Socceroos hoping to reign over Spain

THERE is no such thing as a dead rubber as far as Socceroos winger Ben Halloran is concerned.

The 22-year-old, who plays his club football for Fortuna Dusseldorf in Germany, is still not sure whether he will start against world champions Spain tomorrow morning.

But even if he is among the substitutes, the former Brisbane Roar wide man said he and his teammates would be doing their utmost to heap more misery on La Roja, who, like Australia, are sitting on zero points in Group B after two games.

"If anything, it's given us greater focus to finish this campaign on a high," Halloran said.

"It's a World Cup match against the former champions.

"So if anyone's taking it lightly, they should take a good look at themselves."

Halloran has made two appearances from the bench in Australia's first two games against Chile and the Netherlands, but could be in for a starting spot with Tim Cahill suspended and Mark Bresciano (hip flexor) and Mark Milligan (hamstring) unlikely to play.

Coach Ange Postecoglou could opt for Halloran to play wide with Matthew Leckie switching to a more central role, although it appears at this stage that Newcastle Jets striker Adam Taggart is likely to replace Cahill.

The Cairns product said he hopeful of more than just a sub role against the Spanish, but would be glad just to be involved again.

"Honestly I've no idea," Halloran said when asked if he was starting.

"But if I can be a part of the game, then I'll be very happy."

The state of the pitch for tomorrow's game in Curitiba has come under fire.

The Socceroos were unable to train at the stadium yesterday with organisers worried about how much the pitch had cut up in the previous game between Honduras and Ecuador.

Spain coach Vincent Del Bosque has been under immense pressure after some lacklustre performances from his team.

He could well ring the changes as Spain looks to restore some pride.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas could be one of those to feel the axe as too could Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa, a naturalised Spanish citizen.

Fernando Torres or Melbourne Heart-bound David Villa could start ahead of him, or Del Bosque could opt for Cesc Fabregas to play as a false nine.


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