The Socceroos will begin their quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and 2023 Asian Cup on Tuesday night, when they face Kuwait at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium.

Manager Graham Arnold has opted not to play a friendly match in the lead up to his team’s qualifier, meaning the Socceroos have only played once since their exit from the Asian Cup in late January.

Arnold named the squad last week and Fleetwood Town defender Harry Souttar will potentially get the chance to make his international debut.

Most of the squad are based internationally, with only three players listed in the A-League – Rhyan Grant, Jamie Maclaren, and Andrew Redmayne.

In form Suwon Bluewings striker Adam Taggart has returned to the squad and will be keen to replicate his K-League form, where he has scored 16 goals in 2019.

The squad contains 12 players with less than ten caps, which shows that Arnold is determined to revitalize the squad that has lost quality experienced players such as Tim Cahill and Mile Jedinak to retirement.

While there are numerous raw inclusions, experienced players such as Mark Milligan, Trent Sainsbury and Matthew Leckie remain in the squad, who will all add valuable knowledge and skills to the team.

A strong start to their qualification campaign is essential for the Socceroos and three points are vital.

One month after the Kuwait fixture, the Socceroos will host Nepal at Canberra’s GIO Stadium in their next qualifier, before traveling to Kaohsiung to face Chinese Taipei.

These matches signal the beginning of a long process to qualify for the World Cup and the Socceroos will need to be at their best to be in a good position.

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Tim Sperliotis
tsperliotis@gmail.com