Robbie Kruse and Tim Cahill of Australia celebrate.
Robbie Kruse and Tim Cahill of Australia celebrate.

Confirmed! Roos earn blockbuster pre-WC friendly

THE Socceroos have a high profile date with the likes of James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado in March as part of the preparation for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Football Federation Australia has confirmed that the yet-to-be-appointed new Socceroos boss will follow up the friendly against Norway in Oslo with a hit-out four days later against world No.13 Colombia on Wednesday 28 March, kick-off 6am AEST, at Craven Cottage in London.

Jose Pekerman's side will be facing Australia's first World Cup opponent, France, in Paris, while the Aussies face Norway.

"We are excited to have secured the match against Colombia, which offers us a good challenge against strong South American opposition leading into the FIFA World Cup," said FFA chief executive David Gallop.


Colombian star James Rodriguez.
Colombian star James Rodriguez.

"We believe that we have managed to put together a strong set of matches [Norway and Colombia] for our soon to be appointed head coach to cast his eye over the squad, and continue to prepare our players for Russia."

"We are thankful to the Colombian Football Federation for hosting us at Craven Cottage as we continue to build towards Russia."

Colombia finished fourth behind Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in South American World Cup qualifying, and will face Poland, Senegal and Japan at the 2018 tournament.

They are led by Monaco striker Falcao and headlined by Bayern Munich midfielder James, but are packed with elite talent across the park.


Australia celebrate.
Australia celebrate.

From Arsenal's David Ospina in goal, to Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez and AC Milan's Cristian Zapata at the back, Brighton and Hove Albion's José Izquierdo in the middle of the park and Sevilla's Luis Muriel up top, there's big league experience throughout.

Just last week, 23-year-old centre-back Yerry Mina was lured to Barcelona in this transfer window to replace Javier Mascherano.

The game at Fulham's home ground will be the fourth times the countries have met since 1995, with Colombia winning two, and drawing one.

The clashes with Colombia and Norway ensure preparation against neighbours of Australia's group rivals Peru and Denmark.

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