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Mar 13, 2013

Osieck: Socceroos will be ready

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck insists his side is "going to be ready" for the battle against Oman after naming his 23-man squad for the crunch World Cup qualifier.

• Brooks: Socceroos' moment of truth

Osieck revealed an unsurprising squad, with Tim Cahill returning to fold and the inclusion of six A-League players the notable additions for the match at ANZ Stadium later this month.

Australian regulars Lucas Neill, Matthew Spiranovic, Adam Federici, Chris Herd and Carl Valeri all miss out due to injury or suspension.

The Socceroos lead Oman and Iraq in the race to Brazil only on goal difference, albeit with a game in hand, and can ill-afford any slip-ups as group leaders Japan have all but secured one of the two automatic qualifying spots.

But with lack of game time and a gruelling travel schedule facing the majority of the squad, Osieck faces a race against time to prepare his squad.

Despite the setbacks, the 64-year-old is confident the Socceroos would be ready to fire come kick-off.

"The biggest (issue) is the fitness of the players," Osieck told reporters. "There is a trend of more and more players to sign for clubs in south-east Asia.

"They have different schedules and different pre-seasons. And some players in Europe don't have regular game time.

"Luckily we have another couple of days before the game.

"We're going to be there, I'll tell you that now."

Another problem facing the Socceroos mentor is who should be chosen in central defence with captain Neill and his usual foil Spiranovic both missing.

But Osieck again allayed any fears the squad would suffer through the loss of the duo, believing his alternatives were more than capable of being called upon.

"LuckilyI had recently the opportunity to try a couple of things," he said. "(And) I doesn't look too bad.

"We're going to be ready, we're going to be fine."

Socceroos squad to face Oman

Mark Bresciano, Alex Brosque, Tim Cahill, Robert Cornthwaite, Dino Djulbic, Eugene Galekovic, James Holland, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Ryan McGowan, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Jade North, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan, Mark Schwarzer, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams, Michael Zullo.

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