Australia focus on recovery as they prepare for crucial clash with Denmark

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Australia's players have highlighted the importance of recovery as they look to back up their historic win against Tunisia in their make-or-break meeting with Denmark on Wednesday.

The equation for the Socceroos is a simple one heading into the meeting with the Danes: win, and they'll advance to the Round of 16 for just the second time in their history.

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Short of Tunisia staging a monumental upset over a surging France, a draw would also likely be enough to secure progress to the knockout rounds. But a loss would mean they could start booking their flights home.

With just a four-day turnaround and three sessions to prepare for the Denmark clash, however, Graham Arnold's side are wary of being physically ready for that contest.

"Recovery is a key factor to that, making sure your body's ready to go. And just being honest with yourself," striker Mitch Duke said. "Because if you don't feel like you can go out on that pitch giving 100 per cent, then you shouldn't be out there.

"That's where it comes down to honesty, communication, and knowing your body -- that goes down to the individual and communicating with the medical staff, and so on.

"I'm sure all the boys will get themselves right in time and everyone will be ready to put their hands up to give 110% again because that's what we're gonna need -- minimum -- against Denmark."

While Duke's 23rd-minute header proved to be decisive in Australia's win against Tunisia, it was the work of defender Harry Souttar that ensured they closed out the result.

The towering centre-back was imperious across the 90 minutes at the Al Janoub stadium, chasing down and tackling Tunisia substitute Taha Yassine Khenissi late on to cap "one of the best individual displays" Jackson Irvine has ever seen for Australia.

The win was just the third senior match Souttar has played since he ruptured his ACL in November, 2021 but the Aberdeen-born defender said he expects to start again when they face Denmark.

"Sleep is so important -- the boss is really big on it, getting as much sleep as you can," Souttar said. "With a 1pm kick-off, it's a lot better to recover than a 10pm kickoff because a 10pm kick-off kind of upsets the next day when you're trying to recover.

"At the 1pm kickoff, you don't need to change anything, you're still getting your eight hours of sleep.

"We'll do the right kind of recovery -- ice baths, ice, massages -- and we'll be ready to go again."

Given the potential to make history on Wednesday, though, midfielder Keanu Baccus doesn't believe he, Souttar, or any Australia player will need any extra motivation to ignore the pain if it comes down to it.

"These tournaments only come around once every four years," Baccus said. "We understand that and we know we need to be at our peak physicality and I think everyone is prepared for that mentally and physically."