Caltex Socceroos’ key men for Syria play-off

We’re just over a couple of weeks away from the crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup playoff matches against Syria.

With Ange Postecoglou naming his preliminary 30-man squad for those games on Tuesday, the good news for the boss is many of his top players are in red-hot form for their respective clubs.

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We look at a few who are performing superbly at club level and will be important players for Australia come the two-legged playoff against Syria.

Aaron Mooy

Key Opta stat: Mooy has made 134 passes which ended in the final third this Premier League campaign, the sixth most of any player this season. (175 - David Silva, 168 -Kevin De Bruyne, 153 - Granit Xhaka, 151 - Mesut Ozil, 147 - Christian Eriksen

Last season's player of the year has picked up where he left off in Huddersfield Town's first foray into the Premier League.

The Caltex Socceroos midfielder has played every minute of his club's first five EPL matches, helping them to a credible sixth on the table.

Mooy also scored his first Premier League goal - an absolute belter in the 1-0 win over Newcastle United and was this week named Australian PFA Player of the Year.

Tommy Rogic

Key Opta stat: Only Graeme Shinnie (3) and Blair Spittal (3) have made more assists this Scottish Premiership campaign than Tom Rogic (2).

The talented playmaker was a goalscorer in Celtic's last outing – a 4-0 win over Ross County.

With his side playing Champions League qualifiers, Rogic has been in competitive action for the best part of two months.

Celtic are unbeaten at the top of the Scottish Premiership after six games with Rogic playing a key role.

Mathew Leckie

Key Opta stat: Leckie has scored three goals from six total shots this Bundesliga season; only one player has scored as many goals from fewer attempts (Mark Uth; 3 goals from 3 shots).

A switch to Hertha Berlin from Ingolstadt has been the catalyst for some superb form from the Caltex Socceroos attacker.

He scored a brace in his Bundesliga debut for his new club against VfB Stuttgart and added another against Werder Bremen ten days ago. 

Leckie's energy and goalscoring have already made him a firm favourite with his new supporters.

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Robbie Kruse

Key Opta stat: Kruse boasts a shot conversion rate of 67% in 2. Bundesliga this season (two goals from three total shots), the equal best of any player (min. 2 total shots).

After a difficult time in China, the 57-cap Caltex Socceroos veteran has returned to Germany where he played previously for Dusseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart.

Now with 2.Bundesliga club Bochum, Kruse has scored in his last two outings.

Mat Ryan

Key Opta stat: Ryan has made 10 catches this Premier League campaign, two more than any other goalkeeper in the competition (8 – Thibaut Courtois, Ben Foster)

The impressive custodian signed a five-year deal with Brighton and Hove Albion ahead of their first foray into the English Premier League.

He's quickly become first-choice between the sticks, playing all of the side's first five EPL games.

A clean sheet against Watford helped Brighton earn their first point of the season, which was followed by a 3-1 win over WBA.

Massimo Luongo

As a rusted-on member of QPR's starting eleven, the Caltex Socceroos midfielder has played every minute of his side's first eight games of the Championship season, even standing in as captain.

A first goal of the campaign against Milwall was the catalyst for Rangers coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Milwall.

Following that game, club boss Ian Holloway declared Luongo was the best midfielder in the English Championship.


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