Just how lucky can the Socceroos get?

IT'S been just over a month since Ange Postecoglou took the reigns from Holger Osieck as Socceroos coach.

Now, instead of preparing for Melbourne Victory's game with the Newcastle Jets on Sunday, the 49-year-old is in Bahia, Brazil waiting for the release of the 2014 World Cup draw.

By early tomorrow morning, Australian time, Postecoglou and the rest of the country's football fans will know just who the Socceroos will line up against in next year's finals.

Of course, to win the World Cup you have to beat the best at some stage during the competition, but avoiding the better sides until the knockout stages would be the best-case scenario for the Socceroos.

Even the most ardent Australian football fan would not believe the Socceroos could win the World Cup, but what they would want is to go as far in the competition as possible.

To do that, Australia would need a favourable draw and now that the four pots of teams have been sorted out by World Cup organisers, Postecoglou and Co now know which teams the Socceroos cannot face.

As for the ones they will line up against, that is purely down to the luck of the draw. To quote a line from Clint Eastwood's character Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry .... do you feel lucky Ange?

Australia is in pot three, which consists of the Asian qualifiers as well the sides from the CONCACAF qualifying group.

While the Socceroos will not face any of those teams, they will definitely be drawn against one of the top eight seeds - the leading teams in the October FIFA rankings, who are all in pot one. Pot two features five African teams, as well as the remaining non-seeded South Americans Chile and Ecuador.

The European teams make up pot four with teams including Holland, Italy, or England - all a possible match-up for Australia.

Obviously Postecoglou will be hoping to avoid the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany from the seeded teams and he might even be hoping that Greece, Bosnia, Croatia and even England will be picked to face the Socceroos too.

Ivory Coast and Ghana from the African group would be teams to avoid, while Algeria might not give the new coach as many sleepless nights.

The announcement of the draw system was met with some confusion, with great emphasis being put on maintaining the geographical balance of the draw.

But what it will boil down to in the end is can Australia avoid the so-called group of death?

There are a few scenarios which could pan out in Bahia tomorrow morning but what Postecoglou would not want is a group involving hosts Brazil, Italy and Ivory Coast.

On the other hand, a draw which pits the Socceroos against Switzerland, Algeria and Bosnia would give the side the best possible chance of advancing to the knockout stage, where as has been seen in the past, anything can happen.


Pot 1 consists of the eight top seeds, one of each to be drawn in Groups A-H. The remaining pots are based on geographical criteria.

Hosts Brazil will be allocated position A1 in the draw and will play the opening match in Sao Paulo on June 12.

Pot 1 (top eight seeds): Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, Uruguay

Pot 2: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador

Pot 3: Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras

Pot 4: Bosnia, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, France

Note: A pre-draw will be held to move one of the nine European teams into Pot 2. That European team will then be drawn against one of the four seeded South American teams to preserve the geographical balance of the draw.

The four South American seeds: Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Argentina will form a temporary Pot X. The three teams not drawn against the European team in Pot 2 will return to the main draw.

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