Australia undaunted by classy Chile
World Cup outsiders Australia are aiming to punch above their weight and give a Chile side choc-a-bloc with talent a bloody nose here tomorrow
The two Group B protagonists are worlds apart in FIFA’s rankings – Chile are 14 with Australia down at 62 – so the South Americans are heavy favorites to sweep aside the Socceroos and get their campaign off to the perfect start.
The odds may be stacked against them, but Australia, unshackled by any smidgen of pressure, are not short of self-belief ahead of this clash against a team they held to a goalless draw on their World Cup debut in 1974.
“We don’t care who we’re up against,” said Swiss-based attacking midfielder Dario Vidosic.
“There can be 11 Ronaldos or Messis out there. We want to make everybody proud back home. We’ve worked very hard to get to this stage.
“We’ve got three guaranteed games and we’re just going to give it everything that we can to get out of the group stage.”
Coach Ange Postecoglou’s largely transitional side is skippered by Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak and features experienced duo Tim Cahill and Mark Bresciano.
The Aussies laid down a marker of their intent in a battling single goal defeat to fellow finalists Croatia in their last warm-up.
Alex Wilkinson, who played a part against Croatia, hopes he’s done enough to make it on to Postecoglou’s starting XI.
Wilkinson hinted that Chile could be in for a surprise.
“They’re expecting us to be physical and we will be physical – but we also want to show them we can play football as well,” said the player with South Korean outfit Jeonbuk Motors.