We’ve qualified for Russia 2018, so what better time to bring back the Rolling Socceroos XI?
After the ambiguity of Ange Postecoglou’s departure, we now have a clearer idea of how a new-look team will shape up.
Bert van Marwijk has taken charge and now has four months to prepare for the World Cup.
The team is picked on minutes and form.
This week, Josh Risdon and Mass Luongo drop out of the team with Mile Jedinak and Luke Wilkshire coming in.
Goalkeeper – Mat Ryan: A self-explanitory selection. Continues to go from strength to strength with Brighton and marked that was a decisive penalty save against Stoke City.
Right-back – Luke Wilkshire: Concerns will remain in some quarters about his age, and van Marwijk will still need to coax the Sydney FC defender out of national team retirement should he want the 36-year-old involved. But he has been superb for the Sky Blues and is Australia’s most in-form player in his position.
Centre-back – Trent Sainsbury: One of the key foundations the team should be built on.
Centre-back – Bailey Wright: Bristol City are enduring something of a mini form dip but their captain Wright is a mainstay in defence. Ninety minutes week after week.
Left-back – Aziz Behich: We are now blessed with more choice at left-back all of a sudden, but Behich stands out among the rest, a regular fixture in Turkey with Bursaspor.
Defensive-midfield – Mile Jedinak: The skipper comes back into the team at Mass Luongo’s expense, who has now missed two QPR matches in a row through a knee injury. Jedinak was man of the match in Aston Villa’s 2-0 Second City Derby win over Birmingham City.
Defensive-midfield – Jackson Irvine: Seems to have well and truly won over Nigel Adkins, now a regular starter for Hull City in the Championship.
Right-midfield – Mathew Leckie: The winger is looking to fight his way back into Hertha Berlin’s starting XI. For now, he holds his place due to something of a lack of competition but faces very real pressure from Daniel Arzani.
Left-midfield – Robbie Kruse: Still something of a boo-boy’s favourite, Kruse is going about his business in Germany with VfL Bochum and is a regular. Goals have dried up somewhat.
Striker – Tomi Juric: The big forward got his first goal for FC Luzern since the recommencement of the Swiss Super League season. Keeping Jamie Maclaren at an arm’s length.
Daniel Arzani – His name is simply inescapable. Was not at his best against Sydney FC, as were most of his Melbourne City teammates. Still, he remains at the forefront of discussion and should be considered.
Brandon Borrello – The former Brisbane Roar man has slipped under the radar but could offer a solution to depth problems at right-midfield. Scored his first goal for Kaiserslautern on the weekend and has grown into a regular starter.
Brett Holman – His name is one that seems like more of a long shot. In his post-match interview with Fox Sports following Brisbane’s win over Melbourne Victory, Holman did not rule out the possibility of a Socceroos comeback. The 33-year-old, capped 63 times, has been retired from the national team since April 2014.