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SPOTS in Australia’s squad for the FIFA World Cup have just become ultra competitive.
With the appointment of new Socceroos coach Bert Van Marwijk, players that may have thought they were a ‘lock’ to secure a place in the team are probably now second guessing themselves. Similarly, those players that are considered fringe internationals will be throwing everything but the kitchen sink in order to get noticed by the new gaffa.
Here we have identified five ‘dark horses’, or ‘bolters, if you like that we believe could sneak their way onto the plane as part of Australia’s fourth consecutive World Cup appearance.
Is currently on loan for the remainder of the A-league season to the Wanderers from Serie A outfit Lazio. Ikonomidis played a starring role in just his second A-league game against the Phoenix on the weekend, causing plenty of havoc and scoring a goal too.
Is quickly becoming a regular in the starting XI for Kaiserslautern in German’s second division. Scored on the weekend in his side’s 3-1 win against third-placed Holstein Kiel. More performances like that will help prevent Kaiserslautern from being relegated and also give Van Marwijk plenty to think about also.
Has been a handy player but seems to have gone to a new level under the guidance of Ernie Merrick at the Jets this season. Petratos has bagged seven goals this season and was a key attacking cog for Newcastle while they were missing Roy O’Donovan.
DANIEL DE SILVA
The 20-year-old has had big wraps on him for a long time and has booked himself as a regular under Paul Okon at the Central Coast Mariners. Now is the time for him to start delivering on the hype and if he can finish the season strong then Van Marwijk may be forced into some tough decisions.
Has created quite the impression since breaking through for City in the A-league this season. Plays with plenty of energy and enthusiasm and has a great dribbling ability and control of the ball. Has plenty of maturing to do but it certainly won’t surprise if he is picked as part of the Socceroos squad.
Key market: It’s probably a big ask but at every World Cup there is always one surprise packet. If you think Australia could be this year’s Cinderella story at the FIFA World Cup, the $15 @ Neds for them to make the quarter finals is worth having a few dollars on.