Mat Ryan, FC Copenhagen: Moved to Denmark in search of more playing time but lost battle for No.1 shirt to Kamil Grabara on the latter’s return from injury and started just one game last month. Was recently given up for one game due to ‘knee problems’ but Socceroos manager Arnold is confident in his fitness.
Andrew Redmayne, Sydney FC: The ‘Grey Wiggle’ has started every game for Harborsiders this season and looked solid in the Sydney derby defeat at the weekend until they were beaten with 20 minutes remaining.
Danny Vuković, Central Coast Sailors: Heads to Qatar having conceded three goals in his last ALM outing before the tournament started, including a howler for Macarthur’s opener and Jed Drew’s stoppage-time winner for the Bulls.
Kye Rowles, Hearts: Instantly inserted as a starter during his time with the Scottish side, only for a broken foot suffered on August 28 which put his World Cup in jeopardy. He returned from the bench last week and appears injury-free, although his smooth transition to football was marred by a red card in the draw against Livingston at the weekend.
Milos Degenek, Columbus Crew: One of the Socceroos’ most experienced defenders and unsung for his versatility, Degenek joined Columbus in MLS this season and ended up playing over 2,000 minutes as a centre-back. The American League broke up a month ago, but he says he’s in “peak form.”
Harry Souttar, Stoke City: Torn his ACL while playing for the Socceroos in a wet World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia last November, but has made progress to the point where Arnold is comfortable with choose it. He began his rehab with the Stoke Under-23s and marked his return to senior football against Luton Town last week.
Thomas Deng, Albirex Niigata: After a torrid spell with injury, the versatile Deng returned to form and fitness at the end of the J2 League season as Albirex Niigata earned promotion – their last match was on October 23.
Bailey Wright, Sunderland: After being rarely started at the start of the season at Sunderland, Wright has found the minutes at the right time, starting his last four league games and even wearing the captain’s armband against Cardiff.
Aziz Behich, Dundee United: Moved to Tannadice Park from Turkey this offseason and sees consistent minutes at left-back and left wing. Tangerines, however, are bottom of the Scottish Premiership with a goal difference of -14.
Joel King, Odense BK: After a promising start to life in Denmark after moving in the January transfer window, King fell out of favor at Odense BK and hasn’t started a league game since August. He was an unused substitute in the weekend game against Horsens.
Nathaniel Atkinson, Hearts: An ankle injury put the right-back’s World Cup hopes in jeopardy, but he returned to action with a Europa League goal and is now set to become the first Tasmanian to feature in the World Cup. Was an unused weekend substitute.
Fran Karacić, Brescia: Battled injuries during the season but, when fit, was a regular starter for Serie B side Brescia. Started at right-back in his club’s recent draws with Genoa and Ascoli but was absent from the matchday squad for this weekend’s fixture against Ternana.
Keanu Baccus, St MirrenAnother member of the squad whose selection was built following a move to Scotland, Baccus played 94 per cent of available minutes at Paisley this season before coming on as a substitute in the draw with Rangers on Saturday.
Jackson Irvine, St. Pauli: Seeing minutes and in good form at club level, Irvine plays week in and week out in midfield for German second division side St. Pauli. Also wore the Die Kiezkicker armband this season.
Cammy Devlin, Hearts: The terrier-like Devlin has made leaps and bounds for Hearts this season and has started in league, cup and continental competition this season, most recently in the weekend draw with Livingston who presented this red card for teammate Rowles.
Riley McGree, Middlesbrough: Depart for Qatar with another high quality goal to his name after scoring a beauty for Boro against Norwich City on Sunday. Played over 1,000 minutes this season as a central midfielder, striker and, most recently, left winger.
Ajdin Hrustic, Hellas Verona: The Socceroos’ best player returned to the bench at the weekend after the 26-year-old scared Arnold when he injured his ankle while playing against AC Milan. He wasn’t on the pitch in Verona’s loss to Spezia but Arnold is confident of his fitness ahead of the opener against France.
Aaron Mooy, Celtic: After escaping his contract with the Port of Shanghai and fierce Covid lockdowns in China, Mooy signed for Ange Postecoglou and Celtic this season, where he has seen consistent minutes on the bench with intermittent starts, although did not appear on Sunday.
Martin Boyle, Hibernian: Yet another squad member who has been in a race against time to recover from injury, Boyle was in fine form for Hibernian this season only to have his World Cup thrown into doubt by an injury suffered vs St Mirren on Oct 29 Hasn’t played since and will likely struggle in Qatar but is still able to play.
Garang Kuol, Sailors of the Central Coast: Signed in style, scoring twice in the Mariners’ loss to Macarthur – one penalty and the other an outrageous finish from a tight angle after netting a cross with excellent control. Hasn’t started a single professional league game yet, but poses a real threat as an impact player off the bench.
Jason Cummings, Central Coast Sailors: One of the ALM’s most in-form players this season, Cummings has one goal and three assists in five games this season for the Mariners, as well as a number of disallowed goals.
Mat Leckie, Melbourne Leckie: Was one of the in-form players in the reigning Premiers’ strong start to this ALM campaign, playing both on the wing and as a 10 in his side’s undefeated start to the season. Was named man of the match in the weekend win over Newcastle.
Mitch Duke, Fagiano Okayama: Played 70% of available match minutes in Japan’s second tier this season, scoring eight goals and collecting three assists in 37 games. His season ended on October 30 with a 3–0 loss to Montedio Yamagata in the J1 League qualifiers.
Awer Mabil, Cadiz CF: After a couple of early starts, was largely pushed back to the outskirts of Cadiz, but started in the Copa Del Rey game against Real Union on Sunday, playing 77 minutes before being taken off.
Craig Goodwin, Adelaide United: After recovering from a pelvic injury in the off-season, Goodwin has returned to form and fitness at just the right time for Adelaide. He scored from the penalty spot and provided an assist in Friday’s 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory.
Jamie Maclaren, City of Melbourne: Keep scoring goals, goals and more goals for Melbourne City. He scored the winner early in City’s win over Newcastle, continuing his run of goals in every game so far this season.