Japan in March.
A goalless draw at home to Saudi Arabia back in November ended a 10-game winning streak at home in World Cup Qualifying for Australia, but not since 2008 have the Socceroos suffered defeat on familiar territory at this stage, which does not bode well for their winless opponents.
In stark contrast, Vietnam's World Cup 2022 Qualifying third-round period could not have been a more torrid affair for the world's 98th-ranked nation, who are without a single point let alone a win from their opening six games in Group B.
Vietnam are still in with the slimmest of chances of finishing third and keeping their Qatar hopes alive via the playoff route, but even the most ardent Golden Star Warriors supporter would accept that such an eventuality is nothing more than a mere fantasy at this point.
This week's visitors have scored a group-low four goals and conceded a group-high 12 in the third round so far - letting in an average of two per game - and their title of ASEAN Football Federation champions also came to an end in December's tournament, with Thailand eliminating them in the semi-finals.
Park Hang-seo's side also head into the clash with Australia having conceded three goals in each of their last four World Cup Qualifying games away from home, but the Socceroos could only record a 1-0 win in the first meeting between the two sides thanks to Rhyan Grant's effort, according to Sportsmole.
Australia will be aiming to climb to automatic qualification places when they take on Vietnam at AAMI Park on Thursday morning. The Socceroos are seen as hot favorites to win the qualifier, but they will have to prove their worth on the field. Head coach Graham Arnold will watch the game from the stands following his positive test for coronavirus, while a man to watch in the home team will be experienced Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic.
Vietnam, on the other hand, do not seem to be competitive at this level, with the team suffering a loss in each of their six group games. The rock-bottom side are low on spirits ahead of the trip to Melbourne, and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Australia’s party at AAMI Park. Earlier in the process, Australia defeated Vietnam thanks to Rhyan Grant’s goal, according to Football Predictions.
Socceroos vs Vietnam past results
|Sep 7, 2021||Vietnam 0-1 Australia||World Cup qualifier|
What is Vietnam's chance?
Australian team's consistent yet somewhat conservative way of attacking can be Vietnam's opportunity to win the match. Arnold's recent less impressive achievements, along with the failure to create opportunities for the new factors, caused him to receive criticism from his fans.
The Vietnamese team handled its opponent's crosses well, with the initiative in raising the cover of the three central defenders.
With Hoang Duc's ability to lead the ball forward, or Quang Hai's high-speed passes behind the opponent's defense, the Vietnamese team absolutely has the opportunity to create dangerous situations. Australia's strength and habit of deploying the ball can be seen as an opportunity for the Vietnamese team.
The pressure on the away field is clear, but Coach Park Hang-seo and his team still have an approach to the match that can create efficiency.
Looking back at what happened on My Dinh Stadium, fans can fully expect a persistent and accurate position in defense, along with the speed in counterattack situations of the team.
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