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Australia’s Squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 & Team Profile

Coach Graham Arnold announced Australia’s 26-man squad to travel to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In this article, check out the Australia FIFA World Cup 2022 squad, fixtures, lineups and team analysis.

Last updated: 20.11.2022

Coach Graham Arnold announced Australia’s 26-man squad to travel to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The familiar names are there who will like to carry forward the legacy that the golden generation of Socceroos had in the competition. This will be their fifth appearance in the finals.       



The Socceroos first qualified for the World Cup in 1974 carrying a group of amateurs under OFC or Oceania Football Confederation at that moment. They were able to draw 1-1 against a more professional Chile team. Although. that was the only goal they scored in their debut tournament. Australia had to wait for 48 years to get the sight of another World Cup tournament this time moving into the round of 16. They lost to eventual winners Italy in that stage with only a stoppage- time penalty conversion from Francesco Totti helping the European nation through. The Soceroos finished second in a group containing table toppers Brazil. Croatia and fellow AFC or Asian Football Federation counterparts Japan. That achievement has not been reached in the preceding editions with all ending in the group stages. In the last edition, Australia finished dead last in the group even after grabbing an excellent 1-1 draw against Denmark but lost to France and Peru.  


Qualification and Preparation

That 2-0 loss to the South American nation four years ago was on their mind when the two meet again in the Inter-confederation playoff finals. In a neck-to-neck penalty shoot, goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne replacing Mathew Ryan for shot-stopping grabbed the headlines. First he threw off the bottle of the Peru goalkeeper with the instruction of the Australian penalty takers written on it and then he saved the deceive penalty with a heartwarming celebration for his one-year-old daughter. It was a dream night for the Socceroos fans who almost saw their team failing to advance to the finals yet managing to grab third place behind Saudi Arabia and Japan. They did register 11 wins in a row in the qualifying campaign, the highest ever in their history, but then dwelled off facing tougher opposition in the final round. Australia also defeated UAE 2-1 in the playoffs of the AFC qualification to advance to the stage where they faced Peru. Australia played two friendlies against New Zealand in their preparation for the World Cup. Both ended in their favor with the home fixture ending 1-0 and the trip to Eden Park resulting in a 2-0 win.


Australia 2022 World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (Copenhagen), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners)

Defenders: Aziz Behich (Dundee United), Milos Degenek (Columbus Crew), Bailey Wright (Sunderland), Harry Souttar (Stoke City), Fran Karacic (Brescia), Nathaniel Atkinson (Hearts), Joel King (OB), Kye Rowles (Hearts), Thomas Deng (Albirex Niigata).

Midfielders: Aaron Mooy (Celtic), Jackson Irvine (St Pauli), Ajdin Hrustic (Verona), Riley McGree (Middlesbrough), Cameron Devlin (Hearts), Keanu Baccus (St Mirren).

Forwards: Mathew Leckie (Melbourne City), Awer Mabil (Cadiz), Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City), Mitchell Duke (Fagiano Okayama), Martin Boyle (Hibernian), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), Garang Kuol (Central Coast Mariners), Jason Cummings (Central Coast Mariners)


Coach: Graham Arnold


Graham Arnold has selected 18-year-old exciting forward Garang Kuol in the squad who only made his debut for the national team in September. He will join Newcastle United in the January window as a prodigy signing from Central Coast Mariners. Kuol is among the 17 players selected for a World Cup for the first time. Goalkeeper Mitch Langerak and center-back Trent Sainsbury are left out. Australia’s number one Mathew Ryan and winger Mathew Leckie were picked for a third World Cup. Andrew Redmayne was also obvious for his shoot-out heroics in the qualifiers while Aaron Mooy of Celtic is another star name going with the squad.


Australia will be counting on their experienced players in the squad to be the stem of the side in the tournament. Mathew Ryan’s shot-stopping ability will be put to test and the one he will like to hit full marks along with Mathew Leckie’s manifestation on the wings. Aaron Mooy has enjoyed most of the time in the starting eleven for Celtic being pivotal in their midfield. He will hope to translate it for his nation now at the 2022 World Cup. Ajdin Hrustic and Jackson Irvine are other names that can paint the midfield well for the Socceroos.



The problem for Australia is this squad is not the immediate replacement of the golden generation they had or even the progress to another one. They are probably the unlikeliest team to have qualified for the finals and although that could raise their spirits, only a solid team works well in a tournament like this. The group stage also does not give a comfort zone even though Tunisia could be the game they target if they somehow nick a result out of a solid Denmark team or the holders France. However, the attack does not give them much confidence with no character like Tim Cahill to take them out of their ruins.


Star Player: Ajdin Hrustic

Although Australia will rely upon their experienced men and World Cup campaigner to deliver, any creativity in the team will be provided by Ajdin Hrustic. The 26-year-old Hellas Verona midfielder has contributed seven goals in 16 qualifying games. In a team lacking a real spark in front of the goal, he will be an asset for the Socceroos. Hrustic also brings his skill set to beat the opposition and will create the necessary chances for his team. The former Eintracht Frankfurt can also slot into a forward position. His partnership with Aaron Mooy in the midfield will be key if Australia wants to gain something positive out of this group.

How will Australia line up at the 2022 World Cup?

Graham Arnold will require more solidity to survive in this group so he is expected to line up the side in a 4-4-2 formation. The coach has used the same system facing Saudi Arabia and Japan in the qualifiers. Hrustic could land himself in the forward line to bring more flux in attack and Mooy’s addition in midfield alongside Jackson Irvine should maintain solidity at the same time bring flexibility. Arnold could also start Leckie on the left for a more experienced option and can throw in Awer Mabil at a time he can take on the tired defense with his pace and dribbling. The same can be left-back spot as Aziz Behich could start over 22-year Joel King. Martin Boyle should start on right if he is able to shake off his recent injury issue with his club Hibernian.


Opponents & Fixtures

France vs Australia - 23 November 2022, Al Janoub Stadium (12:30 AM)

Tunisia vs Australia - 26 November 2022, Al Janoub Stadium (03:30 PM)

Australia vs Denmark - 30 November 2022, Al Janoub Stadium (8:30 PM)


Stance on Qatar

— Socceroos (@Socceroos) October 26, 2022

All members of the Australian Men’s national team traveling to Qatar recorded a video to deliver a message on the human rights abuses suffered by the migrant workers in Qatar and the inability of LGBT people to love the person they choose in the host country. Previously, Mat Ryan and Jackson Irvine have made individual comments on these issues but this was the first time a collective voice of the players was heard ahead of the tournament. The video was released alongside a letter from the players’ union and the football governing body of Australia raising concerns about the middle-eastern nation. The players did acknowledge the change of workers reform made in Qatar following the backlash but claim their implementation remains inconsistent and requires improvement. They also ask for decriminalisation of all same-sex relationships.



Australia doesn’t have a huge amount of expectation on them as the previous rosters could have carried. There is not much euphoria around this team. They have also struggled against the top guns in their qualifying groups managing only one goal and the so-called solidity was not seen. All that makes a very torrid story for the Socceroos in this group. Graham Arnold’s side will at least try to give their opponents some moments to think about and try not to finish dead last in the group.

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