EXPECTATIONS for Australia are extremely low, and it would go down as one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's history were they to get out of a group which includes the Netherlands and Spain.


Outright odds: 2500/1

To win group: 33/1

To qualify: 11/1


Full squad: TBC

Manager: Ange Postecoglou

World Cup record: Last 16 (2006), eliminated in group stage (1974, 2010)

How they qualified (most recent first): Won five of their six matches in AFC third round Group D before finishing runners-up to Japan in Group B of the fourth round.

v Iraq (home) 1-0 (0-0) Kennedy 83

v Jordan (home) 4-0 (1-0) Bresciano 16, Cahill 61, Kruse 76, Neill 84

v Japan (away) 1-1 (0-0) Oar 82

v Oman (home) 2-2 (0-1) Cahill 52, Holman 85

v Iraq (away) 2-1 (0-0) Cahill 80 Thompson 84

v Jordan (away) 1-2 (0-0) Thompson 85

v Japan (home) 1-1 (HT 0-0) Wilkshire 69

v Oman (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Saudi Arabia (home) 4-2 (HT 1-2) Brosque 43, 75, Kewell 73, Emerton 76

v Thailand (away) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Holman 78

v Oman (away) 0-1 (HT 0-1)

v Oman (home) 3-0 (HT 1-0) Holman 7, Kennedy 65, Jedinak 85

v Saudi Arabia (away) 3-1 (HT 1-0) Kennedy 40, 56, Wilkshire 77

v Thailand (home) 2-1 (HT 0-1) Kennedy 58, Brosque 85

Goalscorers: Josh Kennedy led the way with five goals in just six appearances. Tim Cahill, Brett Holman and Alex Brosque all scored three.

Half-time/full-time: Australia led at half-time in just three of their 14 games but went on to win on all three occasions.

Clean sheets: Australia kept five clean sheets in 14 matches at just under 36 per cent.

Win to nil: Four of Australia's seven wins were to nil.

Cards: Australia's 14 games produced 21 cards in total, counting the sole red as two. That's an average of 1.5 per game.

Other competitive internationals (most recent first): Australia qualified for the East Asian Cup finals by winning their qualifying group in Hong Kong at the end of 2012 but finished last of the four teams at the tournament itself when it was held in South Korea last July.

Australia have been excused qualifying for next year's Asian Cup, as they are hosting the event.

v China (neutral) 3-4 (HT 1-1) Mooy 30, Taggart 89, Duke 90)

v Japan (neutral) 2-3 (HT 1-0) Duke 75, Juric 78

v South Korea (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

v Chinese Taipei (neutral) 8-0 (HT 5-0) Garcia 11, Cornthwaite 17, Taggart 19, 29, 32, Mooy 47, Behich 57, Chao-hsun (OG) 82

v Guam (neutral) 9-0 (HT 3-0) Mooy 12, Babalj 20, 56, Marrone 43, Thompson 59, 62, 65, Millingan 71, Garcia 83

v North Korea (neutral) 1-1 (HT 1-0) Thompson 4

v Hong Kong (away) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Emerton 85

Build-up (most recent first): Since qualifying for the World Cup, Australia have kept busy. They lost 6-0 to both France and Brazil. More recently they've blown a 3-0 lead against Ecuador and drawn with South Africa.

v South Africa (home) 1-1 (HT 1-1) Cahill 14

v Ecuador (neutral) 3-4 (HT 3-0) Cahill 8, 32, Jedinak 15

v Costa Rica (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Cahill 69

v Canada (away) 3-0 (HT (1-0) Kennedy 1, Vidosic 52, Leckie 78

v France (away) 0-6 (HT 0-4)

v Brazil (away) 0-6 (0-3)

Team verdict: Expectations for Australia are extremely low, and it would go down as one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's history were they to get out of a group which includes the Netherlands and Spain.

First up is a clash with Chile and it's one they're odds-on to lose; the hope for spectators and those inside the Socceroos camp is that they can somehow manage a draw here and hold themselves with credit in the games they will almost certainly lose.

What's interesting about teams like Australia is that the World Cup isn't their priority - a comment you could very rarely apply to any team at the summer spectacular. The fact of the matter is, though, that Australia are planning for the Asian Cup which they are hosting and the current rebuilding process going on is one which will take time.

Tom Rogic might be one to keep an eye on. The youngster won Nike Academy's 'The Chance' to launch his career as a professional and is on the books at Celtic, albeit he's recent spent time on loan in his homeland. Rogic is a real athlete who knows where the back of the net is and could be capable of the moment of magic Australia are likely to need in order to make a real impact in Brazil.

Josh Kennedy - nicknamed Jesus for his long hair which has long since gone - is Australia's most obvious goal threat. Those who watched Australia take on Canada at Craven Cottage last year will be aware of his eye for goal and he even scored against Holland in 2008, albeit in a friendly. Tim Cahill is priced as the favourite in the top Australia goalscorer market and his threat is one Premier League fans know well; but Kennedy could be the better value.


After reaching the highest of peaks, Spain may now be on the downhill track but I don't envisage them bowing out early in what is one of the tougher groups.

With Australia looking like group whipping-boys - myself and Ben are certainly agreed on that - it's the other qualification spot which looks most interesting.

The attack-minded Chile can pip the 2010 runners-up to that and 11/8 about the Dutch failing to qualify is a tempting bet.

The Oranje appear to lack depth and Chile have the attacking talent to make them pay.