Australia World Cup squad guide: Full fixtures, group, ones to watch, odds and more

PROFILE: With the tournament only days away we take an in-depth look at all 32 teams in Russia

Jack Watson
Wednesday 06 June 2018 10:50 BST
2018 Russia World Cup in numbers

Tim Cahill, 38, thanked his friends and family after he received confirmation he would be going to his fourth World Cup. He also owes a lot to Millwall who opened their arms to their former player and let him build up his fitness after Australia qualified for the tournament in Russia.

Cahill played ten times for the South London club, mostly from the bench, but his presence “massively” helped Millwall in their push for a play-off finish to their season, according to defender Jake Cooper. “His experience is second-to-none and I think even though he hasn’t had a massive role in the team, he’s helped the team massively.”

Cahill is not the only experienced Aussie to play in the Championship this season; Mile Jedinak was a key player in Aston Villa’s season and played in their 1-0 defeat in the play-off final at Wembley against Fulham.

Following Australia’s lengthy World Cup qualifying campaign, Ange Postecoglou resigned as the Socceroo head coach after his four-year tenure had taken its toll on him “both personally and professionally.” Postecoglou was replaced in January by former Saudi Arabi, Netherlands and Borussia Dortmund manager, Bert van Marwijk, who was appointed on a short-term basis and will make way for Graham Arnold after the World Cup.


France vs Australia – 11:00, Saturday 16 June.
Denmark vs Australia – 13:00, Thursday 21 June.
Australia vs Peru – 15:00, Tuesday 26 June.

Key Players

Tim Cahill: An iconic Australian footballer, Tim Cahill is just four caps short of equalling Mark Schwarzer’s record 109 appearances for the Socceroo’s. Despite representing Samoa at the age of 14, Cahill has become Australia’s leading goal scorer by some way. “He’s a special one,” says interim head coach van Marwijk. “He’s 38 and maybe one of the best-ever players for Australia.”

Mile Jedinak: Australia’s captain scored ten goals in the qualifying rounds and became the first Crystal Palace player to score at a World Cup when he scored from the spot against the Netherlands four years ago in Brazil. The Aston Villa midfielder has been a sturdy performer at the base of Australia’s midfield for some time but his age is slowly creeping up on him, meaning Jedinak, 33, is no longer able to cover as much ground as he usually would.

Mathew Leckie: Matthew Leckie moved from Australia’s A-League to Borussia Monchengladbach in 2011 and has since hopped around the German divisions to his current side, Hertha Berlin. The forward was an infrequent goal scorer in the qualifying games but found form and scored two against Czech Republic in a friendly on 1 June.

Tim Cahill scored the winning goal that helped Australia along the way to World Cup qualification (Getty)

One to watch

Jamie Maclaren: Originally left out of the provisional 26-man squad, Jamie Maclaren was called up by van Marwijk after Tomi Juric picked up an injury and impressed when he came off the bench in a recent 4-0 win against Czech Republic. His omission from the original squad was met with dismay by fans after the striker hit eight league goals during his loan-spell at Hibernian from January onwards.

How did they get here?

Australia’s long and arduous 22-match qualifying campaign concluded with a play-off victory against Honduras after knocking out Syria. The Socceroo’s qualifying hit a bump in the third round when they finished third in their group, behind Saudi Arabia and Japan, meaning they missed out on an automatic pass to the World Cup.

After beating Syria in extra time in their first play-off match, Mile Jedinak’s second half hat-trick in the second leg of their final game against Honduras finally sealed Australia’s place at Russia.

How will they do?

Avoiding defeat to France is unlikely but taking points from Peru and Denmark will be seen as realistic. If they were to progress out of the group stages, this would likely set up a date with Argentina or Croatia, which would certainly be a task too far.

Odds on winning the World Cup: 500/1


Goalkeepers: Brad Jones, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic

Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Matthew Jurman, James Meredith, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury

Midfielders: Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, Tim Cahill

Forwards: Daniel Arzani, Tomi Juric, Mathew Leckie, Andrew Nabbout, Dimitri Petratos, Jamie Maclaren

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