There is plenty of uncertainty around the Socceroos as they embark on their fifth finals campaign at the FIFA World Cup. Attractive betting options are not as easy to find as they were in previous years – unless you know exactly where to look.
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Can Australia reach the knockout phase?
In years past, the Socceroos might have looked at Group C as a genuine opportunity to reach the second round. There is no denying that France, Denmark and Peru appear more manageable than Spain, Chile and the Netherlands – the three teams the green and gold drew at the 2014 World Cup.
But this not 12 years ago, when the likes of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Brett Emerton helped steer Australia to the brink of the quarter-finals. Aaron Mooy is an excellent footballer, Tom Rogic has talent to burn, but the depth of talent simply isn’t what it used to be.
We can rule out top spot altogether – if anyone upstages Les Bleus, it will be the Danes. The smart money says the Aussies will fall at the first hurdle.
Socceroos not to qualify from Group C – -625 at BetEasy
Will the Socceroos win a game at Russia 2018?
The Australians are favourites to finish bottom of a group that wouldn’t have looked quite so daunting a few years ago. That begs the question: can they win a game?
This batch of Socceroos would have only the faintest chance against the players France have left at home, so let’s rule that out right away. Denmark showed their fifth gear with a 5-1 demolition of Ireland in the second leg of their WCQ playoff, while humble Peru cannot be discounted after taking points off Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay in CONMEBOL qualifying.
When you consider how Australia battled against ordinary teams just to make it this far, a three-point result on the biggest stage seems like a lot to ask for. Draws are in the equation, but wins might be a stretch.
Socceroos to win zero games – -138.89 at Sportsbet
Top Asian team at World Cup 2018?
Australia is one of five nations from the Asian Football Confederation competing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The other four are Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
On an even playing field, Japan and Korea are the most likely to progress. The Japanese could do any anything against Colombia, Poland and Senegal, but the Koreans will have to conjure something special to climb above any two of Germany, Mexico and Sweden. Iran and the Saudis are both outsiders in their groups.
Japan are rightly favoured, but they could just as easily wind up bottom of the group. Thus, there is something to be said for a putting a cheeky tenner on the Socceroos to edge to the top of the Asian ranks with a couple of hard-fought draws.
Australia for top Asian nation – +325 at BetEasy
Who will top score for the Socceroos?
Can Timmy Cahill wind back the clock and add to his tally of five World Cup goals? Maybe Tomi Juric or Jamie Maclaren will step up and lead the line? How about Mat Leckie and Robbie Kruse on the flanks?
History alone makes it hard to look past Cahill, but his opportunities will be limited to late cameos. Mile Jedinak takes the penalties, while both he and Aaron Mooy have a knack from set pieces.
The most tempting bet of all, however, is that nobody will score. As we saw all the way through a frustrating qualifying campaign, the firepower just isn’t there.
No Socceroos goalscorer – +550 at Sportsbet
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