Match Preview: Australia v Palestine

The Subway Socceroos will conclude their November qualifiers against Palestine on Wednesday morning (1:00am AEDT), at the neutral ground of Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium, in Kuwait City.

Having dispatched Bangladesh in style just five days earlier, the Australians are looking to extend their lead at the top of Group I, with tonight’s match being the last competitive outing before January’s AFC Asian Cup.

In our most recent clash, against 183rd rank Bangladesh at Melbourne’s AAMI Park, the Subway Socceroos’ forward line were prolific in front of goal, with seven goals scored and none conceded on a night where Australia record their largest victory in almost five years.

Graham Arnold was justified in his decision to select four centre forwards in his squad [Yengi, Borrello, Duke, Maclaren], with the unique skillsets of his front men coming to the fore, as all four became involved in memorable moments throughout the match.

Mitchell Duke secured a first-half brace which included a trademark looping header, Brandon Borrello tucked home his second ever international goal, Kusini Yengi caused havoc off the bench during his international debut, while Jamie Maclaren saved the best for last, registering a second-half hat-trick.

Other strong performers included Connor Metcalfe who created two assists in his new position on the right of midfield, while full-backs Lewis Miller and Jordi Bos slotted in seamlessly, having spent time away from the national team.

Graham Arnold’s goal-scoring riches will increase further, heading into the Palestine clash, with winger Martin Boyle returning to camp, having been unavailable for the first match. The Hibernian man has previously been one of the first named on the team-sheet yet will face stiff competition this time around.

The newest inclusion to the squad, Portsmouth forward Kusini Yengi, came on for the last twenty minutes against Bangladesh, and will be hoping to land his first international start come Wednesday morning.

There is plenty of experience and trust amongst those who failed to receive minutes against Bangladesh, with Ryan Strain, Kye Rowles, Samuel Silvera, and Alessandro Circati having all been recently called upon by coach Graham Arnold, to play crucial roles against strong opponents.

Goalkeepers Joe Gauci and Ashley Maynard-Brewer are also in-line for selection, with the latter awaiting his international debut, after a  brilliant vein of form for Charlton Athletic in League One this season.

Due to the on-going conflict within the regions of Israel and Palestine, Wednesday’s match has been relocated to the neutral stadium of Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City. The Subway Socceroos have recently found themselves comfortable in the warm and dry climate of the Middle East, with the capital city of Kuwait being no exception.

The green and gold have ventured to Kuwait City across both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, winning both matches 0-3 and 0-4 against the home nation.

However, this will be the first time that Australia and Palestine meet in a qualifier, having previously played against each other once, during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, where the Aussies emerged victorious on that occasion 3-0, thanks to goals from Jamie Maclaren, Awer Mabil, and Apostolos Giannou.

Current FIFA Rankings

Australia: 27
Palestine: 96

Head-to-head vs Palestine

Played: 1
Won: 1
Scored: 3
Conceded: 0


  • Australia took 14 shots against England in the last international window; prior to that, the last side equal or beat that record so was Italy in the Euro 2020 Final, 26 games before (824 days).
  • Lewis Miller has made the most successful dribbles (14), won the most fouls( 31), won the most duels (99) and made the most interceptions (20) of all fullbacks in the Scottish Premiership.
  • Harry Souttar, as a central defender, has netted six goals out of 16 appearances for the Socceroos – scoring a goal roughly every three games from defence.
    Jordan Bos, despite being a left-footed left-back, took more shots with his right-foot (13) than his stronger leg (12) in the A-League Men last campaign.
  •  Last season in the A-League Men, Brandon Borello netted 13 goals from an expected of 7.83, overperforming his xG by 5.17. 
  • Jamie Maclaren has netted six goals in the first five games of the new campaign for club and country, an average of 1.2 goals per match.