On Wednesday, Australia’s injured captain, Mile Jedinak was ruled out of the World Cup play-offs against Syria. The Aston Villa’s midfielder is still recovering from a groin injury.
Australia will face Syria over two legs on October 5 in Malaysia and on October 10 in Sydney.
Whoever comes victorious over the two legs will progress to an intercontinental playoff against the fourth-placed team from CONCACAF in November.
The 33-year-old midfielder has attempted to play some games after an off-season groin surgery.
He could only complete ‘45 in a match against Middlesbrough before feeling pain. He has been sidelined since.
Australia’s coach, Ange Postecoglou, revealed that Jedinak has been playing injured for an extended period before being released prior to the Confederations Cup.
“He soldiered on for us for over 12 months without being 100 per cent fit and he’s an important part of what we do,’’ declared Postecoglou.
“He is the sort of guy who, even if he was half a chance he would put his hand up.
“It was tough for him to pull out of the Confederations Cup, he was really looking forward to that, but we made that decision with an eye to these qualifiers.”
Five changes to the Socceroos
Australia’s coach made five changes to the squad that played most of the recent matches.
Aziz Behich, Craig Goodwin, Nikita Rukavytsya, Matt Jurman and Josh Risdon will return to the Socceroos, while Alex Gersbach, Jamie Maclaren and Ryan McGowan are among the left outs.
'I am confident that we have a group of players capable of achieving our goal of progressing to the next stage of qualification,' said Postecoglou.
'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.'
It is expected that Mark Milligan or Tim Cahill will captain Australia in the play-offs.
Australia squad against Syria:
- Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (Brighton, ENG), Mitch Langerak (Levante, SPA), Danny Vukovic (Genk, BEL).
- Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, TUR), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F Marinos, JAP), Mathew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings, KOR), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning, CHI), Brad Smith (Bournemouth), Bailey Wright (Bristol, ENG).
- Midfielders: Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield, ENG), Massimo Luongo (QPR, ENG), Mustafa Amini (AGF, DEN), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam, NET), Jackson Irvine (Hull City, ENG).
- Strikers: Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern, SWI), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa, ISR), Robbie Kruse (Bochum, GER), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin, GER), Tom Rogic (Celtic, SCO), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory).