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View From Down Under: Socceroos the Underdogs Ahead of Must-Win Meeting in Honduras

Socceroos fans will be sweating on the fitness of star forward Tim Cahill as the first leg of their crucial World Cup qualifying playoff with Honduras approaches this weekend.

Cahill arrived in San Pedro Sula after his teammates on Tuesday with an ankle injury he sustained in Melbourne City’s A-League loss to Sydney FC.

Although he is no certainty to take the field with his teammates on Saturday, Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer was walking freely at training Wednesday and hopes are high he will play a part.

“I can’t promise anything, all I can promise is I’m working hard,” Cahill said.

“It’s my country. I’m very proud and I’ll do anything possible to be available.”

Australia must win the home-and-away series against Honduras after failing to qualify from its Asian group.

Honduran striker Anthony ‘Choco’ Lozano discussed the match with local media, saying his side must “kill them off if possible.”

“We must take advantage of being at home,” he said. “The motivation is there and I’m sure we’re going to be in the World Cup.”

The bookies are favoring Honduras, for the first leg at least, with William Hill offering $2.10 (+110) for a Honduran win, with $3.75 (+275) for the Socceroos and $3.20 (+220) for a draw.

The Wallabies are also sweating on injuries as they prepare for the first match of the European leg of the spring tour.

Halfback Will Genia missed Australia’s 63-30 win over Japan last weekend with a calf injury, but is looking increasingly likely to play against Wales.

Australia has beaten Wales in 15 of the 16 matches since the two sides instituted the regular, bilateral James Bevan Trophy, including the last 12 dating back to 2008.

The Wallabies are tipped to continue their streak, paying $1.67 (-149) and $2.20 (+120) for a loss in Cardiff on Saturday.

With just two races remaining in Formula 1, Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo will be aiming to finish on the podium, or at least finish the race, at the Brazilian GP.

Ricciardo’s Red Bull has failed him the last two races, and the Australian was standing in the pits when teammate Max Verstappen took the checkered flag in Mexico last time out.

But as the Red Bulls improve in pace, Ricciardo finds himself fourth favorite in Brazil, paying $7.50 (+650) for a win and just $2.10 (+110) to reach the podium.

Closer to home, Sydney FC can hold on its newly won A-League win by beating the Central Coast Mariners, while the Newcastle Jets have a chance to take second spot when they take on Adelaide United.

Sydney beat Melbourne City 1-0 last week to move to the top of the table, and is heavily favored in its trip to the Mariners on Friday, paying $1.65 (-154) for a win and $5 (+400) for a loss, with $4 (+300) for a draw.

Newcastle is two points off the lead and just one behind second-place Melbourne City, and is perfectly capable of upsetting United on Saturday.

The Jets are on $2.90 (+190) to take the away points, with Adelaide the narrow favorites at $2.30 (+130) and $3.60 (+260) for a draw.