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Soccer: World Cup Qualifying Feature

Australia will not be taking the foot off the gas despite already making it through to the second stage of World Cup qualifying.

Graham Arnold’s side have dominated their group in the first stage of qualifying, winning all four games, but there is still all to play for.

Australia can be backed at 501.00 to win the 2026 FIFA World Cup. However there is still work to be done before they book their spot in the tournament.

Let’s take a look at what is on the horizon for the Socceroos.

Two games remaining

The Socceroos have two games left to play before progressing through to the next stage of World Cup qualification.

They come in June when they take on Bangladesh and Palestine on the 6th and 11th respectively.

Australia have dominated the group and two wins should be a formality.

Arnold’s side smashed Bangladesh 7-0 back in November, and will be expecting another comfortable win when they clash again.

Palestine were a different story however and it took a solitary strike from Harry Souttar to get the job done following a less than convincing performance.

The Socceroos will be looking to finish the qualifying stage strongly, and two convincing wins will be the order of the day.

Points make prizes

Despite already qualifying for the next stage, the Socceroos will not be taking the foot off the gas against Bangladesh and Palestine.

With crucial FIFA ranking points up for grabs, every win in is important, and Arnold has already emphasised this to his players.

The Socceroos are currently 23rd in the FIFA World Rankings with Korea Republic and Denmark just ahead of them.

Breaking into the top 20 will be the aim, so every win is massive.

Team places up for grabs

Despite the Socceroos winning all four games, they are far away from being the finished article, and places in the side are up for grabs.

The two games against Bangladesh and Palestine will hand Arnold the opportunity to experiment with his line-up, formation and game-plan.

One issue for the Socceross has been someone stepping up to make the number nine jersey their own.

Arnold has a host of strikers to call upon, but as things stand, no-one has grabbed the opportunity to cement their place in the side.

The Socceroos do have plenty of experience with the likes of Mitch Duke and Bruno Fornaroli in the squad, but the youngsters stepping up will also be important.

John Iredale and Kusini Yengi are two such players and both were on the scoresheet in the recent 5-0 win over Lebanon.

Arnold calls for ruthlessness

The Socceroos have also been criticised for not creating enough chances and then putting them away when they do come.

There have been time during the last four games when the Socceroos have been less convincing in attack.

Arnold was pleased with the 5-0 win over Lebanon, but not totally satisfied, and there is plenty to work on in that area as well.

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