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Can Australia progress from Group C?

by isport

Australia had to put in plenty of groundwork and travel a lot to even qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, having come through the challenging route of the Asian section, which they have been members of since 2006.

The Socceroos had to travel to all of Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Thailand, Syria, as well as a detour to Malaysia, and finally Honduras to ultimately secure their spot in Russia this summer.

Ange Postecoglou was first in charge during the qualifying campaign, which turned out to be a great success, but he has since been replaced by current coach Bert van Marwijk after randomly quitting back in November last year.

Under the guidance of new man at the helm Van Marwijk, Australia are now regarded at 7/2 in the football betting from bet365 to earn progression from a testing Group C at their latest World Cup finals on Russian territory.

So can the Socceroos earn a spot in the last 16 this summer? They will have a tough time in achieving such a feat as they prepare to take on all of World Cup contenders and former champions France, a talented Denmark roster and South American threat Peru.

Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus are clear favourites to win the group and rally into the knockout stage of the tournament, entering the competition on the back of that impressive run to the Euro 2016 final on home soil two years ago. They were, of course, beaten in the final by eventual victors Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo and co famously winning their first ever major international trophy on French soil to sicken the upset host nation.

Meanwhile, other opponents Denmark possess a top roster of players as well, most notably Tottenham Hotspur midfield maestro Christian Eriksen, who has again enjoyed a superb season in the Premier League for the London club throughout 2017/18.

Meanwhile, South American contingency Peru are a dangerous threat too and could be capable of pulling off a few surprises on Russian turf.

But Australia do hold enough quality to enjoy some success of their own and a spot in the next round of 16 could be on the horizon if they can make a strong start to proceedings in Group C. They are boosted by the return to the fold of national hero Tim Cahill, with the former Everton midfielder set to feature in his fourth World Cup finals for the Socceroos. If he were to score too, Cahill would also join Pele and the German internationals Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose in being the only players to do so at four different finals.

As well as Cahill, Australia have plenty of talent on show within their ranks and they should be capable of earning an impressive progression from the group stages into the last 16 ahead of perhaps Peru and Denmark, with France being the likely victors in their standings.