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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Socceroos will be up against it at the World Cup

Socceroos’ legend Mark Schwarzer is predicting Australia to emulate an incredible feat.

WHICHEVER way you cut it, the Socceroos will be up against it at the World Cup.

A limited squad, tough group and backroom shake-up make Australia outsiders to progress from the group stage in Russia, let alone impact the tournament in the knockout rounds.
The journey starts off with one of the toughest challenges in all of football when the Australia’s take on the seventh ranked France side.
Boasting some of the games biggest players, the Socceroos will head into the contest as extreme underdogs, but one former star is banking on the upset.
Mark Schwarzer will live on in Australian folklore after his superhuman efforts to deny two penalty goals during the 2006 World Cup qualifier clash against Uruguay.
Of course it was John Aloisi who booked Australia’s ticket to the World Cup with his calmly slotted penalty, it was Schwarzer who sealed the deal.
The most-capped Socceroo of all time, Schwarzer has faith in the current crop of players to make it out of the group stage.
“I’m hoping for a draw but Australia can cause an upset on Saturday. France are not in good form,” Schwarzer said on Macquarie Sports Radio.
While it may seem farfetched, the prospect of the Socceroos stunning the world and handing France an opening game defeat have been shared by the man in charge of Les Blues.
Didier Deschamps, France coach, believes the new system put in place by Bert van Marwijk could help the Australian’s throw the French off.
“They are well organised. They are not only defending,’’ Deschamps said.
“The last two games it was the same 11 players who started. It’s an aggressive team with a good potential in attack.’’
Australia’s opening clash of the 2018 Russian World Cup against France is set to kick-off at 8pm (AEST) on Saturday evening.
With the starting line-up not yet set and even the captaincy badge still on the line, Australia have plenty of question marks before they step foot onto the pitch.
Tim Cahill will be competing in his fourth straight World Cup, but Schwarzer doesn’t believe the man who has saved the Socceroos on multiple occasions won’t see a whole lot of time.
“Tim Cahill will be used if and when needed. He definitely won’t start but he still has his aerial dominance and his experience is invaluable,” he said.
After youngster Daniel Arzani captured everyone’s attention with his goal in the Socceroos’ past game, Cahill may find himself further down the ladder than first expected.