Australia

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (Club Bruges), Mitchell Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United).

Defenders: Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo), Matthew Spiranovic (Western Sydney Wanderers), Ivan Franjic (Brisbane Roar), Bailey Wright (Preston North End), Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors).

Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa, Qatar), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Dario Vidosic (Sion), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), James Troisi (Atalanta), Massimo Luongo (Swindon)

Forwards: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Matthew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt 1899), Tommy Oar (Utrecht), Ben Halloran (Fortuna Duesseldorf), Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets).

Best Ever Finish: Last 16 (2006)

LIKELY AUSTRALIA XI FOR 2014 WORLD CUP

Captain: TBC

Manager: Ange Postecoglou

Australia failed to convince during qualifying, winning just three games in total.

Following a 6-0 defeat in a friendly to France in October, manager Holger Osieck was sacked and replaced by Ange Postecoglou. It will be curious to see whether this will have a positive or negative effect on the Socceroos when the summer of 2014 comes along, and he has named a squad that has a smattering of both experienced old heads and young talents.

In typical Aussie fashion, they are determined, gritty and hardworking. Sadly though the team has a lack of talented ballplayers so will look to disrupt opposition teams through a physical style and direct style of play.

Mile Jedinak will be key to this, and he was absolutely crucial in Crystal Palace’s late season renaissance under Tony Pulis. He is a player who relishes the physical battle, as does Australia’s top scorer of all time Tim Cahill.

Overall, an over reliance on a couple of ageing veterans and the inexperience of a baulk of the squad means Australia won’t be progressing past the group stage. Especially when you consider they’ve been drawn in a group with Spain, Holland and Chile.

Key Player – Tim Cahill

The iconic former Everton man is still the player which Australia look to when they need a goal. Like many ageing players, he lacks the speed and agility of days past, but given sufficient space he will still punish opposition with clinical shooting and stunning aerial ability.

Cahill scored the nation’s first ever World Cup goals at Japan in 2006, and he is a talismanic figure for this Australia team. He will be desperate to make an impression in what looks to be his third and final World Cup appearance. If he can inspire the Australians to any kind of positive result from their three games, it’d represent a major achievement for the Socceroos.

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