Sydney FC will be down two regular starters for the first game of their A-League title defence after Rhyan Grant and Andrew Redmayne were named in Graham Arnold’s Socceroos squad for next week’s World Cup qualifier against Nepal.
Arnold on Friday named a near-identical 23-man squad for Thursday’s home clash in Canberra to the one that beat Kuwait 3-0 last month, replacing injured central defender Trent Sainsbury with Bailey Wright. The same group will then travel to face Taiwan on October 15.
Only three A-League players were selected, though two of those come from Arnold’s former club in the Sky Blues, meaning they’ll be without their first-choice goalkeeper Redmayne and right-back Rhyan Grant for the Sky Blues’ round-one away match with Adelaide United next Friday night.
Melbourne City will also feel the absence of striker Jamie Maclaren for next Saturday’s Melbourne derby, the result of the competition’s decision to revert to not recognising international breaks.
Captain Mark Milligan is back in the fold after being withdrawn from camp in Kuwait with a minor injury, though Tom Rogic will not be risked as he builds fitness through match minutes with Celtic.
“Our group did very well in their first qualifier away from home, so I am pleased to be able maintain significant consistency within the squad as we seek to build upon our strong start to qualifying for Qatar,” Arnold said.
“Trent (Sainsbury) is managing a minor injury but remains on standby for the squad should we need to call him in. Bailey (Wright) is a big part of our plans and a great player and person to have in the squad, so we are pleased that he will be with us this month.
“Many of the players in our squad for this window have impressed with their clubs since our win in Kuwait, so we are confident that they will arrive ready to put on great performances both home and away.”
Goalkeepers: Mitch Langerak, Andrew Redmayne, Mat Ryan
Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Rhyan Grant, Mark Milligan, Brad Smith, Harry Souttar, Bailey Wright
Midfielders: Mustafa Amini, Craig Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic, Jackson Irvine, James Jeggo, Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy
Forwards: Brandon Borello, Apostolos Giannou, Matt Leckie, Awer Mabil, Adam Taggart