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Apostolos Giannou called up for Socceroos’ World Cup Qualifiers

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Apostolos Giannou has earned another call-up to the Australian national team for their two FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq in Perth (1 September) and then the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi (6 September).

The squad not only reflects the importance of starting this phase of World Cup Qualification strongly but the journey the Socceroos have lived since Postecoglou became Head Coach in 2013.

“This squad sets us up well for the huge challenge we have ahead over the next 12 months to qualify for the World Cup but importantly it is specific to the first tasks at hand.” Postecoglou said.

“Both Iraq and UAE present challenges for us and every player will need to be ready to hit the ground running. As has been the case right through, form and fitness are central to the squad we’ve selected and I believe we have the squad to get us off to a good start.

The current squad, which has evolved over the last three years, now have an average of 23 caps.

“We’ve now arrived at the final stage of World Cup Qualifying where we will face a stronger group of opponents in testing conditions and we are comfortable that we have a core group of players with a stronger base of international experience.

“In saying that, we have a much broader group of players that we know we can rely on and others from outside the group will make a strong contribution in the coming months, particularly from within the A-League, which is yet to get underway for this season.”

Tomi Juric’s inclusion comes after he missed the games against Greece in June, and he and Giannou will both be under pressure to show they can take over the goalscoring mantle from Cahill. Juric has scored twice in 16 games for Australia, while Giannou has four assists to his name but has not scored in three appearances since being persuaded to switch from Greece to Australia earlier this year.

Match Details:

Socceroos vs. Iraq – 1 September 2016, Perth Rectangular Stadium, 6.30pm kick off (8.30pm AEST)

UAE vs. Socceroos – 6 September 2016, Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 7.30pm kick off (1.30am AEST Wednesday 7 September)

Caltex Socceroos squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers v Iraq and UAE

 Name

Club, Country

A International Caps (Goals)

Nathan BURNS F.C. Tokyo, JAPAN

22 (3)

Tim CAHILL Melbourne City FC, AUSTRALIA

91 (47)

Milos DEGENEK TSV 1860 Munchen, GERMANY

3 (0)

Adam FEDERICI A.F.C. Bournemouth, ENGLAND

16 (0)

Alex GERSBACH Rosenborg BK, NORWAY

2 (0)

Apostolos GIANNOU Guangzhou R&F F.C., CHINA

3 (0)

Chris IKONOMIDIS S.S. Lazio, ITALY

6 (0)

Jackson IRVINE Burton Albion FC, ENGLAND

4 (0)

Mile JEDINAK Crystal Palace F.C, ENGLAND

64 (12)

Tomi JURIC FC Luzern, SWITZERLAND

16 (2)

Robbie KRUSE Bayer 04 Leverkusen, GERMANY

43 (4)

Mitchell LANGERAK VfB Stuttgart, GERMANY

6 (0)

Mathew LECKIE FC Ingolstadt 04, GERMANY

31 (3)

Massimo LUONGO Queens Park Rangers F.C., ENGLAND

20 (4)

Ryan MCGOWAN Henan Jianye F.C., CHINA

16 (0)

Mark MILLIGAN Baniyas F.C., UAE

49 (5)

Aaron MOOY Huddersfield Town FC, ENGLAND

16 (5)

Tommy ROGIC Celtic FC, SCOTLAND

18 (5)

Mathew RYAN Valencia CF, SPAIN

25 (0)

Trent SAINSBURY Jiangsu Suning F.C., CHINA

16 (2)

Brad SMITH A.F.C. Bournemouth, ENGLAND

9 (0)

Matthew SPIRANOVIC Hangzhou Greentown F.C., CHINA

30 (0)

Bailey WRIGHT Preston North End F.C, ENGLAND

12 (1)

© 2016 News Corp. | This article first appeared in the Herald Sun on 17 August 2016.

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