IN FORM: Massimo Luongo is one of a number of Socceroos who have been starring in the English Championship this season.
IN FORM: Massimo Luongo is one of a number of Socceroos who have been starring in the English Championship this season. Paul Kane

Attacking prowess gives Luongo hope against Saudis

FOOTBALL: Massimo Luongo says the Socceroos are not worried about scoring goals ahead of Friday morning's World Cup qualifier with Saudi Arabia in Jeddah.

Luongo scored in the 2-0 win over Iraq in Perth last month to kick off the campaign to get to Russia in 2018.

He said the squad was confident they would get opportunities to score because it had creative players all over the pitch.

"That's the one thing we don't really focus on in training because we know the chances can come from all over the pitch,” midfielder Luongo told FFA TV.

"The creativity we have is very good.

"And it's not just midfield, even in our fullback areas.

"We have Brad Smith's pace, he can get up and back and deliver a cross from anywhere.

"We have so many threats all over the pitch which does help.

"On the odd day when we're not having the best game, someone can pull something out of the bag and give us a bit of a lift.”

Luongo has been starring for Queens Park Rangers in the Championship this season.

But the 24-year-old is not the only Australian producing the goods in the second tier of English football.

Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield) and Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion) have both been making an impression with Luongo confident they can bring that form on to the international stage.

Luongo was that man in the first qualifier against Iraq, arriving late into the box to score the opening goal of the 2-0 win in Perth.

"Azza (Mooy) just keeps their team kicking, he's the heart of their team,” he said.

"And they are a good side, they've come a long way from what I used to know Huddersfield were like.

"They play really good football, patient football and I think he has a really good role in that team.

"Jackson has done really well and impressed me the most because no one has expected them to do really well.”

Just like the Socceroos, Saudi Arabia has won its opening two games in the final stages of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Coach Bert van Marwijk will look to the likes of striker Yasser Al Qahtani to give the Socceroos some problems defensively.

He will also hope captain Osama Hawsawi continues his impressive form at the centre of his defence with Al Abed, pulling the strings in midfield.


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