Australia Football Team Preview & Prediction

After exiting from the last World Cup in Brazil with three defeats from their three group games, Australia will be looking to progress to the second round for only the second time in World Cup history. They face competition from Peru and Denmark for the second qualifying spot in Group C, behind favourites France.

  • Manager

    Bert van Marwijk

  • Captain

    Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa)

  • 40

    Fifa Ranking
    Position

  • 0

    World Cup
    Titles

How they qualified 

Mile Jedinak's hat-trick in the second-leg of their play-off clash with Honduras booked Australia's place at Russia 2018 as they advanced 3-1 on aggregate after a goalless first leg.

Australia had gone the hard way through qualifying, after paying the price for drawing too many games when they finished third in the Asian third round Group B, behind second-place Saudi Arabia on goal difference only.

That was despite losing just one game - one less than group winners Japan, whom it was who beat the Aussies in the penultimate round of fixtures, before their own defeat to Saudi Arabia pushed Australia into the play-offs. It was a far cry from Australia's dominant form in the second round of qualifying, where they had won seven of their eight group games to storm into the third round.

In the first play-offs, in the Asian section, Syria took Australia to extra time but Tim Cahill's winner - his second of the game - earned a 2-1 win in Sydney for the hosts and a 3-2 aggregate success, before they went on to beat Honduras.

World Cup Record

This is Australia's fourth consecutive appearance in the World Cup finals, having only appeared once in the previous 17 editions. Having reached the last-16 in 2006, however, they have failed to advance from the group stage in the last two tournaments.

Last time out, they lost all three matches after being handed one of the toughest draws in the tournament – finishing fourth in a ‘group of death' that also saw defending champions Spain eliminated as the Netherlands and Chile advanced.

Australia Team News, Updates & Facts

Australia Team News

Bert van Marwijk was appointed as Australia manager in January to replace Ange Postecoglou – the man who guided the Socceroos to the World Cup. Van Marwijk previously led the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup Final and then was in charge as Saudi Arabia qualified for this very tournament – almost knocking Australia out in the process. Van Marwijk’s biggest selection decision was to take veteran forward Tim Cahill to the World Cup, having only used the Millwall forward for 30 minutes across his first two friendlies. 

Among those to miss out, however, were defender Bailey Wright, goalkeeper Mitchell Langarak, and experienced midfielder James Troisi. Jamie Maclaren got a reprieve after initially being cut from the Australian longlist, while Melbourne City teenager Daniel Arzani is in the squad despite only making his international debut this month.

Australia Key Players

If selected, and despite his age, Tim Cahill brings phenomenal international experience to Australia’s team and a national-record 50 goals – including five across the last three World Cups. Captain Mile Jedinak also brings a wealth of international experience, and scored a hat-trick against Honduras to book Australia’s World Cup place, while of their other English-based players Aaron Mooy enjoyed a decent first year in the Premier League as he helped Huddersfield Town avoid relegation.

Australia Team Form

D W L D W

Australia beat Syria after extra time thanks to Tim Cahill’s double and followed up another first-leg draw with a 3-1 win against Honduras – thanks to Mile Jedinak’s hat-trick – to book their place in the World Cup finals. After changing managers in the winter, however, Bert van Marwijk’s reign got off to a bad start with a 4-1 friendly defeat to Norway. They fixed their defensive issues and drew 0-0 with Colombia four days later, however and then kicked June off with a 4-0 thrashing of the Czech Republic – Mathew Leckie grabbing two of the goals.

Australia Preliminary World Cup 2018 squad

Goalkeepers
Jersey Number Name Age Caps Goals
1 Mathew Ryan (Brighton & Hove Albion) 26 43 caps 0 goals
12 Brad Jones (Feyenoord) 36 5 caps 0 goals
18 Danny Vukovic (Gent) 33 1 cap 0 goals

 

Defenders
Jersey Number Name Age Caps Goals
2 Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos) 24 18 caps 0 goals
3 James Meredith (Millwall) 30 2 caps 0 goals
6 Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Bluewings) 28 4 caps 0 goals
16 Aziz Behich (Bursaspor) 27 22 caps 2 goals
19 Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers) 25 7 caps 0 goals
20 Trent Sainsbury (Grasshopper) 26 34 caps 3 goals

 

Midfielders
Jersey Number Name Age Caps Goals
5 Mark Milligan (Al Ahli) 32 70 caps 6 goals
8 Massimo Luongo (QPR) 25 35 caps 5 goals
13 Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) 27 33 caps 5 goals
15 Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) 33 75 caps 18 goals
17 Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City) 19 1 cap 0 goals
21 Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets) 25 2 caps 0 goals
22 Jackson Irvine (Hull City) 25 18 caps 2 goals
23 Tom Rogic (Celtic) 25 36 caps 7 goals

 

Forwards
Jersey Number Name Age Caps Goals
4 Tim Cahill (Millwall) 38 105 caps 50 goals
7 Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin) 27 52 caps 8 goals
9 Tomi Juric (Luzern) 26 34 caps 8 goals
10 Robbie Kruse (VfL Bochum) 29 63 caps 5 goals
11 Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds) 25 3 caps 1 goal
14 Jamie Maclaren (SV Darmstadt 98) 24 6 caps 0 goals

Australia Predicted Starting Line-up

4-2-3-1
  • Goalkeeper

    • Ryan
  • Defenders

    • Risdon
    • Milligan
    • Degenek
    • Behich
  • Defensive Midfielder

    • Jedinak
    • Mooy
  • Attacking Midfielders

    • Leckie
    • Irvine
    • Rogic
  • Forwards

    • Nabbout

Australia World Cup 2018 group stage fixtures

VS

June 16th | 10:00 GMT

VS

June 21st | 12:00 GMT

VS

June 26th | 14:00 GMT

Australia Outright Winner odds: 500/1 (William Hill)

Betting Tips and Recommended bets with odds

Australia had to go the long way to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, progressing only thanks to home wins in their play-offs against first Syria and then Honduras. They have also departed Russia unsuccessful already in the past 12 months, when they drew two matches and lost to Germany in last summer’s Confederations Cup.

It led to a managerial change, but Bert van Marwijk – whose Saudi Arabia side qualified ahead of Australia to consign the Socceroos to those play-offs – suffered a poor first game in charge when his side were thrashed by Norway in a friendly.

That does not bode well for the Socceroos, especially with France and Denmark expected to beat them in the group stages in Russia, and Peru keen to avoid an early exit too.

Peru, like Australia, squeaked through the play-offs – failing to break down New Zealand in the away leg of their match before winning at home – but that should give the Socceroos some confidence they can avoid last place and another winless tournament at least.

Australia have regularly proved their superiority over New Zealand – prompting their switch to Asian competition, in fact – and they will hope to at least avoid defeat to the South American team.

Australia are as low as 1/5 to fail to advance beyond the group stage – the third consecutive time that will have happened – but a ‘draw no bet’ selection on Australia to beat Peru is 7/5 with Betfair and could prove profitable as their big tournament players look to sign off from the tournament with a morale-boosting win.

Recommended bet Australia to beat Peru – draw no bet – at 7/5 with Betfair

Prediction

Australia have failed to advance beyond the group stage in either of their last two World Cup appearances, and will find it difficult again in Russia with France and Denmark favourites to progress in Group C.

Australia at Russia 2018 prediction: Group stage

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World Cup 2018 Teams list and Group Predictions

Complete list of 32 teams participating in World Cup 2018 and their Group Predictions