Mile Jedinak cut from Socceroos World Cup squad, Sainsbury selected
Asian Cup-winning captain Mile Jedinak was the most notable absentee as the Socceroos finalised their squad for next month's AFC World Cup qualifying playoff against Syria.
Australia will play the Asian minnows over two legs on Oct. 5 (Malaysia, away), and Oct. 10 (Sydney, home) in their quest to take the next step towards Russia 2018.
After making the initial 30-man squad, Aston Villa midfielder Jedinak has been omitted as he recovers from a groin injury. But defender Trent Sainsbury has made the list of 23 names, despite a lack of club football in China.
Aziz Behich, Craig Goodwin, Nikita Rukavytsya, Josh Risdon and Matthew Jurman return to the squad with Jamie Maclaren, Alex Gersbach and Ryan McGowan among the players to miss out.
"I am confident that we have a group of players capable of achieving our goal of progressing to the next stage of qualification," Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said.
"As I have mentioned on many occasions, it is important for us to have a large and vocal home crowd for the second match of this series, and I'm sure the boys will appreciate all the support from the local fans."
Australia must beat Syria over two legs to progress to a final home-and-away playoff in November against the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF region to secure qualification for a fourth-consecutive World Cup finals.
The Malaysian tourist city of Malacca will host Syria's home leg due to the war in their homeland.
The Syrians boast a 100 percent record at Malacca's Hang Jebat Stadium, and drew 2-2 away to Iran on Sept. 5 to book their meeting with the 2015 Asian champions.
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Mitchell Langerak, Danny Vukovic
Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Mathew Jurman, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Bailey Wright
Midfielders: Mustafa Amini, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, James Troisi
Forwards: Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Nikita Rukavytsya
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