Socceroos continue rankings slide

The Socceroos remain the lowest ranked team heading into the World Cup after slipping three places to 62 in the latest FIFA rankings.

A lacklustre 1-1 farewell friendly against South Africa last month - who remain steady on 65 - saw the Australians continue their freefall down the table.

Reigning World Champions Spain have retained their top post, while Chile dropped one spot to 14 and The Netherlands remain static at 15 underlining the gulf between the Aussies and their World Cup Group B rivals.

Based on rankings and points Group D (Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy) and Group G (Germany, Portugal, Ghana and USA) are in a tight tussle for Group of Death honours.

The new-look Socceroos will get a taste of what's to come when they face off on Saturday morning (AEST) against top 20 side Croatia - who moved up two places to 18 - in Australia's last warm-up match before the tournament kicks off.

World Cup hosts Brazil, widely tipped to lift the trophy in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, moved up one place to third while Germany remain unchanged in second.

England edged up one spot to 10 at the expense of Greece, down two places to 12, while Portugal, Argentina, Switzerland, Uruguay, Colombia and Italy, round out the top 10.

According to the rankings, the weakest confederation represented at the tournament is Asia, with Iran falling six places to 43, Japan climbing one spot to 46 and Korea Republic falling two places to 57.

Australia is now ranked 5th in the confederation behind fellow AFC World Cup contenders and Uzbekistan, 4th, which failed to make Brazil and slipped six places to 59 on the world rankings.

The biggest mover was Palestine, jumping 71 places to 94, after winning the AFC Challenge Cup which entitles them to compete in their first Asian Cup, to be held in Australia in January.

Across the ditch New Zealand was another big mover, climbing 14 spots to squeak back into the top 100 at 97.

Of course the Socceroos won’t give a toss about the numbers when they run out for their first match against Chile on June 14 (Australian time). The Aussies may be lagging on the rankings table but at least the Socceroos get a guernsey at sport’s biggest global showpiece.

Among the top ranked teams who will be watching the action from home are: Ukraine (16), Denmark (23), Slovenia (25), Scotland (27), Romania (29) Serbia (30), Panama (31), Sweden (32), Czech Republic (34) and Turkey (35).