Former Socceroos great Adrian 'Noddy' Alston says you should be weary writing off the Australian team as they head to a fifth straight World Cup that begins later this month.
Born in the UK, Alston played for the Socceroos in the 60s and 70s and was part of Rale Rasic's World Cup team in 1974, the first time the national team made the global stage.
He was teammates with all-time legends of the game in Australia like Attila Abonyi, Peter Wilson, Colin Curran and John Warren.
It was a team that was not meant to be world-beaters then but are now known nationally as the pioneers of the game.
With the first game up against world champions France, it does not get any tougher. Despite this, Alston told the Mercury that he would not be surprised to see this Socceroos team making a few shock waves in Qatar.
"When we played our first game in 1974 against East Germany we were ranked at about 2000/1 to win," he said.
"We held our own for a long time in that contest but two second half goals undid us. East Germany were the only side to beat eventual winners West Germany.
"If we could do that in our time when we were virtually part-timers, then I'm sure now we can do something similar. If we hold France out till half-time you watch the shock waves then. Beware writing off Australia," Alston said.
He added that despite a few selection shocks - most notably the omissions of in-form goalkeeper Mitch Langerak and Graham Arnold's son-in-law Trent Sainsbury - there can be no complaints with the squad.
He also predicted a big tournament from a couple of the Socceroos.
"Garang Kuol will definitely be a bench player but if it's nil-all he is a great option to throw on there and tell him to dribble at players every chance he gets and take off on his own," Alston said.
"I also don't mind Ajdin Hrustic. He could really make a difference. I'm looking from a dead-ball specialist point of view and he can really strike the ball well and make something happen.
"He's got a great left foot. Hrustic would be one of my top players for the team," he said.
The Socceroos will have it all to do in Qatar. The national team has not made it past the group stages in three attempts after the success of the 'golden generation' side in 2006.
The side have also failed to win a game at the World Cup since their 2-1 win over Serbia - with goals to Tim Cahill and Brett Holman the difference on that occasion.
The side will be looking to be more prominent on the score sheet this time around, with two Mile Jedinak penalties the only goals scored for the Socceroos in Russia in 2018.
Jason Cummings - who moved to the Central Coast Mariners last season from Scotland in a bid to be called up for the national team with eligibility through his Australian-born mother - will be Australia's best hope for goals.
He recently said he was in the "best form of his life".
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