The Socceroos made hard work of qualifying and that is reflected in the Australia World Cup 2018 odds.
Ange Postecoglou was in charge when Australia were edged out by Japan and Saudi Arabia in Asia’s Group B, before going on to beat Syria and Honduras in play-offs.
However, the strain of taking such an arduous route on the road to Russia proved too much for Postecoglou’s liking and he made way for experienced Dutchman Bert van Marwijk.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must now end the journey,” said Postecoglou in November. “But I feel now is the right time to pass on the responsibility to someone who will have the energy it requires.”
Van Marwijk at least knows what it takes to do well on football’s biggest stage, having led his native Holland to the 2010 final.
He has inherited a squad which probably lacks a bit of flair, but does boast plenty of proven performers.
Odds correct on date of publication: 21/05/2018
Tim Cahill is the headline act, with the 38-year-old hoping to become one of the few players to score at four World Cup tournaments.
Cahill has served the likes of Millwall, Everton and the New York Red Bulls with great distinction during a stellar career and has lost none of his enthusiasm.
The striker netted twice in Australia’s 2-1 Sydney success against Syria, heading in the winner of that Asian play-off second-leg clash in extra-time.
There are other hard-working forwards in the Socceroos squad, with Mathew Leckie and Robbie Kruse based in Germany and Tomi Juric attached to Swiss outfit Luzern.
Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy, Aston Villa hard-man Mile Jedinak and Tom Rogic of Celtic give the midfield a solid look.
Defence could be an area of weakness, but Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and former Liverpool shot-stopper Brad Jones are familiar faces between the posts.
Facing France first up is a tough test, but there may be more positive Australia World Cup 2018 betting tips and predictions when they tackle Denmark and Peru.
Rank (world): 39
WC appearances: 4
Best effort: Last 16 in 2006
Road to Russia
AUS 3-1 Honduras
Honduras 0-0 AUS
AUS 2-1 Syria
Syria 1-1 AUS
AUS 2-1 Thailand
Japan 2-0 AUS
AUS 3-2 Saudi Arabia
AUS 2-0 UAE
Mathew Ryan (GK)
Aaron Mooy (M)
Mile Jedinak (M)
Tom Rogic (M)
Tim Cahill (F)
Bert van Marwijk – NED