Mooy Faces a Fight for his Place in the Socceroos XI - World Cup Betting 2018
As the only Australian midfielder with a regular starting berth in the Premier League, Aaron Mooy should be the Socceroos’ first choice in the middle of the pitch.
That was certainly the case at the start of the EPL season. After playing a starring role in Huddersfield’s promotion charge during the last campaign, Mooy initially took to life in the English top flight very well.
His performances, full of attacking intent and intelligent use of the ball, also helped the Socceroos eventually qualify for the World Cup 2018 after travelling more miles than any other national team. Those days seem a long time ago now though.
As Huddersfield have plummeted down towards the bottom of the Premier League, Mooy’s performances have taken a turn for the worse. It’s not all Mooy’s fault – he’s had injury problems with his knee – but Bert van Marwijk cannot afford to hope that the 27-year-old rediscovers his form.
The Dutch manager has to pick those players playing well and he has several quality options capable of starting in midfield.
The Socceroos lined up with a three-man midfield in the recent friendlies against Norway and Colombia. They weren’t the most impressive performances but the work rate of the midfield was a rare highlight.
When it comes to a midfielder capable of working hard and providing a shield to the defence, it’s hard to look past Mile Jedinak. The Socceroos’ captain has built a career on tough tackling, positional discipline and providing an extra line of defence when necessary.
Massimo Luongo is the man most likely to partner Jedinak in defensive midfielder. Like Jedinak, Luongo is playing some very good football in the English Championship.
The 25-year-old has become the heartbeat of the QPR midfielder and formed a good partnership with Jedinak at Craven Cottage against Colombia.
If those two are going to be cast in the role of midfield destroyers, it’s Tim Cahill and Tom Rogic who are most likely to keep Mooy on the bench.
There’s very little left to be said about Cahill that hasn’t already been said. He’s given his all to the Socceroos course for years now and is making his final appearance at a major tournament at the age of 38.
Cahill will be happy play whenever he’s required but Rogic will believe he has the quality to force his way into the Socceroos’ strongest team. The 25-year-old’s performances for Celtic this season have seen him linked with a big move away from Parkhead and the World Cup provides a great platform to show off to potential suitors.
Mooy’s quality means he still has the chance to reclaim his place in the Socceroos’ first team but a lot depends on how van Marwijk decides to tackle the tournament. If you think he’ll make Australia tough to beat whilst providing the attacking flare needed, a bet on the Socceroos making the quarter finals could pay off handsomely at $15 with Bet365.