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Graham Arnold facing injury crisis with Socceroos strikers

08:39 EAT 26/09/2018
Graham Arnold Socceroos
A number of key players will be unavailable for Arnold's first game in charge

Injuries are set to hand Graham Arnold an early test in his return to the Socceroos set-up with a number of previously key internationals currently sidelined.

Jamie Maclaren is the latest to be added to the casualty list with the Hibernian striker out of action for up to seven weeks with a back injury.

The 25-year-old, who didn't feature at the World Cup after a late recall, will be desperate to impress Arnold after struggling to get a foothold in the Socceroos squad over the past few years.

Arnold's first game in charge against Kuwait in October will come too soon for Maclaren, who isn't the only Australian striker sidelined.

Tomi Juric is yet to play for Swiss club Luzern this season due to a hamstring injury that plagued him in Russia, while Andrew Nabbout remains out after dislocating his shoulder at the World Cup against Denmark.

Another attacker in the form of Mathew Leckie is close to recovering from a knee injury, but having not yet played for German club side Hertha BSC is unlikely to be risked for an international friendly.

After impressing on loan with Seattle Sounders, defender Brad Smith has also picked up a hamstring injury which is likely set to stop his push for a recall.

But it's in the final third that Arnold now faces the biggest headache. With Tim Cahill only set to feature one final time against Lebanon, all four of the Socceroos striking options at the World Cup are now unlikely to feature against Kuwait.

As such, young Australian attackers Denis Genreau and John Iredale could be in line for debuts after being included in a recent Socceroos camp

Other potential options could see Mitch Duke play for the first time since 2013, a recall for Adam Taggart or a call-up for Golgol Mebrahtu after a successful few years in the Czech Republic

Despite a poor FIFA ranking, Kuwait won't be easy pickings for Australia either having held both Iraq and Egypt to draws in their most recent games.