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Oar, Risdon set for Socceroos audition

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/10/2016 Vince Rugari

Eagle-eyed Australian coach Ange Postecoglou sees everything in the A-League.

But most of his attention on Sunday will probably be focused on one particular flank of Suncorp Stadium, where two aspiring Socceroos are set for a direct battle.

Brisbane winger Tommy Oar and Perth full-back Josh Risdon will go head-to-head as they audition for a spot on the plane to Bangkok for next month's World Cup qualifier.

Oar and the Glory's Risdon have been picked in an extended 30-man squad for the Group B clash against Thailand on November 15 but need to impress Postecoglou enough this weekend to survive a seven-player cull to be made in coming days.

A timely performance from Oar could not only spark the Roar's misfiring attack but, with Postecoglou keen to build Australia's depth out wide, it might also jolt him back into the Socceroos' reckoning nearly a year on from his last international appearance.

"It's great for Tommy Oar - it actually shows how much Ange rates him as a player," Roar coach John Aloisi said.

"He had a little bit of an interrupted pre-season towards the end but, otherwise, he's only going to get stronger.

"We've got quite a few new players in the starting 11 and, the better they get, their understanding's going to get better, and Tommy Oar last week already showed a lot of glimpses that he's going to be a handful for any defender."

Risdon will need to work both ways to catch Postecoglou's eye.

Right-back remains a problem position for the Socceroos but not because of defensive reasons - no player with the requisite attacking qualities to help carry out the team's high-intensity game plan has yet emerged.

Another intriguing sub-plot is up front, where Aloisi hopes Roar striker Jamie Maclaren - who hasn't scored three rounds into the new season - can do as Perth's Andy Keogh did last week and break his duck with a rain of goals.

"Kenny Lowe mentioned Keogh; he said he wasn't lacking in confidence or form - he had his chances in the first few games but it didn't go in and then he scores a hat-trick. I see Jamie Maclaren exactly the same," Aloisi said.

STATS THAT MATTER:

* The Glory have only come away with three points once in their past 10 attempts in Brisbane (drawn two, lost seven)

* Perth have attempted 1004 passes this season - a league-low number

* The Glory have been shown more cards than any other side this campaign (12 yellows)

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