• Socceroos players train ahead of the crucial clash with UAE (Socceroos twitter)
Here's everything you need to know ahead of Australia's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against United Arab Emirates in Sydney on Tuesday night.
Source:
AAP
27 Mar 2017 - 6:37 PM  UPDATED 27 Mar 2017 - 6:37 PM

AUSTRALIA v UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, March 28, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 8pm (AEDT)

AUSTRALIA

World ranking: 55

Coach: Ange Postecoglou

Captain: Mile Jedinak

Qualifying route: Finished top of Group B (7 wins, 1 loss)

World Cup record: Four appearances (1974, 2006, 2010, 2014)

Third-round qualifying results so far: Australia 2-0 Iraq, UAE 0-1 Australia, Saudi Arabia 2-2 Australia, Australia 1-1 Japan, Thailand 2-2 Australia, Iraq 1-1 Australia.

Key man: Jackson Irvine - In his first Socceroos start, the 24-year-old was the chief beneficiary of Postecoglou's tactical switch-up in Tehran.

Socceroos skipper predicts big things to come from Irvine
Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak has hailed the rise of midfielder Jackson Irvine, who is mounting an increasingly strong case for his first international start.
 

Now Irvine must continue his good form given Tom Rogic's injury and Aaron Mooy's suspension.

In a nutshell: No one in the Socceroos set-up misunderstands the importance of Tuesday's match. Win, and Australia are every chance of qualifying directly from the group, while putting breathing space between themselves and fourth-placed UAE.

Anything short of a win will leave qualifying hopes out of the Socceroos' own hands.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

World ranking: 68

Coach: Mahdi Ali

Captain: Ismail Matar

Qualifying route: Finished second in Group A (5 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss)

World Cup record: One appearance (1990)

Third-round qualifying results so far: Japan 1-2 UAE, UAE 0-1 Australia, UAE 3-1 Thailand, Saudi Arabia 3-0 UAE, UAE 2-0 Iraq, UAE 0-2 Japan.

Key man: Omar Abdulrahman - The Asian player of the year is a gifted playmaker with a terrific eye for a pass and technical quality.

Why the Socceroos don't need to fear 'Arabian Messi' Abdulrahman
In Asia, and especially in the United Arab Emirates, there is no bigger star than Omar Abdulrahman - the man dubbed the 'Arabian Messi'.

Australia's answer could be to starve him of time on the ball by deploying Mile Jedinak to pay close attention.

In a nutshell: After starting with a bang - an away win over Japan - the Emirati have suffered three losses in five matches and will find themselves well off the pace with another defeat in Sydney.

Australia should expect full-blown effort from their opponents.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Australia have never lost or conceded a goal to the UAE, winning two and drawing two of their four meetings.

The two countries met last September in Abu Dhabi, where substitute Tim Cahill's late volley earned Australia a crucial qualifying win on the road.

Cahill is the hero yet again for Australia
Tim Cahill demonstrated his enduring value to Australia by coming off the bench and netting the only goal in a 1-0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying win away to United Arab Emirates on Wednesday (AEST).

LAST FOUR MEETINGS

September 2016: UAE 0-1 Australia (World Cup qualifier) - Abu Dhabi

January 2015: Australia 2-0 UAE (Asian Cup semi-final) - Newcastle

October 2014: UAE 0-0 Australia (Friendly) - Abu Dhabi

January 2011: UAE 0-0 Australia (Friendly) - Al Ain

GROUP B STANDINGS

Saudi Arabia - P 6, W 4, D 1, L 1, GD 7, Pts 13

Japan - P 6, W 4, D 1, L 1, GD 5, Pts 13

Australia - P 6, W 2, D 4, L 0, GD 3, Pts 10

UAE - P 6, W 3, D 0, L 3, GD -1, Pts 9

Iraq - P 6, W 1, D 1, L 4, GD -2, Pts 4

Thailand - P 6, W 0, D 1, L 5, GD -12, Pts 1

Postecoglou hints at Socceroos changes for UAE clash
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou is set to make "a couple of changes" for Tuesday's crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier with United Arab Emirates in Sydney.

AUSTRALIA'S REMAINING WORLD CUP QUALIFYING FIXTURES

Saudi Arabia (H) - June 8, 2017

Japan (A) - August 31, 2017

Thailand (H) - September 5, 2017