Rolling Socceroos XI: The squad is in

Rolling Socceroos XI: The squad is in

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We’ve qualified for Russia 2018, so what better time to bring back the Rolling Socceroos XI?

Bert van Marwijk has taken charge and now has three months to prepare for the World Cup.

He has named an initial 29-man squad for friendlies against Norway and Colombia, and so we will be working within those parameters.

This week there are two changes to the squad with Jamie Maclaren and Josh Risdon coming in.

(4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper – Mat Ryan: Undisputed No.1 and is in little danger of being displaced despite considerable depth in the goalkeeping stocks.

Right-back – Josh Risdon: The Western Sydney Wanderer is the only out and out right-back in the squad so is almost an inclusion by default. That said though, his last month has been impressive and has shown some of what we know he can produce.

Centre-back – Milos Degenek: He will likely be starting centre-half with Trent Sainsbury still injured. Has played every minute of the J-League season under Ange Postecoglou so far.

Centre-back – Bailey Wright: A mainstay with Bristol City, though as a unit the Robins’ form has dropped off significantly.

Left-back – Aziz Behich: The left side of defence is another position with outstanding depth, and that is highlighted by the likely exclusion of Alex Gersbach or James Meredith. Behich is the pick of the bunch.

Defensive-midfield – Jackson Irvine: Showed his full array of tricks as something of a No.8 by scoring from midfield in Hull City’s important 4-3 win over Norwich City on the weekend. Is in good form and seeing plenty of minutes. Another of the deep positions.

Defensive-midfield – Mile Jedinak: Got himself back into Aston Villa’s starting XI for a big game and equally big win over Championship pacesetters Wolves. If Mile is fit, he starts.

Attacking-midfield – Aaron Mooy: Began easing his way back into the swing of things for Huddersfield Town at the weekend with just under 70 minutes against Swansea City. Should be fully fit with more minutes by the time Australia camp comes around.

Right-midfield – Mathew Leckie: Of some concern is that the Hertha Berlin winger saw no minutes in their most recent Bundesliga game on Saturday. Holds his position for the time being.

Left-midfield – Robbie Kruse: Goals have dried up for the maligned VfL Bochum man, but Kruse is a regular at club level and his incisive runs could prove valuable.

Striker – Jamie Maclaren: Seems to have entrenched himself as a starter for Hibs and is finding his feet in front of goal, scoring the sealer in the Edinburgh Derby win. Meanwhile, his direct rival for the No.9 spot, Tomi Juric, dropped to FC Luzern’s bench and saw just 15 minutes.

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