Confederations Cup preview: Australia

Gareth Hunter Roar Rookie

By Gareth Hunter, Gareth Hunter is a Roar Rookie


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    Ten seconds, that’s all it took for Brazil to score their first of four goals against Australia in a friendly at the MCG.

    Luckily for Aussie fans, it was only a pre-Confederations Cup friendly. The Socceroos in all fairness were missing some of their star players such as captain Mile Jedinak, who is also ruled out of the Confederations Cup entirely to recover from a niggling groin injury.

    What is the Confederations Cup you ask?
    Each year before the World Cup, the host nation invites champions from each zone of the world and the current world Champions.

    The eight participants are as follows:
    Russia (Host Nation)
    Germany (2014 World Cup Winners)
    Australia (2015 Asian Cup Winners)
    Chile (2015 Copa America Winners)
    Mexico (2015 Concacaf Winners)
    New Zealand (2016 OFC Nations Cup Winners)
    Portugal (UEFA Euro 2016 Winners)
    Cameroon (2017 African Cup of Nations Winners)

    How is Australia’s schedule look?
    Unfortunately, Australia has drawn the bad end of the stick. In this tournament, there are only two groups of four. With the top two teams advancing straight to the knockout stage.

    Australia has to compete against reigning World Champs, Germany, in red-hot form, Chile, and get an easy break with out of form, Cameroon.

    The other group consists of the host nation and 63rd ranked, Russia, 95th world ranked New Zealand, 17th world ranked, Mexico and group favourite to win, eighth world ranked Portugal.

    So as you can see, Australia is in the much more competitive group.

    Mile Jedinak

    (Image: Fox Sports)

    This is how I see Australia’s schedule pan out:
    0-3 loss to Germany
    2-2 Draw with Cameroon
    1-4 loss to Chile
    It would not be a surprise if the Socceroos manage to defeat a dismal looking Cameroon side if players such as Aaron Mooy and Robbie Juric play at their absolute best.

    Where do I see Australia finishing?
    in Group B, I see Australia finishing at a very close fourth. I would like the Aussies to pip Cameroon, but I honestly see it ending in a draw. The only reason I have Australia finishing below Cameroon is that Cameroon will score more goals and conceed less than the Aussies.

    Missing captain Mile Jedinak will really hurt the Socceroos. Players such as Tim Cahill, are playing for their lives. For Cahill to make the cut for the 2018 World Cup, I see him scoring no less than three goals in the whole tournament. At 37, Cahill really needs to fire on all cylinders to show his worth to Coach Ange Postecoglou before the 2018 trip to Russia.

    Does Australia have a good history at the Confederations Cup?
    Australia qualified in 1997, they had a very good run. Finishing second in their group with four points behind Group leaders, Brazil on seven points.

    In the knockout stage, Australia beat the competition favourites, Uruguay, with a golden goal from Harry Kewell. They then faced Brazil in the final to lose by an embarrassing 0-6 in front of 65 000 people.

    Repeating their semi-success of 1997, in 2001 Australia once again finished second in their group behind only France. Unfortunately, the Socceroos got bumped out in the first round of the knockout stage by eventual Cup runners-up, Japan 0-1.

    2005 at the Confederations Cup was not a good ceremony for the green and gold. Losing all of their games in the group stage to Germany, Argentina and surprise qualifiers, Tunisia.

    Overall team rating heading into 2017 Confederations Cup: 7.2/10

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • June 15th 2017 @ 8:30am
      Fadida said | June 15th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      Where to start? Star player Jedinak? No.
      Robbie Juric?
      Cahill to score no less than 3?


      • June 15th 2017 @ 9:58am
        Chris said | June 15th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        Timmy to score all our goals given the predictions of a 0-3, 2-2, 1-4 scorelines.
        I don’t even know why I’m commenting on this silly article.

        • June 15th 2017 @ 3:23pm
          Brian said | June 15th 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

          The scores actually look about right

    • June 15th 2017 @ 9:59am
      Nemesis said | June 15th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      A preview that’s obviously written by someone who only watches the National Team every 4 years.

      No one who watches the national team would think losing Jedinak is a problem. Nor will anyone think Cahill will score a minimum of 3 goals.

      The only prediction I’d make is: Nothing that was written in this Preview article will eventuate.

      • June 15th 2017 @ 11:06am
        Chris said | June 15th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        lol so true. I was reading it and thinking was this a snapshot of the Socceroos 4 years ago?

    • June 15th 2017 @ 10:18am
      CrampsRowZ said | June 15th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      Robbie Juric sounds like an interesting player

      Seriously I don’t think Cahill has to prove his worth to go to the WC

      I do agree that Jedinak has been immense as a captain and in midfield so it is a loss

      • June 15th 2017 @ 1:14pm
        Fadida said | June 15th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

        Jedinak seems to be a fine leader of men.

        As a footballer he’s no loss though

    • June 15th 2017 @ 11:09am
      bobbym said | June 15th 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

      If the Apples – as I call them now keep turning the balls over like they do with ease we will get hammered- big time!

      • June 15th 2017 @ 1:15pm
        Fadida said | June 15th 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

        Enough dad jokes Bobby. It wasn’t funny the first time

    • June 15th 2017 @ 11:46am
      Realfootball said | June 15th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

      “Missing captain Mile Jedinak will really hurt the Socceroos”

      No. His replacement will hopefully (a) be able to pass the ball without turning over possession, and (b) be able to sprint faster than a totem pole.

      A team rating of 7.2. Can you reveal your mathematical formula? What is the 0.2? Robbie Kruse, our Ange’s favourite non playing regular?

      I can see us shipping 4 against both Germany and Chile. Have no idea about Cameroon.

      I wonder, idly, because I should be working, what it would take for Postecoglou to be fired? Probably nothing at this point. Second idle wonder – if we take an absolute hammering, which is likely, will the Messiah admit that his ridiculous 3 at the back Conte hand me down isn’t working? Can’t see that either, but it will be interesting.

      One thing is certain – for the first time in a major comp, I will NOT be getting up in the middle of the night to watch the games. A recording is just fine.

      • June 15th 2017 @ 1:40pm
        Fadida said | June 15th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

        I think even if we are thrashed, and it is a 50-50 chance, Ange will stick to his masterplan.

        His response to questions about the teams structure and performance will be along the lines of “yeah, nah mate, I’ve said all along that I’ve got an idea in mind, and you know mate, yeah nah, I’m going to stick with. Look, we know what we want to achieve here, Robbie Kruse winning the Balon ‘Dor, Mile playing for Barca, and just because we lost 6-0, conceding 5 of the goals while playing from the back, yeah, nah mate, I still believe that Timmy and Robbie can play as wing backs and just because Lucas hasn’t had a club for a few years doesn’t mean he can’t be part of what we do. Yeah nah, you know my philosophy, you have to be playing regularly to get a game (whispers- unless you’re my favourites). Youse critics can say what you like but we are on track, exactly where we want to be, yeah nah. Youse are all bl00dy idiots. Get back to your FIFA Playstation “.

        Meanwhile in the background Trent Sainsbury, with his cap on sidewise yells ” that’s right boss, Youse are all bl00dy idiots”. He then answers his phone “hey Musti, Gooders, Spira yeah we got thrashed boys, playing Vuka upfront and Maty at CB didn’t go so well, but the boss has a plan. He watched the Argies play 2 at the back so he says we’ll try that. Krusey, yeah he played at wing back, but the boss says he’ll play at the back v Chile. Rusty, that’s what he’s saying cost us. And the media. And FIFA Playstation”.

        * For the record I really hope we do well, and my concerns about the formation and selection as incorrect. But I doubt it.

        ** Sorry Ange and Trent for morphing you into some kind of Jeff Fenech/Fuss hybrid

        • June 15th 2017 @ 3:52pm
          Realfootball said | June 15th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

          Go hard, Fad, go hard.

          Yeah, nah, brilliant, mate. (Must deliver lines while looking at own toes.)

    • June 15th 2017 @ 12:17pm
      Cool N Cold said | June 15th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      Germany drew Australia 2-2 in Germany, 2015

      It is not impossible to make a win in Russia.

      If Jedinak is out, who to take penalties and free kicks?

      Thinking positively, Jedinak jogged in the match vs Saudi Arabia. If he is replaced (because of injury) by a better player, the defence at the middle will be improved.