Matt Spiranovic is expecting a difficult clash when the Socceroos tackle Thailand later this month

Matt Spiranovic is expecting a difficult clash when the Socceroos tackle Thailand later this month.

Caltex Socceroo defender Matt Spiranovic is anticipating a difficult opponent when Thailand host Australia in a World Cup qualifier in Bangkok next week.

Despite Thailand currently sitting at the bottom of Group B and winless from four matches, Spiranovic feels a number of factors will contribute to make it a difficult night for the Australians.

“Here at home I’m sure they’ll unite,” Spiranovic told FFA TV.

“Especially after what they’ve been through in the last month, they’ll be a very difficult opposition.

“And they’ll be hurting. It’s been a very slow start for them. They’ll be looking to get their first points.

“So they’ll be very motivated.”

The Caltex Socceroos head into the clash with Thailand unbeaten after four games and eight points in the group.

On the night Thailand host the Caltex Socceroos, Japan host Saudi Arabia in Saitama in a group blockbuster.

The Saudis are currently top of Group B with ten points, followed by Australia on eight in second spot and the Japanese on seven points in third.

The Aussies must win to keep the pressure on their group rivals.

And Spiranovic, 28, knows all about Thailand having played against them in two tight matches in the previous World Cup qualifying cycle on the Road to Rio.

“Both very narrow wins. With the games going down to the wire with goals in the last minute,” Spiranovic recalled.

“They’re a team that need to be fully respected.”

The Thais shocked Australia at Brisbane’s Suncorp on September 2, 2011, taking an early lead courtesy of the lively Teerasil Dangda who slotted past Mark Schwarzer on 15 minutes.

But Josh Kennedy restored parity in the second half before current Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque sealed the points four minutes from time.

And in the return leg in Bangkok a couple of months later, it took a Brett Holman goal 17 minutes from time to see off Winfried Schafer’s Thais 1-0 at the Rajamangala, the same venue for next Tuesday night’s clash.

The Caltex Socceroos have started arriving in Bangkok ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Tuesday 15 November.

J-League based Nathan Burns and Spiranovic were amongst the first to arrive in Bangkok after their respective domestic competitions ended last weekend.

Spiranovic’s Chinese Super League club Hangzhou Greentown were relegated from the top tier of Chinese football this season.

“Obviously a very difficult season to be honest and disappointing that we’ve been relegated to the second division,” said the former Western Sydney Wanderers defender.

“But for myself personally it was great to play a lot of games and to be fit and healthy. But now we must regroup and get straight back up next season.”


Football Federation Australia

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