Malaysia will not be overawed by Australia, who will have the likes of English Premier League trio Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill and Lucas Neill in their side, in the international friendly in Canberra on Oct 7.
National coach Datuk K. Rajagopal said the match would be a test of character for his players.
He said that Australian head coach Holger Osieck had maintained the same set of players who defeated Thailand (2-1) and Saudi Arabia (3-1) in their opening two matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers recently.
“They are a top class side and we are going to take the friendly seriously in our preparation for the 2015 Asian Cup,” he said after the national squad’s training session at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.
Rajagopal expects the national team to give a decent account of themselves in Canberra “although we will be without several key players, who were dropped due to poor form”.
“Yes, we have left out some key players but that will give others a chance to show their abilities. I am building a team for the 2015 Asian Cup Finals and I am prepared to take risks along the way,” he said.
“I have done it before and those who don’t live up to my expectations will have to go. There will be no compromise.
“In Canberra, I will be looking for players with strong characters and to get the right chemistry as I continue to build a side to challenge for the Asian Cup Finals, So far, the team has been shaping up well in training and we should be ready in a few days’ time.”
Among the players dropped were skipper Safiq Rahim, Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal, Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin, Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, Azmi Muslim and goalkeeper Mohd Sharbinee Allawee.
National striker Mohd Safee Sali joined the national team in training yesterday after returning from a two-week stint with English Division Two side Cardiff City.
Safee is expected to partner Norshahrul Idlan Talaha upfront.
For the record, Malaysia and Australia have met six times since 1965, with the Aussies having won five times.
Malaysia’s only win – 1-0 – came in their last encounter in the Anniversary Cup in Jakarta back in 1992.
Australia are using the friendly as preparation for their World Cup Asian Qualifier against Oman in Sydney on Oct 11