Australia captain Mile Jedinak believes his side's early arrival in Brazil will stand them in good stead once the FIFA World Cup™ begins. The Socceroos were the first team to arrive in the host nation and played a friendly against Croatia in Salvador last Friday.
They begin their Group B campaign against Chile in Cuiaba this coming Friday and Jedinak, who plays for Crystal Palace, believes they will have the edge in terms of acclimatisation.
"It's been a great experience so far, particularly I remember having the experience in South Africa four years ago and having it now, it's a little bit different with the weather," said the 29-year-old defensive midfielder. "But you're able to acclimatise, having the game here as well in Salvador the other night, it's giving you that opportunity and I think we've all benefitted from it. Definitely under more trying circumstances than where we are at the minute, it's going to stand us in good stead."
Chile are likely to be missing key midfielder Arturo Vidal, who is struggling with inflammation under his kneecap, but Jedinak is not expecting his absence to give Australia any advantage.
"You go through their squad and it's one player," he said. "He is an important player, but they have many players who are playing at a good level and a number of players in his position who are strong.
"We know what he's about and how he does things, but we have to prepare how we would normally whether he's playing or not. We can't always control that so we have to prepare for both scenarios."
Pressure off the Socceroos
According to attacking midfielder Tommy Oar all the pressure is on the talented Chileans, whereas the Aussies do not expect to even make it out of the group and are feeling more relaxed. With the two South Africa 2010 finalists, Spain and the Netherlands, as their other group opponents, a defeat in this game would more than likely end either side's hopes.
"From our perspective we know all the pressure will be on Chile going into the first game," said the 22-year-old. "We're looking forward to trying to take the game to our opponents and showing everyone what we're made of.
"The way expectation will be on them, they know that if they don't get a good result against us their backs will be against the wall. For us, we can go into the game with a lot of confidence and really take it to them."