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Socceroos on top of UAE scouting game

AAP logoAAP 3/09/2016 Ben McKay

Australia's man in the United Arab Emirates says the Socceroos' scouting network is so good he can't help reveal any secrets.

Mark Milligan, who reached 50 international caps in Thursday's win against Iraq, plays his club football for UAE side Baniyas.

The countries meet on Tuesday (Wednesday morning AEST) in a top-of-the-table World Cup qualifier on the road to the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Given UAE's squad is dominated by locally based players, there will be plenty of familiar faces to Milligan, including playmaker Omar Abdulrahman and in-form striker Ahmed Khalil.

But he shrugged off the notion he could add to Australia's opposition research, which FFA believes is among the world's best.

"We've all seen a lot of them ... we're all very aware of what they can do," Milligan said.

"They've been preparing a long time. This is a big moment for them. It's serious business."

The young side made a splash by knocking out Japan in last year's Asian Cup before falling to Australia in the semi-finals.

The world No.74 side repeated the act on Thursday night in Tokyo, claiming a rare 2-1 win over the Blue Samurai on home soil.

Australian boss Ange Postecolgou said he wasn't surprised by the result, given the glowing scouting reports he has received on the country.

FFA chief David Gallop confirmed Australia's investment in information-gathering.

"We're believers in (Postecoglou's) adage which is while we may not be necessarily a top-five team in the world, we'll provide the off-field support at a world-class level to give us every chance," he said.

The Gulf states have a reputation for playing in front of staid, empty stadiums but Milligan suggested that could change on Tuesday.

"Speaking to a few of the local boys before I left and a few people in government over there, I think they might be opening the doors ... you can never be too sure," he said.

Milligan, who was placed in defence by Postecoglou for his 50th game, said he was proud of the milestone after winning his first cap before the 2006 World Cup.

"It's been a long time coming. I've been counting them down for a while just quietly," he said.

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