Australia springs three surprises in World Cup squad for Russian Federation

Kristopher Nichols
May 8, 2018

Bundaberg duo Josh Brillante and Mitch Langerak have made the preliminary 32-man squad named by coach Bert van Marwijk for the tournament in Russian Federation.

And the Dutchman offered a strong hint Cahill could well be on the way to Russian Federation next month for a fourth consecutive World Cup, labelling the 38-year-old striker "a special case" after naming the country's all-time leading scorer in his extended 32-man squad. Another three players will then suffer in Van Marwijk's final cut.

"The problem is we don't have a lot of choices for the right back position", van Marwijk said. He's a young player, he has to learn a lot. However the Socceroos coach was quick to shut down any chance of losing such a talented young player.

Defender Karačić is the surprise addition to the group.

Van Marwijk spoke about the difficulties Australia faces in the right-back position, with Karacic expected to provide solid competition for Josh Risdon.

Cahill, Australia's record goalscorer, retained his place despite a chronic lack of match practice. He doesn't play (at the moment), maybe five or 10 or 20 minutes.

Interestingly, Van Marwijk named Josh Brillante as part of his defence despite him playing in Sydney FC's midfield consistently over the past two seasons.

"I have had long conversations with Tim and he is a special case, he is special in everything", he said. "He is 38 and maybe one of the best-ever players for Australia". I have to take a decision if I take him to the world championships. He's not 19 like Arzani, he's twice as old.

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Cahill and Arzani are included in Bert van Marwijk's preliminary 32-man squad.

"He can make a difference, he is a player who will not be nervous to play in front of 80,000 people", van Marwijk said of Cahill.

"I had a good experience with the 26 players in the 10 days that I worked with them [for friendlies against Norway and Colombia], so I had no reason not to nominate them again".

"He plays only right-back and we don't have a lot of players in that's a position we discuss a lot".

Socceroos coach Bert van Merwijk and his coaching staff will reduce the preliminary squad to 26 players next week before the team assembles in Turkey for the start of their pre-tournament training camp from Saturday, May 19.

"[Arzani's] been playing. Before March he didn't play many games".

Australia will play two friendlies against Hungary and the Czech Republic next month before taking on France in the first game of the World Cup on June 16.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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