• Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo (Getty Images)
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou looks likely to reward Massimo Luongo with a start against Germany, as he prepares to tweak his midfield for tonight's Confederations Cup opener in Sochi.
By
Dave Lewis in Sochi

19 Jun 2017 - 8:25 PM  UPDATED 20 Jun 2017 - 12:03 AM

The Queens Park Rangers man came off the bench late in the vital 3-2 World Cup win over Saudi Arabia, and played 78 minutes in last week's 4-0 loss to Brazil.

Indications are that Luongo - who was ruled out by injury when an inspired Australia drew 2-2 with Germany back in 2015 -  is strongly in contention to line up alongside freshly-anointed stand-in captain Mark Milligan in a deep lying midfield role.

If he gets the nod against Joachim Low's world champions at the Fisht Stadium, 26-cap Luongo would effectively replace injured skipper Mile Jedinak, who was forced to withdraw from the competition after aggravating his groin against the Saudis.

It would also be an opportunity to lay down a marker for the tournament, with further group games against Cameroon and Chile to come, and Luongo looking re-establish himself as a regular starter for the green and gold.

Luongo's inclusion in the top team would see Jackson Irvine - who began the game against Saudi Arabia - revert to the bench.

Ahead of Luongo and Milligan in freer roles will be Premier League-bound Aaron Mooy and X-factor weapon Tom Rogic, scorer of that spectacular long-range winner in Adelaide.

Tomi Juric looks nailed on to lead the line, with the wing-backs in Postecoglou's 3-2-4-1 formation likely to be Aziz Behich and Mathew Leckie.

At the back, Trent Sainsbury and Milos Degenek are favoured to start, though it could be a close call between Wright and Ryan McGowan for the third spot.

Postecoglou is committed to taking the game to an experimental Germany, with its fleet of star names rested for the tournament.

If the team can channel Postecoglou's pugnacity - as evidenced by several prickly responses during the pre-game press conference - they could be well placed to get something tangible from a match Germany, despite the callow make up of their squad - are favoured to dominate.