Socceroos daring to dream of Cup glory
FIVE years in the Bundesliga has given Mathew Leckie an insight into the German game, now he is hoping to pass on that inside information to his teammates ahead of the Socceroos' opening Confederations Cup clash on Tuesday morning (1am AEST).
Winger Leckie played for recently relegated Ingolstadt in Germany's top division before signing for Hertha Berlin last month.
Leckie said he was looking forward to Australia's other games against Chile and Cameroon but said he knew what to expect from Joachim Low's team although some big-name players have been left at home.
"I think all three games are special - it's always special to play against the best nations in the world, so I'm looking forward to all the games," the 41-capped Socceroo said.
"I've played five years in Germany, so I'm very familiar with the players.
"I'm excited to get out there and I guess go back to Germany and say we beat them.
"We take each game one by one and Germany are first up so hopefully we can start off well.
"Obviously I'm a bit familiar with the players - who they are and what they do - but you never know what's coming in a game.
"You can prepare to a certain extent but anything can happen on the day.
"There's a lot of young players there - they haven't taken their best team - but a lot of young talent who are going to be very motivated to perform for their nation," Leckie added.
"It's definitely going to be tough but if we can play to our best and cancel out the small mistakes, we've got a chance."
Leckie said the Australian players were confident going into the Germany clash, particularly after giving the reigning world champions a scare on their own turf two years ago.
Then a late Lukas Podolski equaliser spared German blushes after Mile Jedinak's superb free-kick and James Troisi's header gave the Aussies the advantage in a 2-2 draw.
"It was a good game from us," Leckie recalled.
"It's never easy to play an away game and get a result, especially against a team like [Germany].
"They were world champions and we went there and got a draw and could have really won it.
"We know that when we play well, play our football and do what we do, we can get results against the best.
"That's something that is very important for us - we believe now and that's something that maybe at the beginning wasn't there.
"Every single player in the team now believes that we can go all the way in this tournament," he declared."
A lot has been said about coach Ange Postecoglou's new 3-2-4-1 formation but Leckie said that he and the players were now getting used to the tactical changes.
"It's obviously a little bit different," he said.
"I start a little bit deeper but it gives me the opportunity to get into areas where sometimes the pressure isn't there and I've got the game in front of me.
"We're still working on it - it's got much better and can only get better."