Taggert makes shock return to Socceroos squad for World Cup qualifiers

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
13/03/2024
News
BettingTop10 News
Ajdin Hrustic and Adam Taggart return to Socceroos squad

Graham Arnold’s latest Socceroos squad contains lots of familiar names and some who haven’t been with the squad in over a year. 

News Insights

  • Socceroos announced its 26-man roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon.
  • Ajdin Hrustic and Adam Taggart make surprise returns to the squad.
  • Martin Boyle left out at the last minute with a concussion
  • Aziz Behich, Aiden O’Neill, and Marco Tilio have been ruled out with injury.

Graham Arnold has officially announced his squad for the Socceroos’ upcoming AFC World Cup Qualifying matches this month. The Aussies will face off against Lebanon twice this international window.  
 
The first match will be played on March 21 at the CommBank Stadium in Parramatta. The GIO Stadium in Canberra will host the second match against the Cedars of Lebanon. 

Socceroos World Cup Qualifying squad 

Soccer Australia have announced Graham Arnold’s latest Socceroos squad for the upcoming AFC World Cup Qualifying fixtures against Lebanon.  
 
In goal, veteran Maty Ryan is the most notable name. He is joined by Aston Villa youngster Joe Gauci and Middlesbrough’s Tom Glover.  
 
Harry Souttar, Thomas Deng, Kye Rowles, Cameron Burgess, Nathaniel Atkinson, Lewis Miller, Gethin Jones, and Jordan Bos are the defenders called up to the squad.  
 
Ajdin Hrustic, Keanu Baccus, Riley McGree, Connor Metcalfe, Jackson Irvine, and Patrick Yazbek are the names in midfield. If he plays, Hrustic will be making his first appearance since last May. Yazbek, who plays for Viking FK in Norway, could make his international debut for Australia this window.  
 
Up front, the Aussies will be relying on Sammy Silvera, Brandon Borello, Kusini Yengi, John Iredale, Bruno Fornaroli, Mitch Duke, Craig Goodwin, and returning veteran Adam Taggert, who has not played for Australia since September 2022. Iredale, a 24-year-old, Sydney-born striker, could also make his debut for the Socceroos.

Notable omissions

Martin Boyle is probably the biggest name to miss out on an Australia call-up this window. The winger went down with a scary injury in Hibernian’s match against Rangers in the Scottish Cup last weekend. Boyle was hospitalised with a concussion after colliding with a Rangers’ defender. He is now in stable condition and focused on recovering from his head injury.  
 
Marco Tilio, Aziz Behich, and Awer Mabil are also out injured. Aiden O’Neill is suspended from all international competitions after getting a red card against South Korea in the Socceroos’ 2-1 Asian Cup quarter-final loss to the Taegeuk Warriors.  

Australia vs. Lebanon predictions

Australia are the dominant team in AFC World Cup Qualifying Round 2 Group I. The Socceroos are undefeated through two matches against Bangladesh and Palestine. They won those matches by a combined score of 8-0.  

Lebanon have also played Bangladesh and Palestine. The Cedars came away with those matches with two draws. They will have a tough time against the Socceroos. According to the betting sites, this match will be a blowout.  

Australia are not only huge favourites to win this match, but they are also huge favourites to advance from AFC World Cup Qualifying Round 2 and to qualify for the 2026 World Cup altogether.