Sydney: Experienced campaigners Mile Jedinak and Robbie Kruse spearhead a new-look Australia squad announced Wednesday hoping to derail England’s build-up to the European Championships.
The Socceroos face Roy Hodgson’s team at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on May 27, one of three warm-up games for the English ahead of the Euros in France next month.
While Crystal Palace stalwart Jedinak and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kruse are included, veteran China-based goal-machine Tim Cahill will miss the game as it falls outside the Fifa window and those playing in Asia are unavailable.
That means coach Ange Postecoglou has had to make nine changes to the squad that beat Tajikistan and Jordan in March’s World Cup qualifiers, with Trent Sainsbury and Nathan Burns also out.
As cover, he has called up Milos Degenek, Brad Inman, Jamie Maclaren and Stefan Mauk for the first time. “Whilst it is an exciting fixture for us, it falls outside the Fifa window which means some boys, unfortunately, won’t be available for it,” said Postecoglou.
“We have had to cast the net far and wide again and at the same time I think we have come up with a squad that will be really competitive on the day.”
Hodgson was due to announce his Euros squad on Thursday but has now delayed it until Monday, leaving Australia unsure who will line up against them in Sunderland.
“As an Australian, it is always a special event when we face England in any sport, probably more so with football,” said Postecoglou.
“England is obviously a quality team and will be good challenge for us especially away from home.”
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