In a pool of opportunity the Socceroos from Australia have a chance to escape the group stage in the 2018 World Cup, but do they have the skill? A team that seems to pick up a lot of tag-along supporters simply because of their catchy nickname and constant underdog status, Australia is entering their fourth consecutive World Cup looking to top their highest finish in that stretch of 17th, in Germany 2006.
Players to watch for:
Aaron Mooy – The Brighton & Hove Albion captain has been the pulse of his newly promoted Premier League team this season. He is hard on every ball, a confident tackler, will keep the side organized, and isn’t afraid to jump in the rush. He is the teams super star – look to him to lead by example for his team.
Mat Ryan – Look no further for justification of a feel good, dark horse, surprise team doing well in an international tournament than to the keeper position. If this team has any real chance of making it deep they will need their keeper to steal a match… or five. The Brighton keeper tallied ten clean sheets in the Premier League survival season, so he can do it!
Tomi Juric – Despite injury concern, the half Serbian-half Aussie forward will be the key cog for his team’s goal scoring. Battling injury this season he still managed 9 goals and 6 assists in all competitions for his Swiss League team. He isn’t elite, but he has the ability to fire a few in for the ‘Roos.
So there it is! Their pool isn’t impossible as it only contains one sure fire through team as France will take the group. Denmark have some star power that could carry them through, but Peru should sit bottom of the group. The battle will be for second place, some defensive drilling and maybe a lucky goal or two and who knows, the Socceroos could be off to the elimination games!