Lebanon might be bottom of Group B, but “the Cedars” will give Holger Osieck’s side an ideal hit-out before the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Jordan.
Lebanon have so far lost two and drawn one of their round 4 group matches, with a 3-0 loss to the Korea Republic so far the biggest defeat.
It is highly unlikely that Theo Bucker’s side will go any further towards Brazil; despite finishing second in their group in round 3 of qualifying – during which they did defeat Korea Republic 2-1 in Beirut in 2011 - they lack the depth to challenge their bigger Asian rivals.
Australian fans will understandably expect to see the Aussies team get a goal or two but Lebanon do base their game on defence, and don’t concede too many at home. For a currently goal-shy Qantas Socceroos side, this could mean a tighter result that many would hope for.
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At 32, the former captain may almost be considered a veteran but his experience and reading of the game is hugely important to the Lebanese game plan.
The only problem is they haven’t really been able to stamp their defensive authority on some of the better teams throughout Asia, but Mohamed is still very capable of marshalling the troops and is known for his ability to pop up and score a goal.
The captain and talisman of the team has been missing from recent games and his absence has been noticeable.
When he damaged his ankle ligaments and was stretchered off the field while playing in the Chinese Super League for Shandong against Shanghai Shenhua, a nation held its breath.
Unfortunately for the Cedars, he missed games against Uzbekistan and South Korea, and the Taeguk Warriors took full advantage of a toothless Lebanon, belting them 3-0.
Antar is easily Lebanon’s danger man, now in China with Shandong Luneng and previously played for Bundesliga side Koln but is in the national set-up he has a fine record of scoring in one out of every two matches.
However, injury could keep him out of this friendly in preparation for Lebanon’s qualifying matches.
The Qantas Socceroos face Lebanon in an international friendly at Saida Municipal Stadium, Saida, at 8.30pm local time (3.30am AEST, Friday, 7 September).
Following that, the Qantas Socceroos resume their FIFA World Cup qualification campaign against Jordan in Amman, at 7pm on Tuesday, 11 September (2am AEST, Wednesday, 12 September).
The Qantas Socceroos return to Australia in 2013, for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney’s Stadium Australia at 7.30pm, Tuesday, 26 March, followed by Iraq, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 June.
Tickets for both matches at Stadium Australia are on sale now through Ticketek or via phone, 132 849.