Key man Tim Cahill said on Friday he has recovered from a neck injury and will be fit to lead Australia's attack in their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ opener against Germany.
The Everton attacking midfielder said he has trained fully with his team-mates after injuring his neck in last weekend's 3-1 warm-up loss to USA. Cahill, who has an impressive 20 goals from 40 games for Australia, did not complete Wednesday's training, raising fears that he may be in doubt for Sunday's Group D opener in Durban against the three-time world champions.
But he said he trained fully with the Socceroos on Wednesday and late on Thursday at another closed session. "I don't want to focus on injuries, and if the game was on tomorrow, I'd be there," Cahill told reporters.
Blackburn Rovers midfielder Brett Emerton, who has not played in any of his team's three warm-up games because of a calf injury, has also declared himself fit to take on the Germans. The key selection for coach Pim Verbeek will be who to name as his starting lone striker between fit-again Harry Kewell or Josh Kennedy.
Kewell declared on Thursday he was ready to play a full match against Germany. The senior Socceroo forward, who has only played a few minutes this year for Turkish club Galatasaray because of a groin injury, said he was "100 per cent."
The Australians have never beaten Germany in two meetings, losing 4-3 at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and 3-0 to the former West Germany at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, with both games in Germany. Skipper Lucas Neill has admitted that a draw with Germany would be "a fantastic result."