Mon, Oct 15, 10:23am by Head Editor
Graham Arnold’s tenure as Socceroos boss begins on Tuesday morning (AEDT) when Australia meet Kuwait at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium in Kuwait City.
It is the second time that “Arnie” has taken the reins of the national team, after he was given the job on a caretaker basis after Guus Hiddink left the post following the 2006 World Cup, when Australia reached the knockout stages, for the first and only time.
Arnie is not the only one who’ll be new to his role in Kuwait City on Tuesday, with the captaincy also up for grabs after Mile Jedinak announced his retirement from International football on October 1.
The man who is expected to be given the captains armband is PSV Eindhoven centre back Trent Sainsbury, who also happens to be married to Arnie’s daughter.
Sainsbury was given the role in Jedinak’s absence before the World Cup and it will be a massive shock if he’s not given the chance to lead his country.
This match marks the beginning of Australia’s Asian Cup defence, a trophy they won on home soil in January 2015 but it will be much harder this time around, when the tournament begins in the United Arab Emirates in January.
Given the Persian Gulf State has missed qualification for that tournament, you would think that the Aussies would stroll to victory in this one, but think again.
Kuwait are coming off a 1-0 win over Lebanon on Friday and are unbeaten in their last four outings.
The last times these teams met was the opening match of Australia’s successful 2015 Asian Cup campaign and the Socceroos cane out on top 4-1 in Melbourne.
Australia are $1.45 to win their first outing since the 2-0 loss to Peru in the final game of their World Cup campaign in Russia, while Kuwait are way out at $6 to cause a boil over.
Those odds don’t reflect just how tough a task this will be for a Socceroos side that has a new coach, a new captain and is missing their best midfielder – Aaron Mooy – who suffered a groin strain in his last English Premier League outing for Huddersfield Town.
The majority of the Kuwait squad ply their trade in the Kuwait Premier League but goalkeeper Khaled Al-Rashidi did play the 2014 season with English Championship side Nottingham Forest.
Suggested Bet: Match to be drawn: $3.75
Kuwait v Australia Odds
Kuwait $6 Draw $3.75 Australia $1.45
Handicap: Australia -1 ($2.75)
Correct Score: Kuwait 1-0 $11; Kuwait 2-1 $15; Draw 1-1 $6; Australia 1-0 $5; Australia 2-0 $5.50
Draw No Bet: Kuwait $4.65 Australia $1.17
Both Teams To Score: Yes $2.10 No: $1.67
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