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Preparing for the World Cup: Australia, Team to Watch

Posted on March 29, 2010 by Thomas Rooney
Tim Cahill will lead Australia in the World Cup.

Tim Cahill will lead Australia in the World Cup.

Australia is one of the World Cup participants with the strongest links to English league teams. Many players from the Premier League, Championship and lower divisions are likely to feature for the Socceroos in South Africa, and whilst some are journeymen likely to have a limited impact, Tim Cahill is a top class international capable of making a big impression at the finals.

Cahill has a historic place in Australian football history, scoring his team’s first ever World Cup goal in Germany four years ago. His two goals against Japan also meant he was the first Aussie scorer of a World Cup brace and maiden World Cup man of the match. He will surely increase his tally this time around.

An international record of 19 goals from 37 matches is an excellent goal to games ratio, especially considering the Everton man’s deep-lying position. It is easy to see why he has a reputation for being a goalscoring midfielder, but as any Toffees fan will tell you, his game is about more than arriving late in the box and scoring headers.

These are fine attributes, but Cahill’s creative skill and tenacity are often overlooked. Top Premier League midfielders cannot rely on goals alone and Cahill’s passing and tackling mean he can play in a flat midfield as well as in a midfield diamond or withdrawn string role.

Australia performed well in Germany, losing unluckily in round two to Italy. Despite not being favorites to win 2010 FIFA world cup, another second round appearance is achievable and perhaps needed, as the Aussies will go to the next World Cup without Mark Schwarzer, Brett Emerton and perhaps Cahill. This is his chance to shine and it is a safe bet that the famous corner flag boxing celebration will be in use.

As for the 2010 FIFA world cup favorites odds, Spain and Brazil lead the way at the moment, closely followed by England, Argentina and Italy.

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