Grella, Culina ruled out of China clash
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold will have to make do without two more of Australia’s World Cup stars, with Vince Grella and Jason Culina forced to withdraw from Saturday’s friendly match against China in Guangzhou, China.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold will have to make do without two more of Australia-s World Cup stars, with Vince Grella and Jason Culina forced to withdraw from Saturday-s friendly match against China in Guangzhou, China.
Grella, has a lingering knee injury, while Culina has a problem hamstring, after PSV Eindhoven-s embarrassing 5-1 thrashing at the hands of arch-rival Ajax on the weekend. The pair will be replaced by Simon Colosimo, who is on loan to Turkish side Sivasspor, and Carl Valeri, who is on loan at Serie C side Grosseto from Inter Milan.
Arnold was going into the match with the Chinese side, already minus a host of big name players, but is relieved that Middlesbrough trio of Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka and Brad Jones, came through unscathed from Monday night-s FA Cup replay and will join the squad on Thursday. Viduka is now likely to handed the captaincy armband, in his first international match since leading the team at the World Cup finals last June.
Based in Hong Kong for the five-day camp, Arnold told FoxSports, “we are obviously disappointed they are not here, but it gives other guys an opportunity.”
The call-up for Colosimo ends a two-year exile from the national team set-up with Arnold saying of the Perth Glory defensive midfielder, “he is doing quite well and at least he is match fit.”
The match will be the last before the two June blockbusters between Uruguay and Argentina, and is the last chance for fringe players to significantly press their claims for a place in the Asia Cup squad.
The match can be seen live on FoxSports from 6.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday night, while there will be a Full Live Match Update on www.footballaustralia.com.au (simply click on the promotion graphic located on the home page)