Australia’s 2018 World Cup squad: Who made the Socceroos 23-man squad?

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The green and gold are heading to a fourth straight World Cup, but which players secured their spot on the plane to Russia?

It was by no means a straight forward route to Russia, but Australia are heading to the 2018 World Cup and will put a relatively fresh-faced squad to the test on the biggest stage.

Much like the Socceroos quest to qualify for the World Cup, Bert van Marwijk's selection process for the tournament was particularly drawn out with 32 players eventually reduced to 23.

With France, Denmark and Peru awaiting Australia in Russia, Goal takes a look at the Socceroos set to take on the world's best. 


Who made Australia's 23-man squad?


Socceroos 2018

In goal, Mat Ryan, Brad Jones and Danny Vukovic have all been picked as possible number ones, with Ryan favourite to retain his spot between the sticks after a strong first season in the English Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion.

At the back, Trent Sainsbury is certain to make up one part of the centre back pairing with Mark Milligan, Milos Degenek and Matt Jurman all vying to partner him. 

Along the defensive flanks, Aziz Behich and Josh Risdon are near certain of starting spots with Millwall's James Meredith providing back up. 

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak has predominantly played as a holding midfielder for Australia but don't rule out the Aston Villa man playing alongside Sainsbury in defence.

Jedinak's possible switch comes with Aaron Mooy, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine and Tom Rogic all providing attractive central midfield options after strong clubs seasons in Europe. 

On the wings, Mathew Leckie has made the right his own, while Robbie Kruse is close to locking down the left. Potential competition looms in the form of A-League duo Daniel Arzani and Dimitri Petratos , with both capable of providing a spark on either flank if called upon.

Up top, Tomi Juric has been named but is battling to overcome a knee injury with Jamie Maclaren called in as back-up.

Also looking to bang in the goals are Andrew Nabbout, who can also play out wide, and Socceroos veteran Tim Cahill.

Despite a lack of club minutes, Cahill has secured selection for a fourth World Cup and should he score in Russia will become just the fourth player in history to do so at four World Cups.  


Who didn't make the Socceroos squad?


James Troisi, Australia, Confederations Cup, 25062017

Long seen as Ryan's back-up in goal, Mitch Langerak missed out on Russia after a poor stint in Spain with Levante.

Bailey Wright played a big part of Australia's defence during World Cup qualification but was cut by van Marwijk after failing to impress during March friendlies.

Plucked out of Croatia, right back Fran Karacic didn't make the grade with utility Josh Brillante also deemed surplus to requirements.

Midfield duo James Troisi and Nikita Rukavytsya had been Socceroos regulars under Ange Postecoglou but were cut loose late by van Marwijk.

Apostolos Giannou was another favoured by Postecoglou but not so by van Marwijk, who couldn't find room for him in his attacking stocks.


Long shots who missed out


Alex Gersbach, Australia

Young defenders Alex Gersbach and Aleksandar Susnjar undoubtedly have bright futures in the green and gold but this World Cup was deemed to have come too soon for the duo. 

On the other end of the age spectrum, Alex Wilkinson can count himself somewhat unlucky that two great seasons with Sydney FC didn't see him return to the national set up.

Rhys Williams cruelly missed out on the 2014 World Cup through injury and again has his slim hopes of making it this time around ruined by injury. 

Midfielders Dario Vidosic and Tommy Oar were both in the squad for Brazil, but solid seasons with their clubs couldn't see them stake a convincing claim for Russia.

Adam Taggart was also in the squad for the 2014 World Cup, and though looking sharp on his return for Perth Glory, had his hopes of consecutive tournaments ruined by a poor run of injuries.


Australia's World Cup 2018 squad in full


Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Brad Jones, Danny Vukovic

Defenders: Trent Sainsbury, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Aziz Behich, James Meredith, Milos Degenek, Matt Jurman

Midfielders: Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic, Massimo Luongo, Mile Jedinak, Jackson Irvine, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Dimitri Petratos, Daniel Arzani

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Forwards: Tomi Juric, Jamie Maclaren, Andrew Nabbout, Tim Cahill

Australia will begin their Group C campaign against France on June 16, before fixtures against Denmark and Peru. 

The Socceroos are at long odds of getting out of a tough group in Russia, but should they scrape through in second, a round of 16 clash against Argentina likely awaits.

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