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Australian Football: Atkinson backs Socceroos starlets

Nathanial Atkinson says he has faith in whoever takes to the pitch as the Socceroos attempt to beat Peru and book their place in the World Cup finals.

Australia are priced at 500/1 to win the World Cup but need to beat Peru in the qualifying play-off to ensure they are on the plane to Qatar later this year.

Peru the hot fancies

Peru will be tough opposition. They are ranked number 22 in the world and will be the hot fancies to beat Australia and go through to the World Cup.

However Atkinson says Australia have what it takes to cause an upset, even if some players lack experience on the international stage.

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Atkinson and fellow defender Kye Rowles have just four Socceroos caps between them but will be ready to step up to the plate if coach Graham Arnold gives them the nod.

Keeping the faith

"I've got faith in anyone that comes into the line-up to be fair, from the strikers to the defence and 'keepers," he told AAP. "That's the reason why we're here. The reason why Arnie (coach Arnold) brought us in. There's no point bringing in players here that Arnie doesn't think are ready to play.

"I'm just grateful to have that opportunity. I'm sure Rowlesy is as well. Even the players with 70 caps, they're all blessed to be on that pitch and we're all playing for one cause and that's to send Australia to the World Cup."

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