MARK Schwarzer has insisted that history will not be repeating itself when Australia aim to book a place in the World Cup finals tonight.

The Middlesbrough goalkeeper made a string of crucial saves on Saturday as the Socceroos lost 1-0 to Uruguay in the first leg of their play-off double-header.

The situation is the mirror image of four years ago, when Australia enjoyed a one-goal win over the same opponents at an identical stage of the qualifying programme.

Australia slumped to a 3-0 defeat in Montevideo and failed to reach the finals in Japan and Korea.

But, with Guus Hiddink's side enjoying home advantage as they look to overturn their first-leg deficit, Schwarzer is confident of a different outcome.

It is now more than 30 years since Australia made their only World Cup appearance - a wait the 33-year-old is confident of ending.

"The difference now to four years ago is that we are confident because of the performance we put in over there," said Schwarzer.

"Some people were expecting us to get beaten two or three nil, but that never entered our minds. This time the team is a lot more confident as a whole.

"I think they were definitely frustrated at the end of the match. They were surprised with how well we played.

"But it's not about them, it's about us.

"It's in our hands now. Four years ago, we went there with a 1-0 lead, this time it's the other way round.

"They're going to be sitting back, looking for the counter, and we have to make sure we stick to our guns. We must not get frustrated.

"They'll try to slow it down, try all the tricks, but we have to play our game."

Hiddink is expected to make changes, with Everton striker Tim Cahill likely to start up front after sitting on the bench on Saturday.

Cahill will partner Schwarzer's Boro team-mate, Mark Viduka, as Australia look to breach a Uruguay defence who have not conceded in their last three competitive outings.

Viduka is skippering the Australian side at present and claims that all-out attack is the best way to earn a place in Germany next summer.

Uruguay will be content to play on the break as they search for a potentially decisive away goal.

But, rather than exercising caution, Viduka is urging his team-mates to take the game to their opponents.

"I think we are just going to have to go at them," said the striker. "With this team, we have a lot of attacking options.

"It's going to be a totally different game over here and, hopefully, there will be 82,000 people egging us on.

"Every time we go forward, the crowd is going to be behind us and that will make a massive difference."

Viduka and Schwarzer are not the only Boro players hoping to be in Germany next summer, as winger Stewart Downing is also targeting an appearance at the World Cup finals.

The 21-year-old has still to kick a ball this season after undergoing a knee operation in the summer and, with England scheduled to play just three more friendlies before the tournament begins, time is running out.

But by targeting a return in January's trip to Newcastle, Downing is hoping to give himself more than enough time to force his way back into the international reckoning.

"I want to be back for the Newcastle game so I will have longer to impress," said the left footer, who made his England debut in February's friendly with Holland.

"Then I just have to do what I did the first time and see what happens.

"I still have time on my side and hopefully I can be the surprise selection in the England squad.

"I haven't booked holidays and I'd like to think I will be spending next summer at the World Cup."