Group C: Australia – World Cup Betting Odds & Tips
Australia are now regular faces at the World Cup but the current crop lack the quality of previous vintages. The Socceroos came through the arduous Asian qualifying process before beating both Syria and Honduras in two-legged play-offs to book their place.
Unlike the other teams in Group C, they have experience of playing in Russia, having lost to Germany and drawn against Cameroon and Chile during last summer’s Confederations Cup. However, with less than six months to go until the World Cup, they have a number of issues to resolve, most pressingly finding a new coach.
Ange Postecoglu’s resignation came as a shock but the 52-year-old admitted the strain of coaching the Socceroos over the last four years had taken its toll.
The FFA have been true to their word as they plan to take their time in appointing a successor although it would perhaps be wise for them to make a decision soon. Whoever takes the role, they will be in charge of a spirited group of players, ably led by Mile Jedinak but lacking real top-flight quality.
Hertha Berlin’s Matt Leckie is a talent, as is Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy, but there is still a dangerous reliance on Tim Cahill in attack and the veteran will need to find a club to ensure he is fit for a fourth World Cup.
Cahill was part of the “Golden Generation” that reached the last 16 in Germany 2006, only to fall victim to an infamous last-minute penalty against eventual champions Italy. Since then they have won just one game at the Finals and will have their work cut out to improve that record.
A tough opener against France, which they are 13.00 to win, with the draw 6.00 and Les Bleus 1.22, looks convenient as it will prepare them for their other Group C clashes against Denmark and Peru.