Socceroos ready for Sochi cauldron

Josh Risdon feels the Socceroos will have their hands full coping with Peru's ferocious fans.
Josh Risdon feels the Socceroos will have their hands full coping with Peru's ferocious fans.

The Socceroos know a ferocious atmosphere awaits in Sochi where Peru's travelling army of World Cup supporters will outsing the Australian fans.

But they hope their last trip to Latin America will give them a handle on the cauldron they're about to enter.

The South Americans ended a 36-year wait to appear at this World Cup and the nation's football fans have travelled with them en masse - fearing it may be the only time in their lives Peru reach the tournament.

Stories of the extraordinary lengths Peruvians have gone to - quitting their jobs, holding fundraisers, selling cars - have crossed the globe.

One report suggested a man gained 24 kilograms to apply for a more easily obtainable accessible seat, such was the desperation to score tickets.

Once in the stadium, Peru fans bring the passion synonymous with the sport in South America - from well before kick-off until fulltime.

Until now, Socceroos fans have held sway in matches in Kazan and in Samara.

But Josh Risdon knows that advantage is about over.

"You know what the South American fans are like," he said.

"We played Colombia in a friendly (in London) and I don't think they had as many fans as Peru are going to have but the atmosphere is amazing.

"It's definitely going to be loud ... it's unreal to play in front of, you just have to switch off and get the job done."

In addition to that 0-0 friendly in March, the Socceroos have played South American opponents twice since last year's World Cup.

Brazil dished up a 4-0 belting of Ange Postecoglou's side at the MCG last June before a 1-1 draw with Chile at the Confederations Cup.

Not since a 1-0 defeat of Paraguay in Sydney in 2010 have the Socceroos beaten South American opposition.

They did emerge with the next best thing - a win over Central American opposition - by defeating Honduras in the inter-continental qualification playoff last November.

Risdon hopes the memory of playing in San Pedro Sula, at the notorious Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, will help Australia at the expected raucous Black Sea showdown.

"The Honduras game away was outstanding. It was loud, you couldn't really hear yourself think," he said.

"I remember walking on the pitch before and you couldn't speak to the person next to you because it was just that loud.

"That's what we're going to expect on Tuesday."

Australian Associated Press