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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group D - Australia

Nickname – Socceroos

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Socceroos overconfidence almost cost them the qualifying in their new venture after joining the ASIA confederation. Even though they were top in the round three they were levelled with Qatar on 10 points and Iraq had 7 just to China finish with 6. It was close call. Next they had the final qualifying round where they had to meet once again Qatar and adding a tougher Japan in the final challenge where only would qualify the 1st and the 2nd place. Australia had then an impressive display scoring 12 and only conceding once topping the group ahead of Japan and sending Bahrain to the playoff. Tim Cahill was on top form scoring 3 goals.

H2H

Jun 13 Durban Germany v Australia - Back in 2005 playing in the Confederations Cup, Germany won 4-3 against Australia. Other than that match we will have to go further back to 1974 world cup when Australia loss 2-0 against the fellow Germans.

Jun 19 Rustenburg Ghana v Australia - Australia won 4, drew 1 and lost once against Ghana. Last 3 matches the Aussies have been undefeated.

Jun 23 Nelspruit Australia v Serbia - We have to travel back to 1988 while Serbia was still part of Yugoslavia to testify the Socceroos only played match against them. 1-0 was the result favoring of the Australians in the Olympic Games. Last time Australia lost a match against European opposition was in the beginning of 2007 against Denmark and they have more recently defeated the mighty Netherlands 1-2.

Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), Adam Federici (Reading), Brad Jones (Middlesbrough).

Defenders: Lucas Neill (Galatasaray), Craig Moore (unattached), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), David Carney (Twente Enschede), Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow), Mark Milligan (JEF United), Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira).

Midfielders: Tim Cahill (Everton), Mark Bresciano (Palermo) Vince Grella (Blackburn Rovers), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Jason Culina (Gold Coast), Harry Kewell (Galatasaray), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar), Carl Valeri (Sassuolo), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor), Richard Garcia (Hull City), Dario Vidosic (Nuremberg).

Strikers: Josh Kennedy (Nagoya), Nikita Rukavytsya (Twente Enschede).

FORMATION

Pim Verbeek plays a 4-2-3-1 with anchor-man providing the opportunity of his overlap defense like if it was a 3-5-2 with box-to-box defender/midfielder. Mark Schwarzer; Carney, Lucas Neill, Wilkshire, Rhys Williams; Bresciano, Cahill, Culina, Grella/Emerton, Harry Kewell; Kennedy.

BEST PLAYERS

Mark Schwarzer just drove his Premier League club Fulham to the Europa League Final. Even though he win turn 38 this year nothing seem to slow him down as he continues to have what’s needed to perform in big stages. His 6’5” height gives him the edge to be a dramatic penalty shot-stopper. His maturity and voice of command will be terrifically helpful to Australia’s fringe defensive line. 55 matches played this season. Will he still be on the run for the Peter Shilton record?

Australia’s Golden boy Tim Cahill plays for Everton and just got to his 30s and still is a regular presence on the starting line-ups of club/nation. Stats prove that whenever Cahill scores Australia does not lose. Will he keep making history or break his own stat? Even though he is a non-natural no.10 he has the finest characteristics of a prolific striker. Aussies will put their hopes on Cahill. Season with 46 matches, 14 goals and 5 assists.

Harry Kewell is a winger that plays for Galatasaray. While Leeds were on top so he was but then since his move for the Liverpool he has not be of that importance being limited to the status of Cahill. Climbing up in the age the pace starts to diminish so he tends to be more predictable than in his previous top era. Still his self-confidence, technique may have something to play in the Australian’s chess. Even with a less effusive season he managed to score 11 goals out of 20 matches.

SURPRISE

The surprise omissions are Dean Heffernan from Huddersfield Town and Danny Vukovic from Coast Mariners.

STATEMENTS

"We have to go there and do it better than last time. I think you have to make targets in life and the players are going to do that also. We want to do better than last time, and we will do everything possible to do that," Australia coach Pim Verbeek.

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- Peter Verbeek –

Career made of 88 matches with 39% Win, 31% Draw, 31% Loss, GS 1,19 GA 1,03

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – Being undefeated in the last matches against European & African opposition that’s what Australia conserves. Other than that playing a patient football tranquilizes them and upsets the opponents. Only lost 1 of the last 10 matches.

Weaknesses – Since the loss of Viduka Australia have loss a reference up-front. Australia doesn’t seem to have what’s needed to face Ghana nor Serbia, but recent history states otherwise.

Opportunities – Aussies are as well known to strike late into the game when everything seems to be dead. This will guide us to the last day of this group that will probably decide who will go through with 4 or 6 points leveled making calculations of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place based on goal difference.

Threats – Their squad not being rejuvenated by young and fresh introductions. Ghana likes to play a patient game as well but their stamina determines their strength. Serbia was one of the best attacks in the qualifying stages with 22 goals in 10 games.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Australia occupies an honorable 20th position ahead of Slovenia, Switzerland and Ivory Coast and lie behind of Nigeria, Cameroon and Uruguay.

ACHIEVEMENTS

4 OFC Nations Cup – 1980, 1986, 2000, 2004

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Qatar 0 0 Australia

Australia 2 0 Bahrain

Australia 2 1 Japan

Rep. of Ireland 0 3 Australia

South Korea 3 1 Australia

Australia 0 0 Netherlands

Australia 1 0 Oman

Oman 1 2 Australia

Kuwait 2 2 Australia

Australia 1 0 Indonesia

Australia 2 1 New Zealand

Australia 1 0 Denmark

United States 3 1 Australia


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