The World Cup: fast facts

The story so far:

Australia arrives at the 2018 World Cup with the determination to get through Group C, where they will meet France, Denmark and Peru. The Aussie team will enter the group stage of the competition as the underdogs, needing to pull off an upset to have a chance of moving into the final stages of the cup.

The Socceroos’ fixture:

June 16 – Australia vs. France: Kick off 8 pm (Kazan Arena) Fox Sports

June 21 – Australia vs. Denmark: Kick off 10 pm (Samara Arena) Fox Sports

June 26 – Australia vs. Peru: Kick off 12 am (Fisht Olympic Stadium) Fox Sports

Hatch’s Pub picks around Australia:

Palace Hotel, George Street, Sydney

Reef Hotel Casino, Wharf Street, Cairns

Imperial Hotel, Bourke Street, Melbourne

Aberdeen Hotel, Aberdeen Street, Perth

Sports Bar Sky City Casino, Darwin

Socceroos players to watch:

When Australia is desperate for a match-winning play or a leader in pressure situation they turn to Tim Cahill.

Cahill is Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer. The 38-year-old forward has scored five out of the team’s 11 World Cup goals. Cahill also played a huge part in the Socceroos’ first win at a World Cup after he scored late goals against Japan in 2006.

Captain Mile Jedinak will need to lead from the front if the Socceroos are to have any success in this year’s cup.

The former Crystal Palace midfielder has had an exceptional career playing for the Socceroos. Now signed with Aston Villa, Jedinak is a threatening midfielder who can create goals out of nothing. In his 73 games, he has scored 18 times with the Socceroos.

Jedinak flying high in Socceroos training. Photo: @socceroos

Australian goalkeeper Matt Ryan will be looking to make his mark during the tournament.

Since his last major tournament in Brazil, Ryan has spent time developing his skills in England and Spain with a fine year at Brighton and Hove Albion only enhancing his reputation.

It’s not only his goalkeeping that will be the key to the Socceroos’ success but also the way he manages the team’s backline.

Who is the new coach?

After the recent dismissal of former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, Bert Van Marwijk was appointed as manager for the World Cup. Van Marwijk began his stint as Socceroos head coach, saying it was his mission to help Australia get through the group stage of the tournament.

Van Marwijk previously guided the Netherlands to the final of the 2010 World Cup and has also had success coaching Saudi Arabia in an Asian qualifying group that included Australia. His tournament experience will no doubt be of great help to a young Socceroos side.

What’s the team’s competition history?

World Cup appearances: 5
Best finish: Round of 16 in 2006
Last World Cup: Group stage in 2014

Jamie Maclaren ups the pace. Photo: @socceroos

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Matt Ryan, Danny Vukovic, Brad Jones

Defenders: Trent Sainsbury, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Aziz Behich, James Meredith

Midfielders: Mile Jedinak, Aaron Mooy, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine, Tomi Rogic, Dimitri Petratos, Mathew Leckie, Daniel Arzani

Forwards: Tim Cahil, Tomi Juric, Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren, Robbie Kruse