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Hurting Thais will push Socceroos: Spira

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Emma Kemp

Defender Matthew Spiranovic is not expecting wounded Thailand to wilt under Socceroos pressure, anticipating the underdogs will fight to the end in next week's World Cup qualifier.

Without a point from their first four games in the final stage of qualifying, Thailand remain only a mathematical possibility to make Russia 2018.

Yet Spiranovic reckons they'll be hurting and motivated to open their account at home in Bangkok on November 15, particularly after a month mourning the death of their king.

The first-choice central defender also knows from experience what a banana skin the Thais can be, having survived two uncomfortably close contests in 2011 during the last World Cup qualifying cycle for Rio.

Then coached by German Winfried Schafer, Thailand sprang a shock early lead over the Socceroos at Suncorp Stadium via current striker Teerasil Dangda, before Alex Brosque added to Josh Kennedy's second-half equaliser four minutes from time.

In the second leg in Bangkok, Australia snuck past 1-0 thanks to a late Brett Holman effort.

"My previous experiences against Thailand were both very narrow wins," Spiranovic said.

"They went down to wire with goals in the last minutes, so they're a team that needs to be fully respected."

The Socceroos enter the meeting unbeaten and with eight points to sit second in Group B, two behind leaders Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis play third-placed Japan on the same night, meaning Australia need three points to keep the pressure on in their quest to qualify as one of the top-two teams.

With former Thai talisman Kiatisuk Senamuang now coaching their opponents, Spiranovic was unwilling to underestimate the challenge.

"Here at home I'm sure they'll unite, especially given what they've been through in the last month," he said.

"They'll be hurting and motivated. It's been a very slow start for them and they'll be looking to get their first points."

Spiranovic will have to give some thought to his club future after Hangzhou Greentown were relegated from the Chinese Super League a week ago.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has already voiced concerns about his No.1 stopper playing club football in the Chinese second tier.

"It's disappointing we've been relegated to the second division but we're looking at the big picture," Spiranovic said.

"For myself personally it was great to play a lot of games this season. I'm fit and healthy and feel like my form has been pretty strong throughout the year."

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