After Graham Arnold announced his first 23-player squad for the Subway Socceroos' FIFA World Cup 2026™ Second Round Asian Qualifiers, we discuss some of the main talking points.
The Socceroos kick start another qualifying campaign when they host Bangladesh at Melbourne's AAMI Park on Thursday, 16 November before flying to Kuwait to take on Palestine on Wednesday, 22 November (AEDT) looking to make a positive start and build form ahead of the upcoming AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ early next year.
Arnold has named a relatively unchanged squad from the one who faced England and New Zealand in October, as his side returns to play on home soil for the first time since fixtures against Ecuador in March.
As alluded to, the bulk of the team will be returning from October with 19 players retaining their spots from last month's matches.
That list includes Massimo Luongo who is back again after earning a call-up for the first time in over four years last month and went on to impress against New Zealand.
The likes of Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles, Connor Metcalfe, Mitch Duke, Craig Goodwin, Martin Boyle and Captain Maty Ryan are some of the familiar faces included.
Moreover, Lewis Miller and Alessandro Circati, who both debuted last camp are also named.
The resumption of the A-League Men's season has coincided with the return of Jamie Maclaren and Joe Gauci with the pair recalled for the first time since the June camp against Argentina in China.
Maclaren scored his first league goal of the season last weekend and bagged three in the Australia Cup for Melbourne City. Maclaren has eight goals in 30 caps for his country.
Meanwhile, Gauci, also returns for the inaugural time since that Argentina clash and has been immense for Adelaide United to begin the new campaign. The 23-year-old won his first cap in Melbourne against Ecuador in March and has been a model of consistency with the Reds, keeping two clean sheets and produced six saves against Melbourne Victory.
Fellow gloveman, Ashley Maynard-Brewer is back having been included in the September camp in Dallas for the Mexico match. The 24-year-old has featured in 10 EFL League One games this season for Charlton Athletic and regained his place as the number one, starting the previous six fixtures.
Kusini Yengi is the only player to receive a maiden call-up in Arnold's squad. The 24-year-old forward, who can operate as a striker or winger, made an auspicious start to life with Portsmouth FC before an ankle injury sidelined him for nearly two months.
Yengi has scored five goals in eight matches across all competitions for Pompey and registered both assists in a 2-1 EFL Trophy win over Leyton Orient, playing the full 90 minutes. It was the former Western Sydney Wanderer and Adelaide United striker’s first start since August.
Yengi has represented the Subway Olyroos, earning four appearances at the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™.
There are two players who could make their Socceroos debuts this camp in Maynard-Brewer and Yengi with the uncapped duo eager to perform in training to stake their claim, while gaining valuable experience.
Australia v Bangladesh - FIFA World Cup 2026™ Second Round Asian Qualifiers
Thursday, 16 November
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT
Tickets: PURCHASE HERE
Palestine v Australia
Tuesday, 21 November
Jaber Al-Ahmed International Stadium, Kuwait
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+