Graham Arnold has announced his 23-man Socceroos squad for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Tomi Juric has missed out, while Aaron Mooy has been included, pending an independent assessment on his knee.
A-League players include Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), and Chris Ikonomidis.
The major talking point is the inclusion of Aaron Mooy, despite the Huddersfield player carrying an injury.
Mooy recently sustained a knee injury for his Premier League side and there were fears that he could miss up to two months.
FC Groningen player Ajden Hrustic has been put on standby in case Mooy is unavailable, meaning Mooy will have his injury monitored by medical staff. While he may not be fit for the group stage, his best chance of playing is in the knockout stages of the tournament, should the Socceroos qualify.
The inclusion of Mooy would be a massive boost for the Socceroos and would be integral in Australia’s Asian Cup defence. This would be Mooy’s first appearance at the Asian Cup, after he was not selected in the cup-winning 2015 tournament.
The omission of striker Tomi Juric is also big news, with Arnold choosing not to select the striker. Juric has struggled for game time with his club FC Luzern and will get the chance to make a case for his international return.
In form Perth Glory forward Chris Ikonomidis will get the opportunity to impress Arnold and translate his A-League form to the international stage. Ikonomidis has scored five goals in eight matches for Perth Glory this season and has been rewarded for this.
Fresh from his stellar performances in the November friendlies, Martin Boyle remains in the squad and can build on his brief Socceroos career. Boyle scored a double in the friendly against Lebanon at ANZ Stadium and will hope to add to his goal tally.
The Socceroos will face Oman in a friendly on December 30, who are led by former coach Pim Verbeek. Their Asian Cup title defence will begin on January 6 against Jordan.