Ange Postecoglou drops Aaron Mooy for crunch World Cup playoff

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The Socceroos coach has made the surprise decision to bench the Huddersfield playmaker with the nation's World Cup hopes on the line

Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has left Aaron Mooy out of the starting XI for the crucial second leg of the World Cup qualifying playoff against Syria at ANZ Stadum on Tuesday night.

Mooy was told he would be starting on the bench after the team's final training session, with Massimo Luongo or Jackson Irvine expected to play instead alongside skipper Mark Milligan in the deeper midfield roles.

Australia 1/3 to beat Syria

Playmaker Tom Rogic will likely start in an attacking midfield role behind veteran Tim Cahill. with Mathew Leckie returning to a right wing-back role.

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It's thought Postecoglou's tactical reshuffle is designed to help the team move the ball quicker into the final third.

Australia have a slender advantage in the tie, with the 1-1 draw achieved in Malaysia last week securing a vital away goal.

The winner of the playoff will face the fourth-placed team in CONCACAF (currently Panama) in a two-leg contest to secure a spot at next year's World Cup.

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