ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 08: Mile Jedinak of Australia leads his team out during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between the Australian Socceroos and Saudi Arabia at the Adelaide Oval on June 8, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)

The FIFA World Cup in Russia is just around the corner, and the masses in national all over the world – including those not participating in the tournament – are getting pumped for the biggest sporting event in the world. With the hype, more and more experts are weighing in on the predictions debate, including Australia legend Mark Schwarzer.

Along with Schwarzer indicating that some change is needed for the Australia team, Socceroo fans all over have been grabbing onto all World Cup games, which has resulted in a great popularity rise in the most popular World Cup games of all formats. It all points to a swell of optimism for the Socceroos at the World Cup, but can they escape their group?

Buzzing for the greatest tournament on earth

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 18: Daniel Arzani of Melbourne City speaks to the media during a Melbourne City FC A-League media opportunity at City Football Academy on April 18, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

As the World Cup approaches, more and more focus turns to making predictions. One of the biggest talking points so far has been Daniel Arzani being called up to the preliminary squad. The 19-year-old right winger has impressed with his flair-filled play, and Socceroo fans are excited to see him join the veteran ranks of the national team.

Stories like this increase the hype, especially in Australia. With EA Sports’ World Cup update coming for free quite close to the tournament’s start, people have sought out games on one of the most popular online gaming platforms.

Online casinos boast a huge range of sports-themed games to keep fans thrilled while they await the live games to come around. Pokies are, naturally, the most popular among these, with sports games like Aussie Rules, Pigskin Payout, and Heavyweight Gold proving to be very popular.

But, in recent months, the popularity of Global Cup Soccer at JoeFortune has risen exponentially. Playing for trophies alongside the nations of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and Germany, Global Cup Soccer has been keeping fans excited while we await the opening game in June.

Can Australia live up to expectations?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Tim Cahill of Australia applauds the crowd after the international friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at ANZ Stadium on June 4, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

In group qualification, Australia only just missed out on automatic qualification but made hard work of getting past Syria in the AFC fourth round. Luckily, as has occurred many times, Tim Cahill came to the rescue to score a brace against Syria.

Despite this, the Socceroos have a great team to deploy at the summer tournament, and many see their group as a chance for them to advance to the knockout stage. France are one of the favourites to win the tournament, so are expected to win Group C. However, second place looks to be a dogfight between Denmark, Peru, and Australia.

Legendary goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is optimistic about Australia’s chances but warns against their usual style of play. He says that flexibility is key to progression for the Socceroos and that they’ll need to adapt for each opponent instead of play the same style in each game. Luckily, he has faith in the experience manager Bert van Marwijk who knows how to set up and counter opponents.

The World Cup is on the horizon, and everyone is getting in the spirit. Whether it’s weighing in with predictions and opinions or satisfying the need for World Cup action with the very popular Global Cup Soccer, Australia is getting ready for an exciting tournament.