They did it the hard way, but Australia have reached the FIFA World Cup finals for the fourth time in a row. The question is: how far can they go?
Yet again, the Socceroos have copped a difficult group. France are among the tournament favourites, Denmark were impressive in UEFA qualifying, and Peru did enough to beat out South American champs Chile for a spot in Russia.
The Aussies, meanwhile, have a short-term coach in charge and few big-name players to call on. Whereas the 2006 squad featured 11 players who had spent the previous season in one of Europe’s big three leagues, the roster for Russia 2018 has only two – Mat Ryan (Brighton & Hove Albion) and Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town).
How will this rag-tag bunch of underdogs fare on the biggest stage of all? Let’s see what the online bookmakers are saying.
About the Socceroos
|Coach:||Bert van Marwijk|
|World Cup appearances:||Five – 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018|
|Brazil 2014 finish:||Group stage|
Best bookies for Socceroos betting
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Latest 2018 World Cup odds
|Group C winner||+1400||+1800||+2000|
|To qualify from Group C||+300||+350||+350|
|To win a match||+100||+105||+105|
Best Socceroos bets for World Cup 2018
Where do the Socceroos provide value? Open the tabs below to find out.
- Don’t even think about it. Most bookies have Australia at +29900 or greater to win the World Cup, and those odds may be a little light.
- The Socceroos are rank outsiders in a group where France should secure top spot with minimal fuss. Bert van Marwijk’s men are tipped to finish bottom, but can they do enough against Denmark and Peru to claim second place and reach the knockout phase? At +350 odds, it is a tempting proposition.
- Many bookmakers don’t even have quotes for any of the Aussies to win player of the tournament. Australia’s top options are Tom Rogic, Aaron Mooy and Tim Cahill, all of whom are paying well over +9900 odds.
- Forget the Golden Boot race and focus instead on who will top score for the green and gold. Tim Cahill has hit the mark at each of the past three World Cups, while captain and designated penalty-taker Mile Jedinak is also a solid option. If you reckon the Socceroos will struggle, no goalscorer at +550 comes into the equation.
Socceroos fixtures at Russia 2018
Australia take on France, Denmark and Peru in Group C. After a single round-robin, the top two teams in the group progress to the knockout phase. If two or more teams are tied on points, goal difference, goals for and head-to-head records may be used to determine who progresses.
|MATCH NO.||OPPONENT||VENUE||DATE||TIME (AEST)|
|5||France||Kazan||Saturday, June 16||8pm|
|22||Denmark||Samara||Thursday, June 21||10pm|
|38||Peru||Sochi||Wednesday, June 27||12am|
Socceroos squad for 2018 World Cup
Bert van Marwijk unveiled a preliminary squad of 32 on May 6. That number was trimmed to 26 on May 15 and then expanded to 27 two weeks later, with Jamie Maclaren called up as injury cover for Tomi Juric. The final list of 23 players will be confirmed by June 4.
|1||Mathew Ryan||8/4/1992||42||0||Brighton & Hove Albion||English Premier League|
|12||Brad Jones||19/3/1982||5||0||Feyenoord||Dutch Eredivisie|
|18||Danny Vukovic||27/3/1985||1||0||Genk||Belgian Pro League|
|2||Milos Degenek||28/4/1994||17||0||Yokohama F. Marinos||J-League|
|3||James Meredith||4/4/1988||2||0||Millwall||English Championship|
|6||Mathew Jurman||8/6/1989||4||0||Suwon Samsung Bluewings||K-League|
|8||Fran Karacic||12/5/1996||0||0||Lokomotiva||Croatian Prva Liga|
|16||Aziz Behich||16/10/1990||21||2||Bursaspor||Turkish Super Lig|
|19||Josh Risdon||27/7/1992||6||0||Western Sydney Wanderers||A-League|
|20||Trent Sainsbury||5/1/1992||33||3||Grasshopper||Swiss Super League|
|5||Mark Milligan||4/8/1985||69||6||Al-Ahli||Saudi Pro League|
|13||Aaron Mooy||15/91/1990||32||5||Huddersfield Town||English Premier League|
|14||James Troisi||3/7/1988||37||5||Melbourne Victory||A-League|
|15||Mile Jedinak (C)||3/8/1984||75||18||Aston Villa||English Championship|
|21||Massimo Luongo||25/9/1992||34||5||Queen’s Park Rangers||English Championship|
|22||Jackson Irvine||7/3/1993||17||2||Hull City||English Championship|
|23||Tom Rogic||16/12/1992||35||7||Celtic||Scottish Premier League|
|24||Dimitri Petratos||10/11/1992||1||0||Newcastle Jets||A-League|
|25||Josh Brillante||25/3/1993||5||0||Sydney FC||A-League|
|26||Daniel Arzani||4/1/1999||0||0||Melbourne City||A-League|
|7||Mathew Leckie||4/2/1991||51||6||Hertha Berlin||German Bundesliga|
|9||Tomi Juric||22/7/1991||34||8||Luzern||Swiss Pro League|
|10||Robbie Kruse||5/10/1988||62||5||VfL Bochum||German 2. Bundesliga|
|11||Andrew Nabbout||26/12/1992||2||0||Urawa Red Diamonds||J-League|
|17||Nikita Rukavytsya||22/6/1987||18||1||Maccabi Haifa||Israeli Premier League|
|30||Jamie Maclaren||29/7/1993||5||0||SV Darmstadt 98||German 2. Bundesliga|
Socceroos players to watch
Gone are the days of Kewell, Viduka and Bresciano, but there are a few among the current crop who are capable of matching it with the best in the world…
Aaron Mooy – Mooy should hit the summer on a high after helping Huddersfield Town avoid relegation from the English Premier League. His ability to pick out a teammate from anywhere will be central to Australia’s chances of springing an upset or two.
Tom Rogic – Rogic is so often the ‘nearly man’ for the Socceroos. It will be interesting to see how the Celtic playmaker fits into the coach’s plans, and whether his obvious ability on the ball translates to significant output in the final third.
Tim Cahill – If he makes the final 23, Cahill will become the first Australian man to feature at four World Cups. He might not play many minutes, given his 38 years of age, but Timmy’s late forays from the bench could prove the difference between going on and going home.
Socceroos records and stats
- Most appearances: 109 – Mark Schwarzer
Most appearances as captain: 61 – Lucas Neill
Most goals: 50 – Tim Cahill
Most goals in a match: 13 – Archie Thompson
Largest win: 31-0 (vs. American Samoa, 2001)
Largest defeat: 0-8 (vs. South Africa, 1955)
- – Winners of 2015 AFC Asian Cup
– Winners of 1980, 1996, 2000 and 2004 OFC Nations Cup
– Runners-up at 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
- First World Cup: West Germany 1974
Most World Cup appearances: Nine – Mark Bresciano
Most World Cup goals: Five – Tim Cahill
Best World Cup finish: Second round – Germany 2006
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