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Socceroos set for era-defining Confederations Cup campaign in Russia

Facing a tough group in Russia and with World Cup qualification still in doubt, this week may prove crucial for Ange Postecoglou and his Asian champions

On the outskirts of subtropical Sochi, the Australian national team look nonchalant while running through final preparations ahead of their opening game of the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup. As the cloud-covered sun dips towards an azure Black Sea, there are no visible signs that the pressure of forthcoming clashes with Germany, Cameroon and Chile weighs on the 23-man squad.

But these Socceroos are not blind to the magnitude of the task in front of them. While the Confederations Cup is often derided as a meaningless series of friendlies, the outcome of Australia’s campaign in Russia will have broader ramifications. The three games this week, and August’s World Cup qualifier in Japan, could come to define coach Ange Postecoglou’s reign.

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