Route to Russia:
Australia’s extraordinarily long path to Russia encompassed 22 games, 250,000 kilometres of travel and 11 different opponents. They only lost twice, but still missed out on automatic qualification and were eventually pipped to the post by Saudi Arabia on goal difference. The play-off’s followed and after defeating Honduras in the final they secured qualification to the 2018 World Cup.
How far can they get:
Australia have been grouped with France, Denmark and Peru. Getting out could be tricky, but it is by no means the toughest group. Reaching the round of 16 would be a good campaign, even if not spectacular, for the Socceroos.
Bert van Marwijk. Hired specifically for this tournament, Australia will be hoping he can deliver more than expected of the Socceroos. Much like he did for the Netherlands in 2010, where he took them all the way to the final before narrowly losing out to Spain.
One to watch:
Aaron Mooy. The best of a new generation of Australian footballers. The Huddersfield man will be well known to those in England, he has begun his career in England well and will be hoping to continue producing strong performances in Russia.