Who has Socceroos boss Graham Arnold picked for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?
Australia are getting ready for their sixth World Cup after dramatically defeating Peru in the June intercontinental qualification play-offs via penalties.
The Socceroos’ best performance in the competition is getting to the round of 16 in Germany 2006, but they have not won a single game in the last two editions.
They will be hoping to do better this time around, but were not dealt an easy draw as they were paired with France, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.
Head coach Graham Arnold will be relying on experienced players such as Mathew Ryan and Aaron Mooy to lead the the way, but there’s some exciting youngsters coming through as well who could make an impact.
Mathew Ryan is both the captain of the team and top choice between the sticks.
Andrew Redmayne was the penalty shoot-out hero that helped Australia beat Peru in the qualifiers, while Danny Vukovic has experience from the previous World Cup.
Aziz Behich boasts plenty of experience and gets the nod for Qatar, with Bailey Wright and Milos Degenek also making the cut.
Harry Souttar, Joel King and Nathaniel Atkinson represent younger, but promising options in defence.
Trent Sainsbury, however, has somewhat surprisingly been left out.
There’s no looking past Aaron Mooy in midfield, with the talented playmaker having proven that he has what it takes to shine at the highest level.
Ajdin Hrustic and Jackson Irvine have also shown what they’re capable of in Europe, with a number of less experienced options keen to break into the team, too.
Tom Rogic has not made the cut following his controversial decision not to make himself available for selection for the decisive qualification play-offs.
Mathew Leckie offers experience out wide, while Awer Mabil represents another strong option on the wings.
Jamie Maclaren, meanwhile, will fancy his chances of seeing game time as well, having impressed through the middle previously.
A lot of eyes will be on Garang Kuol, with the promising youngster recently earning a move to Newcastle United after enjoying a bit of a breakthrough season at Central Coast Mariners.
Captain Mat Ryan takes his place in goal, while a fit centre-back pairing of Rowles and Souttar could be used with Atkinson and Behich at either of the full-back positions.
Mooy and Irvine are accustomed to playing together in the middle, alongside Hrustic, while Boyle, Cummings and Mabil provide the attacking threat.
Australia XI (4-2-3-1): Ryan; Behich, Rowles, Souttar, Atkinson; Mooy, Irvine; Hrustic; Boyle, Cummings, Mabil.
Arnold did not hesitate to make some tough decisions as he left out multiple seasoned internationals who will have expected to get the nod, even though each had their own personal circumstances complicating matters.
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