Australia Seeks for Redemption at Biggest Stage of the World
Socceroos’ failure to rout Thailand in Melbourne – a result that consigned them to the mystery tour of the play-offs and the jangled nerves that such sudden-death encounters bring. But it did not stop them from qualifying to Mega event. It certainly wasn’t easy, but a 3-1 win over Honduras in the second leg in Sydney sealed Australia’s place as the penultimate team to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
After Australia qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Ange Postecoglou resigned from his position as coach and former Netherlands Manager Bert van Marwijk was subsequently appointed as his replacement.
Drawn with Star studded Le Blues, highflying Peru and Scandinavian giants Denmark, the AFC nation will surely have tough time in Russia. Inspite of this, it is the best possible group the Socceroos could get. But they have to play their skin out to get past the group. The odds are heavily stacked against the Socceroos who could even fly home without a win in Russia.
● Squad Analysis :
Coach Bert van Marwijk confirmed a list of 26 players still in contention to go to Russia.
Cahill, 38, has retained a chance of appearing at his fourth consecutive World Cup Appearance.
Despite his status as the Socceroos’ all-time leading goalscorer, fans were furious with his selection as he has been involvef in game time for Milwall featuring 100 minutes in 10 substitute appearances – without scoring for them.
Another Inclusion to be on short notice was the inclusions of Iran born Winger Daniel Arzani. Apart From Arzani, Dimitri Petratos, Josh Risdon, Josh Brillante and James Troisi are the only A-League players to be included in the provisional squad.
○ Provisional Squad :
•Goalkeepers: Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk).
•Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), Fran Karacic (Lokomotiva), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers).
•Midfielders: Josh Brillante (Sydney FC), Jackson Irvine (Hull), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory).
•Forwards: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tim Cahill (Millwall), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa).
○ Possible XI (4-2-3-1)
Mathew Ryan (GK)
● Squad Rating :
○ Goalkeeper : 6/10
○ Defence : 6.5/10
○ Midfield : 6/10
○ Attack : 6/10
○ Overall Rating : 6/10
● Past Record in World Cup :
Australia were at the FIFA World Cup tournament on five occasions, in 1974 and from 2006 to 2018. Reaching the Round of 16 on one occasion in 2006 where they were eliminated from the competition after a 1–0 defeat by the eventual champions Italy under the Guidance of Guus Hiddink has remained as their best ever achievement in the grandest stage.
● Recent Form:
They drew hot and cold within the span of 12 months. In 13 Games they have played so far, they managed to seal win in 4 occasions and drew 5.
But in remainder of the games they were on the receiving end which included a heavy 4-0 thrashing against Brazil, a hard fought 2-3 loss against reigning World Champions Germany and a humiliating 4-1 defeat Against the Norway.
Now Recently a Goalless Draw against Colombia will give them some confidence going into the tournament.
● Hurdles :
Against France the Likes of Antonio Griezman, Kylian Mbappe have breeched some of great backlines In Europe and each position Is filled with World class players & Not even in a single positions Australia can compete against them.
So its unlikely for Socceroos to get a result against them.
But Against the likes of Denmark and Peru, they can fancy their chance of getting some points but the backline have to be on their toes which has been a bit inconsistent of late.
They have to be at their very best if they have to proceed to the next Round of the World Cup.
● Manager’s Quote :
“I will not bring something out of the team. The challenge is to find a system which fits the players, and it is even better when it fits the coach too”. Bert van Marwijk, coach
● Writer’s Take :
Drawn in a tricky group with opponents like France, Denmark and Peru, the AFC giants would have to be at their pinnacle to pullout anything positive. In fact, very few people will give Australia a chance of progressing. It’ll be difficult for Australia to finish in the top two of Group C. But apart from France, the group looks evenly open with teams pretty much on the same level as them. But Football is a funny game filled with unpredictiblity and suprises happen like it always do. Australia will go into their group matches as the underdogs, but if they can pip Peru and Denmark to second they would be likely to face Argentina in the Knockouts and a World Cup journey beyond that seems highly unlikely.