Australia’s path to the World Cup in Russia will consist of two important friendlies later on this month in Europe.
Coach Bert Van Marwijk has named his preliminary 29-man squad for the two matches against Norway and Colombia in Oslo and London respectively and he has gone far and wide in his selections.
The usual suspects are there including Tim Cahill while there are seven new or returning players in the mix. Some of the newbies hail from the A-league and it’s no surprise to see two members of the high-flying Jets side in Andrew Nabbout and Dimi Petratos get a mention. The former’s exploits this season have caught the eye of Asian powerhouse Urawa Red Diamonds which is where he will play for the remainder of the season.
Van Marwijk has cast a wide net to put this squad together with players across several top leagues including the English Premier League, Eredivisie, Bundesliga, The Championship and J-League just to name a few.
The Socceroos play Norway in Oslo on Friday, March 23 before facing up to the world’s 13th ranked side Colombia on Tuesday, March 27 at Craven Cottage.
Key market: Australia are at long odds to beat France in their opening pool game in Russia but a Draw @ $5.50 isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. Remember, the Socceroos gave Chile an almighty fright in their first match in Brazil four years ago.
Socceroos squad: Aziz Behich, Josh Brillante, Tim Cahill, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Brad Jones, Tomi Juric, Matt Jurman, Robbie Kruse, Mitch Langerak, Mat Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Jamie Maclaren, James Meredith, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Nabbout, Dimi Petratos, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Aleksandar Susnjar, James Troisi, Danny Vukovic, Bailey Wright.