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With the media pack following the Socceroos on the move from Hungary to Russia on Sunday, our feature photo is of two members of the pack, the sartorially challenged Tom Smithies and David Davutovic of News Corp chatting after the match v Hungary, with a photo-bomb from the groundsperson on a tractor. Thanks to the members of the media bringing us these stories each day. 

The Socceroos official account shared a photograph (below) of the squad arriving in Russia via Qantas. 

Socceroos

Bert van Marwijk would have had a lot of thinking to do after watching the Socceroos on Saturday evening in Budapest. Sure, there may have been some tired legs and nerves but, Daniel Arzani aside, there were more questions than answers from the "lacklustre display", writes Ray Gatt. He doesn't think Arzani will start but will get more game time than predicted three months ago. 

Van Marwijk made no secret of his displeasure with the performance but puts the mistakes mostly down to fatigue, and "when you are tired, you have to play more simple". 

Daniel Arzani is set to be the first $2 million transfer according to David Davutovic, and could go higher after the World Cup. City Football Group is keen to keep him inside the 'City family' but offers are expected to flood-in with his contract up in 12 months. The young man himself says he's excited, trying to keep his feet on the ground and just enjoy his football. 

Arzani revealed that he was advised by van Marwijk to bring some energy to the game and to go out there "and play the way" he likes to play. That worked well. 

Richard Hinds writes that if the Socceroos are now focussed on pragmatism, and no longer giving us 'style', or reaching for a long-term objective of winning the World Cup - which, by the way, Postecoglou didn't mean in terms of the next two or three or even four World Cup tournaments - then they at least need to be "bloody mindedly competitive to the last." 

World Cup

Michael Lynch gives his rundown of how each of the 32 teams will fare at the World Cup. His predictions include Australia progressing to the group stage. 

Fairfax also summarises the most recent international friendlies of our group opponents, ie. France, Denmark and Peru (which we reported yesterday). The overnight game saw Neymar star as Brazil defeated Austria, 0-3, with Senegal and South Korea to meet in the final friendly before the World Cup proper gets underway. 

A-League expansion

The Canberra A-League bid team is "quietly confident" - but nonetheless nervous - that they will be amongst the shortlisted candidates when announced. 

Reminder

  • Don't forget our competition for a chance to win one of ten A-Z of Socceroos - World Cup Edition by Andrew Howe, just by telling us your wishes for the World Cup. Entries close 8pm AEST Tuesday. This is the digital, short version of the 376-page, 200,000 word Encyclopedia of Socceroos by Andrew - the perfect coffee table book while you watch the Socceroos at the World Cup, and to keep for ever. 
  • Have you voted in our latest pollShould Daniel Arzani start v France?


socceroos, 2018 world cup, #russia2018, a-league expansion