Graham Arnold has a "good headache" on his hands when it comes to choosing his midfield line-up for the Socceroos' next fixtures.
Canberra's Tom Rogic, alongside Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine and Ajdin Hrustic have made the national coach's decision on the starting XI a hard one.
"It's a great headache for me to have that type of quality ... in that role, but they are very flexible that they could play different roles," he said.
"When they get into camp, we'll see. All of them are in great condition and great spirits, and they're all dying to start, which is fantastic."
Another headache Arnold has is COVID-19 forcing the national side to limit domestic player selections and also losing others due to club requirements. Or in Brad Smith's case, testing positive to COVID.
The Seattle Sounders player is reportedly asymptomatic but was left out of the national team squad due to face Oman and Japan because of the positive result.
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It coincides with talks defensive midfielder Gianni Stensness intends to realign his national selection with Australia, despite representing New Zealand in Tokyo.
"He was committed to New Zealand for the Olympics because he had played in the Olympic qualifiers, but ... we've caught up and we've had those discussions about him playing for Australia and he's chosen to play for Australia. So we're just waiting for the paperwork from FIFA and then we can bring him into the squad," he said.
Arnold has also been in talks with Deni Juric about a possible call-up to the senior Australian squad, instead of Croatia, but he said the decision on national side allegiance always came down to each player's individual choice.
The Socceroos have a long campaign still ahead of them, with only two of 10 qualifiers played - a 3-0 win over China and 1-0 win against Vietnam. Following their last win, the side became the first nation in the AFC to win 10 consecutive World Cup qualification matches in a single qualification campaign. They are four more away from equalling their 1997 record of 14 consecutive wins.
However, Arnold said he was not thinking about the record and was instead focused on securing three points against Oman.
"It's a typical strong Middle East team defensively, the block. They defend deep, they make it hard for the opposition to try and break down but they definitely have ... when I watch them some weaknesses and I expect us to expose them," he said.
"They're starting to believe they can win every game which is fantastic, and that's what I expect of the boys, is when they come into camp it's one game at a time. And a strong belief in what their qualities are but also they believe in each other which is very, very good."
Australia needs to continue its winning form to secure a spot in Qatar 2022 by remaining on top of the group B ladder. The side sits tied with Saudi Arabia on points with a one-goal superior differential.
WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
- Match 3: Australia v Oman, October 8 at Khalifa International Stadium, Doha 5.30am (AEDT).
- Match 4: Japan v Australia, October 12 at Saitama Stadium, Japan 9.15pm (AEDT).
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