With the 2014 World Cup kicking-off tomorrow night, it won’t just be England that Crystal Palace supporters are keeping a close eye on in Brazil.
Mile Jedinak’s Australia will compete in their fourth World Cup finals over the course of the next few weeks, with the 29-year-old captaining his country after an impressive first season in the Barclays Premier League.
Ahead of the Socceroos’ opening group game on Friday night, here is cpfc.co.uk’s guide to all things Australia.
Manager: Ange Postecoglou
Captain: Mile Jedinak
FIFA World Ranking: 62
Record cap-holder: Mark Schwarzer (109)
Record goalscorer: Tim Cahill (32)
Twitter account: @Socceroos
Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Nations Cup: 1980, 1996, 2000, 2004
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Men’s Team of the Year: 2006
Confederations Cup (runners-up): 1997
World Cup Record
The Australian national side have only featured in three World Cups ahead of their trip to Brazil, after qualifying for the finals in 1974, 2006 and 2010.
In their first venture into the tournament in 1974, the Socceroos finished bottom of their group, failing to score a single goal, but their team on that occasion was made up mainly of amateurs who were competing against the likes of East and West Germany.
Australia made it to the 2006 World Cup in Germany after winning a dramatic play-off against Uruguay on penalties, with veteran Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer saving two spot kicks. In the group stage of the competition, Tim Cahill made history when he scored Australia’s first ever goal at a World Cup when he netted against Japan in a 3-1 win. Brazil and Croatia were next up in what was a tough-looking group, but the Australian’s finished second to progress to the next round, where they were infamously beaten by Italy courtesy of a controversial last minute penalty.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa saw Australia drawn in a group with Germany, Ghana and Serbia, but they failed to emulate their success of four years ago and went out in the group stage. A heavy defeat to Germany meant that they agonisingly missed out on a place in the second round, finishing behind second-placed Ghana only on goal difference.
World Cup 2014 Fixtures
Australia have been given a daunting draw in Group B of this summer’s tournament in Brazil, which will pit them against 2010 winners Spain, 2010 runners-up the Netherlands and South American dark horses Chile.
Chile vs Australia, 13th June 2014
Venue: Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba
Australia vs The Netherlands, 18th June 2014
Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
Australia vs Spain, 23rd June 2014
Venue: Arena da Baixada, Curitiba
Mile Jedinak: The Crystal Palace and Socceroos captain will play a major part in the World Cup this year, where his leadership and experience will prove vital if his side are to cause a shock and progress from Group B.
Jedinak has made 44 appearances for the national side, scoring four goals in the process – the last of which came in March when he netted from the penalty spot in a 4-3 friendly defeat against Ecuador. You can watch action and Mile’s reaction from that game HERE
Tim Cahill: The former Everton midfielder has been a part of the Australian national team for 10 years, becoming his country’s all-time leading goalscorer during that time.
Now playing in a more advanced role for the Socceroos, Cahill will again be the man Australia look to for goals in Brazil, in what is likely to be the 34-year-old’s last World Cup.
Cahill also scored in that 4-3 friendly defeat to fellow qualifiers Ecuador, with that header at his old stomping ground The Den putting him atop of his country’s all-time scoring charts.
World Cup 2014 Odds
To win the 2014 World Cup: 2,500/1
To be 2014 World Cup runners-up: 1,250/1
To win Group B: 50/1
To be eliminated at the group stage: 1/25
To be eliminated in the second round: 12/1
To be eliminated in the quarter finals: 66/1
To be eliminated in the semi finals: 250/1
Australia to win their opening match against Chile: 13/2
Tim Cahill to be Australia’s top goalscorer: 4/1
Mile Jedinak to be Australia’s top goalscorer: 10/1
All odds are courtesy of SkyBet and subject to change.