Pedigree It’s a fifth World Cup in a row for the team that insists on calling itself the Socceroos, though Australia did it the hard way by winning two playoffs — against the United Arab Emirates and then Peru — after failing to qualify for one of the four automatic slots from Asia.

Ambition Australia may now be a mainstay of the World Cup, but it has not actually won a game at the tournament since 2010. Changing that record is the bare minimum for Coach Graham Arnold. Reaching the knockout rounds, given the group draw, is likely to be a step too far.

Key Question Much of the focus, when Arnold named his squad, was on the omission of two of the country’s longstanding stalwarts, Trent Sainsbury and Tom Rogic. Far more intriguing, though, was the inclusion of Garang Kuol, an 18-year-old with one cap to his name and a move to Newcastle United looming. He has already been cast as Australia’s next star.

Comments are Closed