Odds Australia Will Win World Cup 2014
By far the biggest underdog in Group B, Australia will be hard-pressed to put points on the table against defending champion Spain, as well as Netherlands and Chile, ranked 15th and 13th respectively in FIFA’s world rankings. The Socceroos enjoyed a strong qualifying round, losing just one match while playing Japan, the only other squad in their group to qualify, to a pair of 1-1 draws. However, it must be noted that the Aussies’ success has come against inferior squads.
To have any success at Brazil 2014, the Australians, who are 59th in FIFA’s world rankings, will have to play better defense than they recently displayed in a pair of 6-0 losses to Brazil and France, and a 4-3 loss to Ecuador. However, Australia did show a glimpse of that during their recent 1-0 victory over 34th-ranked Costa Rica. For Australia, the 2014 World Cup will be more about building for the future than it is about immediate success.
Early World Cup Pick
Pegged as a +3300 longshot to win Group B, Australia will be a heavy underdog in each of their three Group Stage matches. The Socceroos have never faced the defending champions, Spain. But if Australia’s recent dismal performance against Brazil and France is any indication, both matches lost by 6-0 scores, they may be facing a very long 90 minutes. Australia has also never played Chile and will be in tough playing in a stadium likely to be filled with Chilean supporters. Australia has never lost to the Netherlands, who have struggled mightily since Euro 2012. The Aussies won 2-1 in a 2008 friendly and also played to draws twice. Could they spoil the party for the Netherlands this time around?
Australia Qualifying Results - How they got to the World Cup
Australia finished second in Asian qualification Group B. They tied Japan twice and gave up just one goal against in their final three qualifying matches combined.
15/11/11 Thailand 0 - 1 Australia
29/02/12 Australia 4 – 2 Saudi Arabia
08/06/12 Oman 0 – 0 Australia
12/06/12 Australia 1 – 1 Japan
11/09/12 Jordan 2 – 1 Australia
16/10/12 Iraq 1 – 2 Australia
26/03/13 Australia 2 – 2 Oman
04/06/13 Japan 1 – 1 Australia
11/06/13 Australia 4 – 0 Jordan
18/06/13 Australia 1 – 0 Iraq
Australia World Cup Group Play Schedule
13/06/14 Chile vs. Australia - Arena Pantanal
18/06/14 Australia vs. Netherlands - Estadio Beira-Rio
23/06/14 Australia vs. Spain - Arena da Baixada
Australia Key Players
Mile Jedinak MF, Crystal Palace – Crystal Palace captain has played every minute of every game this season. Will be counted on to provide Socceroos with leadership and offense.
Tim Cahill MF, New York Red Bulls – MLS star recently returned from a hamstring injury. 34-year-old may be past his prime but will provide much-needed veteran leadership.
Robbie Kruse FW, Bayer Leverkusen – Young striker was named 2013 Australian Player of the Year; remains questionable for the World Cup after suffering a torn ACL in January.