The Socceroos’ final Group D clash with Denmark could decide their World Cup fate and a player with Danish links believes the world’s 10th ranked football nation is underestimating Australia.
Defender Joel King was one of the bolters in Australia’s 26-man squad and has spent the past two years playing in Denmark with OB.
King isn’t sure if his inside knowledge of Danish football will come in handy when the sides meet on December 1 but asked what people in the country thought of Australian football, the 22-year-old was frank.
“They don’t have big expectations for us,” King said from Australia’s World Cup training base in Qatar.
“I take that as a good thing – I think if we can shock them it would be good.
“Obviously they don’t expect a lot. It will be good when we shock them.”
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King has played against but not with some of Denmark’s national team players including striker Andreas Cornelius and defender Daniel Wass.
“When I was in Denmark people were saying ‘do you think you have an advantage because you know what Danish football is like?’ and I don’t think so,” King said.
“The league is a lot different to what their national team will be like.
“bviously their national team is very strong at the moment. I hope I can help in ways – I know a few of their players, but I don’t think I’ll be too much help. I’m sure the coaches will have done a lot more research than what I know.”
THREE PLAYERS SIDELINED IN FRANCE FITNESS RACE
Australia is having to cautiously manage its squad in Doha with three players missing training on Wednesday as uncertainty surrounds the build-up to the France clash.
Martin Boyle (knee) missed training for the third straight day and appears in serious doubt to take on the reigning champions.
Key stars Harry Souttar (knee) and Ajdin Hrustic (ankle) also skipped the intense evening session as they manage recoveries having both played club games on the weekend.
Socceroos medical staff are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to get as many players as possible fit for the first game but it appears unlikely Graham Arnold will have a full squad at his disposal, with several stars likely to target returns against Tunisia in the crunch second Group D clash.
SOCCEROOS COFFEE SNOBS REVEALED
Fans, and media, are discovering a good coffee is about as hard to come by as a beer at the World Cup and Australian players reckon they’ve hit the jackpot by having their own barista in camp.
“It’s good coffee, Australian coffee, so definitely no complaints there,” midfielder Riley McGree said.
Asked who the biggest coffee snob in the squad was, McGree tossed up Jackson Irvine, Mitch Duke and Jamie McLaren as contenders.
Melbourne boy McLaren would be the weirdest order.
“I’ve heard something about a magic coffee. It’s in between a latte and a cortado or something like that … some Melbourne thing,” McGree said. “I’m keen to give it a try.”
McGree comes into the World Cup as one of Australia’s form players, starting regularly in the Championship with Middlesbrough.
The 24-year-old scored a stunner for Middlesbough last wek, adding to a highlight reel that already features his unbelievable A-League scorpion kick goal in 2018.
McGree’s ability to produce something special wil be valuable on the world stage and he suggested a goal of any sort against the French, even a tap-in, would also go straight to the pool room.
”Definitely, in terms of the occasion and the event, it’d be up there for sure,” McGree said.
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