UK-based players Jamie Maclaren and Bailey Wright are among six contenders chopped as the preliminary Australian World Cup squad was reduced to 26, with the selected list earning the right to attend the team's pre-tournament training camp in Turkey.
Socceroos coach Bert Van Marwijk has decided to overlook the in-form Maclaren, who scored a hat-trick for Hibernian in the 5-5 draw with Rangers, while Bristol City captain Wright has also been left out despite being a regular under former manager Ange Postecoglou.
Goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, left-back Alex Gersbach, young centre-half Aleksandar Susnjar and striker Apostolos Giannou were also omitted and will not be present at the team's training camp in Antalya, Turkey, which begins on May 20.
The squad features two uncapped players in exciting 19-year-old winger Daniel Arzani and 22-year-old Croatian-born defender Fran Karacic.
Australia's record goalscorer Tim Cahill has been included despite only playing 157 minutes of club football for current side Millwall and former team Melbourne City since the A-League started in October.
The A-League is represented in the squad by five players including Arzani, Dimitri Petratos, James Troisi, Josh Brillante and Josh Risdon.
Van Marwijk acknowledged the ruthless nature of the squad cuts but was adamant the list of players would fight hard for a spot on the plane to Russia.
"It is always a challenging task to reduce a squad, however this is the nature of professional sport at the highest level," Van Marwijk said.
"Overall, I believe we have named a strong and ambitious squad for our training camp in Turkey and friendly against Czech Republic in Austria.
"I am sure that in training in Antalya, and in our match against the Czech Republic, we will see players pushing to go to a higher level as they compete for a place in the final squad."
Australia's final squad of 23 players is expected to be announced on June 3 - two days after the team square off against the Czechs in Austria.
Australia's 26-man preliminary 2018 World Cup squad for Russia
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (Brighton), Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Danny Vukovic (Genk)
Defenders: Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers), Matthew Jurman (Suwon), Milos Degenek (Yokohama Marinos), Joshua Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), James Meredith (Millwall), Fran Karacic (NK Lokomotiva).
Midfielders: Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Joshua Brillante (Sydney FC), Dimi Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli).
Attackers: Tim Cahill (Millwall), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa), Robbie Kruse (Bochum).
(Three players to be omitted on June 3)