Socceroos: Attacking Trio Called Up

Melbourne City FC’s contributions to the Australian national team continues with the return of forwards Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout to the Socceroos squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and China.

The trio, who have a combined 90 Socceroos caps between them, have not featured in the green and gold since June this year, with their involvement in the national team set-up hampered due to quarantine requirements.

Australia has made a strong start to its final round of qualifiers, winning three of its opening four fixtures and currently occupying second place in Group B.

Saudi Arabia will prove to be tough opposition for the Socceroos, with the Group B leaders currently boasting a perfect record from their opening four games, including an important 1-0 win over group heavyweights Japan.  

Australia’s away clash with China will be the second meeting between the sides at this stage of qualifying, with the Socceroos running out dominant 3-0 winners last time the teams met on neutral territory in Qatar.

This particular international window looms as a pivotal stage in Australia’s qualification for the 2022 World Cup, with a pair of positive results likely to put us in a strong position to secure a place in Qatar next year.

Whilst City fans will no doubt be proud of the trio’s achievement in receiving the call-up and look forward to watching them in action for the national team again, the collective absence of the forwards will leave the team looking for alternatives to face South Melbourne in the team’s FFA Cup Round of 32 clash on Friday, November 12.

When faced with a similar dilemma during the 2020/21 A-League Finals campaign, it was Marco Tilio, Stefan Colakovski and Nathaniel Atkinson who stepped into the front line and came through for City, netting three of our five goals in the two Finals games.

With a full pre-season under their belt, the young trio will undoubtedly be ready to step up if they are called upon again by Patrick Kisnorbo to fill the void up top.

Australia v Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 11 November
8:10pm kick-off (AEDT)
CommBank Stadium
Live and free on 10 and 10play

China v Australia

Tuesday, 16 November
Kick-off TBC
Sharjah Stadium, UAE
Live and free on 10 and 10play