Socceroos star Harry Souttar pinpoints the team’s biggest worry ahead of World Cup qualifier against war-torn Palestine
- Socceroos take on Palestine in a crucial World Cup qualifier
- Moved to Kuwait due to ongoing violence in the West Bank
- Kick-off is scheduled for 1am AEDT on Wednesday
The Socceroos are determined to stay focused when they take on Palestine in their away World Cup match.
Graham Arnold’s charges fall on Tuesday evening local time (1am, Wednesday AEDT) in Kuwait against Palestine, determined to maintain the perfect start to their campaign.
The match at the Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium was originally scheduled to take place in the West Bank, but had to be moved due to the escalation of violence in the region.
The Socceroos have announced they will donate a portion of their match fees to Oxfam’s humanitarian efforts in Gaza.
Kuwait was chosen by Palestine as the location for the rescheduled ‘home’ event and the crowd is expected to be significantly pro-Palestine.
The Socceroos are determined to stay focused when they take on Palestine in their upcoming World Cup qualifier (pictured right, defender Harry Souttar)
The towering centre-back made his Socceroos debut in 2019 and hasn’t looked back
Australia kicked off their campaign last week with a comprehensive 7-0 thrashing of Bangladesh in Melbourne, while Palestine drew 0-0 with Lebanon.
But defender Harry Souttar is certainly not taking anything for granted.
“There are no easy football matches and there will always be good players no matter what level you play at,” he said.
“So we know we have to be at the top of our game. ‘First and foremost, the focus will actually be on a clean slate.
‘Against these teams we know we will have more ball possession. “So it’s about our concentration levels because you never know what can happen in a day.”
Souttar has consistently led Australia’s defense under Graham Arnold and has impressed, shrugging off his lack of game time at Leicester City in the Championship.
“I have to thank the boss for continuing to select me and play against me even though I don’t play at club level,” he said.
‘His confidence in me that I can go out and perform is great.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold will demand an assured performance in Kuwait when his team take on Palestine in a World Cup qualifier
“So for me, every game I have to not only play for your country and want to play well, but obviously try to repay his trust.
‘I’d like to think I’m someone who really speaks on the park and helps players alongside me. I think the manager knows that and he really trusts me to get his message across on the pitch.”
Souttar, who stands over 200 centimeters tall, is confident he is now respected as a centre-back, well beyond his height.
“As long as the people who select me – the boss (Arnold), Rene (Meulensteen) and Bugsy (Brad Maloney) can see what I can do on the ball and trust me, that’s fine with me,” he said.
‘Especially at this stage of the campaign, there is of course a lot of talk about my height. “But as long as we keep winning football games and moving in the right direction, people can say whatever they want.”