Socceroos set for blockbuster World Cup warm-up

James Rodriguez
Rio de Janeiro/Brazil - June 28 2014: James Rodrigues of Colombia at the 2014 World Cup. Photo: Celso Pupo, Bigstock

The Socceroos will face Colombia in what is set to be a blockbuster clash in the lead up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Australia’s will come up against the world number 13 boasting the likes of James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao on March 28 at Craven Cottage in London. The clash will follow the Socceroos clash against Norway that is scheduled to be played 4 days earlier.

David Gallop, the chief executive of the FFA, said of the occasion, “We are delighted to have secured the match against Colombia” claiming that it will be a good test for Australia to play against some strong opposition prior to the World Cup.

He continued to say that he believed Australia had “put together a strong set of matches” in preparation for the World Cup.

The Colombians finished fourth in their CONMEBOL qualifying group behind Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. They have been drawn to face Senegal, Poland and Japan in the group stages of the tournament.

The Colombian side, led by Monaco’s Radamel Falcao and headlined by the elite James Rodriguez have talent all over the park. Experienced in goal in Arsenal’s David Ospina, they have a young and energetic team highlighted by the recent transfer of 23 year-old centre-back Yerry Mina to Barcelona.

Luis Muriel’s pace up front and James Rodriguez’s creativity is sure to cause some problems for Australia and will hopefully be a good learning curve for the Socceroos defenders before the World Cup when they come up against France.

The match will be the fourth meeting between the two sides since 1995 with the Socceroos winning just one of those to Colombia’s two.

The Australians are yet to appoint a coach for the upcoming world cup and it is likely that their performance will be largely due to the timing of the appointment. The FFA announced on Tuesday that it was into the final stages of its selection process with interviews to begin soon.

Whilst the official list of candidates has not been released, it is believed to contain the likes of Graham Arnold, Slaven Bilic and Bert van Marwick. An announcement of the new coach can be expected in mid-February.

The Socceroos will be playing friendlies against Norway on March 23 followed by Colombia on March 28 in the lead up the World Cup in Russia. Australia has been drawn into Group C with the likes of France, Peru and Denmark.