Socceroos squad set to be announced as Japanese press prepare to descend on Sydney

Football Australia’s preparations for next week’s key FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ AFC Asian qualifier against Japan at Stadium Australia in Sydney will ramp up this week, with several key milestones on the road to the encounter set to take place.

Tomorrow, the Socceroos’ squad for the team’s March matches against Japan (home) and Saudi Arabia (away) is set to be named by Australia’s Head Coach Graham Arnold, while at the weekend, the first of an enormous contingent of Japanese media traveling to cover the qualifier will touchdown from Tokyo.

With just eight days to go until the encounter at Stadium Australia, the Socceroos know that direct qualification for this year’s FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar remains firmly at their feet. However, the team will likely need to win both games this month to advance to world football’s showpiece and avoid having to navigate play-off fixtures in June, as Australia did for Russia 2018.

Arnold’s selections will arrive in camp in Sydney between Sunday and Tuesday next week ahead of Thursday’s clash with Japan at Stadium Australia – the scene of so many famous and iconic Socceroos and Australian sporting moments in the past.

Socceroos Japan

Arnold said he’s excited for the players to arrive in camp and flagged that some fresh faces could be passing through Sydney’s Arrivals Halls ahead of the showdown.

“The players and staff are in great spirits and are motivated by the opportunity that is in front of us this month,” Arnold said.

“With a play-off spot for June already locked in, if required, we view this camp as a win-win window – we have the opportunity to qualify directly with great performances in Sydney and Jeddah, but regardless the time together will be beneficial as our players only get limited periods together in national team colours.”

“We’ll be finalising the squad, which is likely to feature some fresh energy, today ahead of tomorrow’s squad announcement,” he said. 

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Australia’s clash with Japan is set to be covered from every angle across the continent and internationally next week, with a large contingent of Japanese press set to arrive in Sydney for the encounter.

With Australia’s international borders now open, over 60 Japanese photographers, journalists, and TV crew members will land in the New South Wales capital for the contest.

In total, over 140 media will be present at Stadium Australia for the match, which will be beamed live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play in primetime.

Next Thursday’s match will represent Australia’s 17th fixture in its quest to qualify for Qatar 2022. Across two Asian qualification phases, the Socceroos have won 12 matches, drawn three, and lost one fixture, with all bar three of the 16 qualification fixtures played thus far held on foreign soil.

Next Thursday’s clash with Japan will be Australia’s fourth and final qualification match on home soil ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar (Final Round)

Matchday 9: Australia v Japan

Date: Thursday, 24 March 2022
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia 
Kick-off: 8.10pm AEDT 
Tickets: Tickets available from Ticketek
Broadcast: Live and free in Australia on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play