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Bert Van Marwijk has named his 26-man squad that will head to Turkey for an intense pre-World Cup training camp.
The camp itself is the last chance the Socceroos will have to prepare for the FIFA World Cup and the next four weeks will be crucial to our chances of how Australia performs during the Group stages.
Australia’s all-time leading scorer, Tim Cahill, is part of the squad and is aiming to become the first aussie to compete and score in four World Cups.
Surprisingly, Jamie Maclaren and Mitch Langerak were cut from the preliminary squad while Apostolos Giannou and Alex Gersbach were others that failed to impress Van Marwijk enough. Bailey Wright and Aleksander Susnjar were part of the Dutchman’s initial squad earlier in the year for matches against Norway and Colombia but won’t feature here.
Maclaren, in particular, can feel hard done by considering he scored a hat-trick on the weekend for Hibernian against Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.
While the former Brisbane Roar striker is a glowing omission, another player from the A-league in Daniel Arzani has caught the eye of the coach and will be heading to Turkey. The youngster impressed for Melbourne City this season and is only one of five players from Australia’s premier competition to have made the cut.
In great news for the Socceroos, captain Mile Jedinak scored a crucial header for Aston Villa on the weekend in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi against Middlesbrough. The teams will meet again on Wednesday morning for the right to progress through to the Final with the ultimate winner being granted promotion to the English Premier League.
Training camp begins in Turkey on May 20 before the next friendly for the Socceroos which is against the Czech Republic on June 1. Van Marwijk will then cut a further three players from the squad with the rest to jump on the plane bound for Russia.
Australia’s 26-man is:
Daniel Arzani, Aziz Behich, Josh Brilliante, Tim Cahill, Milos Degenek, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, Brad Jones, Tomi Juric, Matt Jurman, Fran Karacic, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, James Meredith, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Andrew Nabbout, Dimi Petratos, Josh Risdon, Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, James Troisi and Danny Vukovic.
Key market: Australia are $3.75 @ TAB to beat the Czech Republic on June 2 in their second last friendly before the start of the FIFA World Cup.