Arnie wants ruthless Roos for qualifiers

Graham Arnold says Australia must be ruthless during the first stage of World Cup qualifying.
Graham Arnold says Australia must be ruthless during the first stage of World Cup qualifying.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold wants his team to take no prisoners on the road to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Australia will discover their opponents for their first steps in 2022 qualification on Wednesday when the draw for the second stage of Asian qualifiers is held.

Arnold says it is exciting to be leading Australia on the bid to qualify for a fifth-straight World Cup.

"We've got a very good group of players and we'll treat every one of these games as a way of being ruthless," Arnold told AAP.

"We need to start being ruthless in a sense of nailing the opposition. I expect that over the next few years.

"Every opponent that we play we treat with respect, but we go out on the pitch expecting to put in a great performance."

Australia is one of 40 teams who'll be drawn into eight groups of five.

The groups will play home and away fixtures from September to June 2020 with the group winners and four best runners-up advancing to the final stage of qualifying.

Those 12 teams will also secure spots in the 2023 Asian Cup in China.

Australia is in pot one for the draw along with fellow Asian heavyweights Iran, Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia - meaning they cannot face those teams until at least the next stage of qualifying.

One team Australia could face is Guam, who are coached by former A-League defender Karl Dodd.

The minnows are in pot five after thrashing Bhutan in a two-legged preliminary qualifier and Arnold said it would be exciting to come up against another Australian coach if that is how the draw works out.

"He's done a great job to get them into this phase of the World Cup campaign," Arnold said.

"The main focus is on ourselves and I do believe if we get things right with ourselves, we'll have a very successful campaign ahead of us."

The draw will be held at AFC headquarters in Malaysia on Wednesday night (AEST).

Australian Associated Press