March 23, 2015 10:55:46 UK
Australia will be without all-time leading scorer Tim Cahill when they take on Germany in Kaiserslautern.
The 35-year-old will miss the friendly against the world champions, and the clash with Macedonia five days later, with an Achilles tendon problem.
Oliver Bozanic, who has not played for the Socceroos since last year’s World Cup in Brazil, takes the place of the striker.
Coach Ange Postecoglou is also without defender Matthew Spiranovic (hamstring), who played in their Asian Cup final triumph in January, for the two games.
Australia are 13.00 to beat Germany, who are 1.16 with the draw 7.50.
Spiranovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers teammate Tomi Juric has flown out with the squad, despite his club coach Tony Popovic wanting the 23-year-old to stay at home and rest.
Juric is almost certain to be ruled out of the game against Germany, but Australia are hoping he will be passed fit to play against Macedonia in Skopje.
Cahill played the full match for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua at the weekend when they beat Tianjin Teda 1-0 but Socceroos medical staff felt he needed to rest his minor injury.
Bozanic stands to add to his five Socceroos appearances, having made his international debut in 2013 while he was with Central Coast Mariners.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who won the A-League championship with the Mariners, has spent the past two years with Swiss Super League side Luzern.
The Socceroos will be in camp for 10 days in Europe as they look to build on their success in the Asian Cup and get ready for their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
James Troisi, who scored the injury-time winner in the Asian Cup final against South Korea, said of the experience of winning the trophy: “That feeling is not going to go away and it’s an amazing feeling and achievement for all of us.
“In saying that, we’ve got to be professional and we’re not going to forget about that but we’ve got to continue to progress and we know there’s a long way to go.”
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