The Socceroos suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Japan in their latest crucial World Cup 2018 Qualifier last Thursday.

Goals from Takuma Asano and Yosuke Ideguchi either side of half-time ensured that Japan booked their ticket for the plane to Russia, whilst Australia face what could be described as a desperate dash through duty-free and customs to catch the final flight.

The defeat means that the Socceroos’ automatic qualification is dependent on victory in their final game against Thailand tonight in Melbourne’s AAMI Park, whilst also hoping that Saudi Arabia fail to defeat Japan in their final qualifying game of the campaign.

On a more positive note, some of the Socceroos’ star players look to have settled in well in the opening few games of the Premier League, with Aaron Mooy in particularly impressing for Huddersfield, who remain unbeaten in their first three games and currently sit third in the Premier League.

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Source: Huddersfield Town via Facebook

Mooy has been on the receiving end of yet more lavish praise from UK pundits for his calming influence in the centre of midfield, with 505-game Premier League legend Phil Neville describing his performances as ‘fantastic’ and hinting that bigger clubs may already be eyeing up a move for the 26-year-old in January.

The Terriers were favourites for relegation with most betting companies before a ball was kicked this season but after recent showings, the more shrewd punter may be better off opting to back the club for a top-ten Premier League finish, with a Bet365 free bet available for those feeling confident enough that Huddersfield can maintain their excellent start to the season. 

Socceroo first-choice keeper Mat Ryan also helped guide recently promoted Brighton to their first points of the Premier League season in an encouraging draw against a new-look Watford team, with the keeper growing in confidence and starting to show the sort of form that saw the Gulls pay Valencia what was believed to be around six million euros for his services during the summer.

It remains to be seen just how the World Cup qualifying campaign will turn out for the Socceroos but the form of Ryan and Mooy has proved that the very best in the current crop of players that Australia has to offer is well capable of competing in the bigger leagues and the country is well overdue a Premier League torch bearer since Roos’ legend Tim Cahill returned to his roots with Melbourne City last year.

With emerging talent such as Massimo Luongo and Brad Smith also waiting in the wings for their chance at the highest level at QPR and Bournemouth respectively, the future looks bright for the Socceroos and it’s surely only a matter of time before this is translated into some sort of success for the national team.

Nevertheless, for Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, it’s all about the here and now and whilst three points against Thailand would give the aforementioned players a chance to shine on the world stage, a much better performance will be needed in Melbourne to see off what will undoubtedly be determined and stubborn opposition.

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