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Socceroo strikers present claims

Tomi Juric would trade personal glory for an easier World Cup qualifying path for the Socceroos.
Socceroo strikers present claims
Photo Source: AAP

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Whichever way Ange Postecoglou goes with his striker selection for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Japan, he can't lose.

Does he go with Tim Cahill, who has more goals than any other in the history of the fixture, or Tomi Juric, who's in the form of his life?

It's a win-win proposition that the Socceroos coach is relishing ahead of the meeting of the Asian arch-rivals in Melbourne.

Juric has come of age in a Socceroos shirt in this final stage of qualifying, scoring twice in three starts and looking at home in the international arena.

"He's going well, he's been working hard, he's the best physically since I've been in charge we've had him," Postecoglou said.

"He's fit, strong and he's got a couple of goals already in the qualifying series.

"He's a handful for oppositions and I like Tomi because he's got the right mentality, he's not really fazed by anything, whether that's an opposition or the fact that he may have missed a chance."

Juric said the most important thing for him was to stay fit to give him the chance to be selected next time

"There are no guarantees in life," he said, "but every time I am here I leave everything on the park knowing it may be last,"

"That's the only way you can guarantee yourself the chance of being in the next camp."

Of his 47 international goals, Cahill's most famous pair came against the Blue Samurai at the 2006 World Cup.

But given his lack of match fitness - as a A-League returnee he has yet to start a match this season - Postecoglou would need to take a leap of faith to change lanes.

The canny coach isn't likely to reveal his plans until the last moment but one thing's for sure, he isn't flattered by Cahill's goals from years past.

"There's not many teams he hasn't scored against. If that was the measure he'd play every game," he said.

"With Timmy we've got to be really careful, he's the only A-League player in here because he is unique but the physical toll that these games take on players people don't realise.

"Once the A-League kicks in and he's up and running he'll be right to start for us no problem, but we've got to be really careful about how we use him in these early stages."

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