Socceroos take heart from upset wins: World Cup 2014

Mathew Leckie of Australia controls the ball as Arturo Vidal of Chile comes in for a tackle. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Mathew Leckie of Australia controls the ball as Arturo Vidal of Chile comes in for a tackle. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


The Socceroos can be "almost unstoppable" forward Mathew Leckie says as he talked up Australia's chances of staging an upset over a rampant Netherlands on Thursday.

Fresh from his best Socceroos performance in Australia's World Cup opening loss against Chile on Friday, Leckie said if the Socceroos got things right and could disrupt Holland's game plan, anything was possible.

With his pace and strength on the right wing Leckie was able to cause trouble for the Chileans.

But with Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben in devastating form following Holland's 5-1 demolition of Spain, the Dutch may present a much tougher challenge in Porto Alegre on Thursday.

"If we can play out of defence and break the lines of the strikers and the midfielders and move the ball quickly then I think we're always a dangerous team," Leckie said.

"We've got pace on the wing and you've got Timmy [Cahill] in the air when the ball goes in the box - one of the best headers in the game.

"So if we can do the things we can do best well then it doesn't matter if you're Spain, Holland or the best team in the world, we're almost unstoppable."

Leckie said results like Holland's shock rout of world champions Spain and Costa Rica's 3-1 upset against the highly rated Uruguayans have fuelled the Socceroos' belief.

"It's a weird game, it's nothing like AFL where you know the top team's going to smash the bottom team. Anything can happen.

"Everyone says it's a fact that we're the lowest-ranked team [at the tournament] but even though we lost against Chile we really showed we can compete with the best.

"So if Holland can score five against Spain, I don't see why we can't beat these two teams either.

"It's three games in a group stage. Everyone expects us to lose ... but there's no pressure on us against Holland."

While the Chileans play a high defensive line with a narrow, crowded midfield, the Dutch play wider and don't leave themselves as exposed at the back.

But Leckie was confident Australia would be able to adapt.

"The game plan will be different, they're probably going to play differently to the way they did against Spain," he said.

"They'll be attacking like Chile but in a different sense.

"We think they're going to go out as a 4-3-3, which is very attacking and we will obviously have a different game plan.

"I'm sure Ange [Postecoglou] has the right ideas for the way we can really hurt them." AAP


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