The Caltex Socceroos are set for their fourth appearance at the FIFA Confederations Cup. We break down Australia’s opponents in their group, starting with game one against the world champions.
When? 1am AEST, Tuesday June 20
FIFA ranking : 3
Coach: Joachim Low
Star players: Leroy Sane, Emre Can, Julian Draxler
The World Cup holders will provide the sternest of first-up tests for the Caltex Socceroos – even if this is a largely younger squad as they rest some key men.
Jam-packed with technically gifted players who are able to execute Low’s attacking style with fearsome finesse, Die Mannschaft will go into the tournament as slight favourites despite bigger names being rested and keeper Manuel Neuer and attacker Mario Gotze injured.
Star players: Julian Draxler, Emre Can, Leroy Sane, Shkodran Mustafi
When? 1am AEST, Friday June 23
Where? Saint Petersburg
FIFA ranking: 32
Coach: Hugo Broos
Star players: Fabrice Ondoa, Benjamin Moukandjo, Christian Bassogog
The “Indomitable Lions” were the last nation to qualify for Russia 2017, winning the African Cup of Nations earlier this year.
They did so with a largely inexperienced squad which coach Broos has quickly moulded into a cohesive unit.
This game would appear to offer the Caltex Socceroos their best chance of a win in Russia, but it won’t be easy against a side making their third appearance at the Confederations Cup.
When? 1am AEST, Monday June 26
FIFA ranking: 4
Coach: Juan Antonio Pizzi
Star players: Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel.
Chile qualified for the tournament by virtue of winning their first ever Copa America title in 2015, beating Lionel Messi and Argentina via a penalty shoot-out in the final.
They are an exciting attacking side with brilliant Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal pulling the strings and Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez firing the bullets.
But at the back, "Pitbull" Gary Medel leads a tight backline.
However, they are also tactically astute and at number four in the current FIFA rankings are a formidable opponent - as Australia saw in their opening World Cup clash in Brazil.
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