Odds on Australia to win Group B at World Cup – 100/1 worth a punt?

Not many pundits have given them a chance going into the 2014 World Cup, however Australia will be looking to cause a few shocks as Coral have offered the Kangaroos as 100/1 chances to win Group B.

Manager: Ange Postecoglou
World Cup best:
Round of 16 (2006)
How they qualified:
Second place finish in Asian Qualifying Group B

Australia started their final Asian Qualifying round slowly and collected just two points from their first three matches.

They bounced back to win three of their remaining five matches and took second spot from Jordan after beating Iraq 1-0 in the final round of fixtures.

Despite guiding Australia to the World Cup, manager Holger Osieck was dismissed after heavy friendly defeats and Ange Postecoglou was appointed his successor.

Star player: Miles Jedinak (Crystal Palace)

Crystal Palace’s central midfielder has enjoyed an excellent two years and played a huge part in keeping Palace in the Premier League this season.

Miles Jedinak does the simple things well and no one made more tackles or more interceptions than the Australian in the top flight last season.

Tim Cahill is the most recognisable Aussie, however the work Jedinak does in the centre of the park will be vital.

One to watch: Tom Rogic (Celtic)

Tom Rogic has come into the side in favour of Mark Bresciano in recent months and the 21-year-old has excelled.

Celtic loaned him back to Australian in January, however the youngster has already made nine appearances for the national side and could be a starter.

Strengths

Jedinak and Mark Milligan have forged an impressive central midfield partnership and fit the managers’ ethos well.
Tommy Oar and Rogic have good levels of delivery, which Cahill and co will try to make the most of that.

Weaknesses

Robbie Kruse’s absence is a real blow for Australia in a group which is likely to be too strong for them.
If sides can stop Cahill in the box then Australia may be limited, especially against three of the world’s best sides.

How far can they go?

If Australia avoid finishing bottom then they will have done well, given the level of opponents they have in their group.
Squad

Goalkeepers: Mark Birighitti, Eugene Galekovic, Mitchell Langerak, Mat Ryan

Defenders: Jason Davidson, Ivan Franjic, Curtis Good, Ryan McGowan, Matthew Spiranovic, Alex Wilkinson, Luke Wilkshire, Bailey Wright

Midfielders: Oliver Bozanic, Mark Bresciano, Joshua Brillante, James Holland, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Matthew McKay, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar, Tommy Rogic, Adam Sarota, James Troisi, Dario Vidosic

Forwards: Tim Cahill, Ben Halloran, Josh Kennedy, Matthew Leckie, Adam Taggart

*Squad will be cut by seven to 23 before the start of the tournament

Group B
Spain
Holland
Chile
Australia

Fixtures

Friday 13th June: Chile vs. Australia 23:00

Wednesday 18th June: Australia vs. Holland 17:00

Monday 23rd June: Australia vs. Spain 17:00

Lewis Jones has over 5 years experience in web publishing, having worked at a number of well known UK facing sports websites. He can be reached at Google+ for more information.

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