If you were in Holger Osieck's shoes which Europe-based Socceroos would you bring back from Europe to take on Saudi Arabia?
There are 27 days to go until the Qantas Socceroos take on Saudi Arabia at Melbourne-s AAMI Park and the debate is open as to which players head coach Holger Osieck should bring back to finish off Group D in style.
Today, we-re asking the question should Holger select European-based players?
The coach has already stated his desire to field his strongest possible team and keep a consistent squad throughout the qualifying campaign and after the Socceroos- 1-0 victory against Thailand in November the players also indicated their desire to return for the battle against the Saudis.
Saudi Arabia are coming here with a purpose, the Green Eagles failed to make the FIFA World Cup in 2010, after being present in the finals from 1994-2006 and will badly want to make up for their fall from grace, and barring a draw between Thailand and Oman in the other Group D match, will require all three points from their battle with the Socceroos.
But with the Socceroos already having sealed qualification, the game is a dead rubber, and the travel involved during the peak of the European season could take its toll, no matter how willing the players are.
As always the players are walking a fine line between club and country and the 30 hours of travel required from Europe to Australia is also a major stumbling block, especially when it comes to fatigue and jetlag.
Throw in the fact that most players will have had club matches on the weekend and you have little recovery and a lot of time in the air, with an estimated arrival time of Tuesday February 28, just one day before the game... does that leave the European-based players enough time to train with the squad?
There are of course other considerations for the players and the coach, including whether or not the player making the long trip home will harm their chances at club level.
A player who is on the fringe of the team for their club may find himself even further on the outer if he abandons club duty for a dead international rubber and then may not find themselves match-fit for the final qualifiers in June.
However if a player is not close to being on the fringe for their club a national call-up and a good performance may be just the thing to get them back in their club squad.
Given these considerations, if you were Holger Osieck which European-based Socceroos would you bring back for the match against Saudi Arabia?
Take a look at our Aussies Abroad map and tell us who you think Holger should bring back.
Tickets are on sale now for the Qantas Socceroos v Saudi Arabia match at AAMI Park on Wednesday 29 February.
Click here and select any 'Free Flag Offer' category and you'll receive a free Qantas Socceroos flag with every ticket.
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