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Australia vs Czech Republic: Kick-off time, TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview

3:00 AM EDT 6/1/18
Socceroos camp
The Socceroos will be out to secure their first win under Bert van Marwijk

Australia will be eager to get their World Cup preparations off to a perfect start when they face Czech Republic in a friendly at the NV Arena in Sankt Pölten, Austria on Friday June 1.

The Socceroos now preliminary 27-man squad will be cut by four in the aftermath and there's plenty on the line for a number of Socceroos against an opponent that can't be underestimated.

While Australia battled their way to Russia via play-offs, the Czech Republic failed to qualify for a third straight tournament after finishing third in a group topped by Germany.

Having beaten China 4-1 in their last outing, the Karel Jarolím-coached side will be eager to put Bert van Marwijk's team to the test and sit just five places lower than the Socceroos in the FIFA world rankings.

Game Czech Republic vs Australia
Date Friday June 1
Time 13:00 LOCAL / 21:00 AEDT
Stream  Fox Sports

TV Channel & Live Stream

In Australia, the game can be watched live via Foxtel Now (free two-week trial).

New users can sign up for a free 14-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Airplay, Telstra TV, Playstation 4, Xbox One as well as on Google Chrome and Safari web browser.

The match will also be telecast live on Foxtel via Fox Sports and picked up on free-to-air via Channel Ten's sister channel One.

AUS TV channel Online stream
Fox Sports/ One / One HD Foxtel Now / Foxtel Go

Squads & Team News

Position Australia players
Goalkeepers Ryan, Jones, Vukovic
Defenders Behich, Degenek, Jurman, Meredith, Risdon, Sainsbury, Karacic
Midfielders Brilliante, Irvine, Jedinak, Luongo, Milligan, Mooy, Petratos, Rogic, Troisi
Forwards Cahill, Juric, Kruse, Leckie, Nabbout, Rukavytsya, Arzani, Maclaren

With three players set to be cut from the squad just days after this game, expect every member of this squad to be giving it their all.

Bert van Marwijk should give fringe players a chance to prove their case for a World Cup spot with Fran Karacic and Daniel Arzani both in line for Socceroos debuts.

After giving Brad Jones and Danny Vukovic a half each in the Socceroos last outing against Colombia, Mat Ryan should be restored in goal as he looks to make the spot his own.

In defence, Karacic will likely start at right-back with Josh Risdon then likely given minutes in the second half as they square off for the position. 

Having missed both friendlies against Colombia and Norway, Trent Sainsbury and Matt Jurman should be given a chance to settle in the back line.

In the middle of the park, captain Mile Jedinak may well be given a rest after his recent game for Aston Villa allowing Van Marwijk to experiment more freely with the Socceroos midfield. 

Jackson Irvine, Dimi Petratos, Andrew Nabbout and Nikita Rukavytsya should all get minutes too as they look justify their place in the final squad.

Up front, there's a chance Tim Cahill could get a start with the veteran striker in desperate need of match minutes after spending most of his club season on the bench. 

Meanwhile, Jamie Maclaren will be desperate to impress after being called back into the squad as Tomi Juric battles a knee injury.

Potential Australia starting XI: Ryan; Karacic, Sainsbury, Jurman, Behich; Irvine, Mooy, Arzani, Nabbout, Rogic; Cahill. 

Position Czech Republic players
Goalkeepers Koubek, Pavlenka, Vaclík
Defenders Bořil, Selassie, Jugas, Kadeřábek, Kalas, Novák, Suchý
Midfielders Barák, Darida, Hušbauer, Jankto, Kopic, Souček, Zmrhal
Forwards Krmenčík, Schick, Vydra

Betting & Match Odds

Despite being ranked lower than the Socceroos in the world rankings, Czech Republic will enter this friendly as slight favourites at $2.40 with Australia sitting at $2.90 and the draw valued at $3.25 with odds courtesy of Bet365.

With the Socceroos struggling for goals of late and the Czechs known for a strong defence, don't expect too many goals at the NV Arena with odds of less than 2.5 goals being scored going for $1.65.

The most likely winning margin sees Czech Republic claiming a tight victory by one goal with that result valued $3.75 and a similar winning margin going at $4.33 for Australia. 

Match Preview

There's no such thing as a friendly in football and with spots in the Socceroos World Cup squad on the line, expect plenty of desperation from the players out on the pitch.

With 26 set to turn to 23 not long after the match, every minute will count against a Czech Republic side that won't be making the audition an easy one for Australia's players.

Fresh off a 4-1 win over China last time out, the Czechs will be looking to cash in on a Socceroos side still finding their feet under Van Marwijk.

Expect further stumbles too from an Australian side that will be somewhat experimental as the Dutch coach tries to determine which three players are expendable from his current crop.

Arzani and Karacic are likely to be given their first taste of senior national action and will need to defy their youth to book a spot on the plane to Russia. 

On the other end of the spectrum is a 38-year-old Cahill, who, though ever-reliable in the national arena, needs match minutes to prove he can still contribute for the Socceroos on the biggest stage. 

Czech Republic have won five of their last six matches, while Australia have tasted victory in only three of their last 12.

With a World Cup fast approaching and a tough group to battle, the Socceroos need to rediscover that winning feeling quickly if they are to defy the odds in Russia. 

Unfortunately, a victory may be one step too far for an Australian outfit that will likely be chopped and changed throughout the game giving the Czechs a distinct advantage. 

These two sides have met just once before, back in 2000 when Czech Republic claimed a 3-1 win.