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Former Socceroo Kalac not confident of World Cup chances

Former Australian national team goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac is not confident of the team's chances at the 2010 World Cup.

The 37-year old, currently with Greek Super League club Kavala, believes the fact that the Socceroos are in a tough group with Germany, Ghana and Serbia doubled with injuries to key players, will make their plight in the finals a very difficult one.

"We couldn't really have a worse group and the truth is we're going to take a physical battering," Kalac said.

"It's going to be very hard to get anything out of the Germany match. The key game is against Ghana. It will either give us the chance to go through or be the end of our World Cup.

"If we take nothing against Germany, it certainly will be do or die against Ghana.

"Our biggest problem is that we don't have the cover for our first XI, which virtually picks itself, and we're up against teams which will ask some big physical questions of us.

"Not many people have touched on this but we have players who haven't played much this year because of injuries and we just aren't a super physical team, which means our medical staff are going to be working overtime to keep our best players out on the pitch.

"Who else but Vinnie Grella dishes it out in our side? People don't seem to realise how hard physically it is going to be and what sort of condition will our best players be going into their third group match against Serbia?

"We have a good top tier of players…the issue is that we won't have any players on the bench capable of coming on and changing the game for us.

"We don't have a Josip Skoko who can come on and change things and even Josh Kennedy, who did well against Japan in 2006, won't get much change out of Ghana and Germany.

"They have big players and they won't fear his height, plus they will have it over him on the ground in terms of technique.

"What we are going to need in South Africa is for 11 players to play three games in 10 days without receiving any knocks. And I don't really see that happening."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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