Extra rest key to Socceroos' Asian Cup hopes

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Australia's two days of extra preparation for their Asian Cup round of 16 clash against Uzbekistan looms as a key advantage.

The knockout clash isn't being played until Monday (Tuesday AEDT), meaning the Socceroos will have almost a week to recover from their dramatic 3-2 win against Syria.

Midfielder Jackson Irvine said the break will be important physically and mentally for the defending champions.

"It's very important and something we'll utilise absolutely to get boys back fit and obviously for Trent (Sainsbury) to get some good sessions into him before he no doubt gets involved in the last 16," Irvine said.

"It's unusual to have such a large break in between games in a competition but it's a good chance to have a mental refresher as well.

"It's all cup finals now, it's four cup finals to win a tournament."

The break will give Australia's injured players a chance to regain fitness after Andrew Nabbout and Josh Risdon missed the Syria game due to groin strains.

Hamstrung forward Mathew Leckie is also pushing to prove his fitness while defender Trent Sainsbury will return from suspension.

Uzbekistan lost their final group match against Japan on Friday to finish second behind the Samurai Blue and set up the clash with the Socceroos.

Veteran coach Hector Cuper said his team cannot use Australia's two days of extra recovery as an excuse.

"They'll have two more days but still it's not too much difference," the Argentinian said.

"If we come to the pitch and lose, it can't be a justification that they had two more days and that's why we lose.

Cuper made five changes to his starting line-up against Japan from the team that beat Turkmenistan to secure progression to the knockout stages.

He also substituted star forward Eldor Shomurodov with 20 minutes remaining despite Japan leading 2-1 at the time.

"I can say that today (Friday) we also tried to give more time, have a rest for our players, as did Japan," Cuper said.

"I'm satisfied with the effort made by all the players."

Australia have faced Uzbekistan three times, winning every match and not conceding a single goal.

The last meeting between the two sides ended with a 6-0 thumping by the Socceroos in the 2011 Asian Cup semi-finals in Qatar.

Irvine says a tough group stage, where Australia lost their opener against Jordan and required a 93rd minute Tom Rogic strike to defeat Syria, had battle-hardened the team for the next phase of the tournament.

"We can still be a little naive at times and put ourselves in trouble and that's something that only comes with experience and playing more and more," the Hull City player said.

"Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy - not in a major sense, I don't think we cause ourselves too many problems ... but we have to see that sometimes the biggest threat to us is ourselves.

"If we can iron out some finer little details, we can make games a little easier."

Australia's players enjoyed a day off on Friday and will return to training in Al Ain on Saturday.

The clash will be played at Al Ain's Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium from 6pm on Monday (Tuesday 1am AEDT).

Source AAP