It all comes down to this for the Socceroos as they enter their final group game against Peru. Anything less than a win and their 2018 World Cup campaign is over, they also need Denmark to lose to France and have the tiebreakers fall their way. Without turning this into a maths class, Australia need to beat Peru by more goals than what Denmark lose to France by to progress on goal difference. If Australia wins by one and Denmark lose by one, Australia also needs to outscore Denmark. In short, get your calculators ready to work out all the permutations of the group table.
Wednesday 27 June, 12:00am, Fisht Olympic Stadium
During the last three World Cups, Australian matches have featured plenty of goals with six of the eight matches going over the 2.5 goals line with at least two per tournament. In those matches, the both teams to score market has hit in six matches as well and with the Socceroos have no option but to score here, those options look like a very good play here.
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In terms of the result, this is following a very similar pattern to the Socceroos at the 2010 tournament after a loss to a European powerhouse in the first game and a battling draw in the second. What is different this time around however is that Australia, while still requiring a win in their final game, are not chasing a massive goal difference turnaround on top of the result.
Perhaps the biggest dilemma facing Bert van Marwijk is who will replace the injured Andrew Nabbout up front and can they provide the necessary cut through from the striking position. Tomi Juric appears to have the inside track having been substituted on for the injured Nabbout against Denmark however he can call on Jamie Maclaren or the most popular debate topic among football fans, Tim Cahill. While Juric and Cahill are unlikely to be able to go for 90 minutes on their own, one is likely to start with the other coming on as a replacement.
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With Peru left to play for pride, they will certainly be out to finish the tournament with one win and will not roll over. Australia will need to make sure they are on their guard and do not go down to an early goal and have to chase the match. Whether or not they go through is another question however I do expect them to take care of business on their end but it will not be easy.
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World Cup Champion Tip: Australia 2-1
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