Football 11 months ago

Injury opens Socceroos door for Langerak

  • Injury opens Socceroos door for Langerak

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 04: Mitchell Langerak of Australia looks on during an Australian Socceroos training session at Collingwood training Ground on January 4, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

An injury to Mat Ryan looks set to hand Mitch Langerak his first Socceroos start in nearly two years.

Coach Ange Postecoglou will be forced to find a new goalkeeper when he names his 23-man squad on Tuesday for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Japan, with Ryan ruled out for three weeks after injuring his knee during training with Spanish club Valencia.

It is the only major change expected from the squad that comfortably accounted for Iraq and the United Arab Emirates last month in a perfect start on the road to Russia 2018.

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Langerak, who hasn't started a match for Australia since a 1-0 friendly win over Qatar in October 2014, looms as Ryan's likely replacement.

The 28-year-old has established himself as VfB Stuttgart's No.1 gloveman this season, following their relegation to 2.Bundesliga and the departure of his main rival Przemyslaw Tyton, and kept a clean sheet in their most recent 1-0 win over Kaiserslautern.

Postecoglou's other options are Adam Federici, who is yet to make a Premier League appearance for Bournemouth this season, or the uncapped Alex Cisak, yet to miss a match for Leyton Orient in League Two.

Alternatively, he could go for Brad Jones, who is on top of the Eredivisie with Feyenoord after a 1-0 win against PSV Eindhoven, which came on the back of a surprise 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the Europa League midweek.

Jones, 34, has played only twice for the Socceroos since withdrawing from the 2010 World Cup squad when his son was diagnosed with leukaemia.

A-League coaches will be nervously awaiting the squad announcement as the qualifiers in Jeddah (October 6) and Melbourne (October 11) clash with the competition's opening weekend.

But unless Postecoglou pulls a surprise, the only domestic player certain of a spot is Melbourne City's Tim Cahill, who came off the bench to score the winner against the UAE in Abu Dhabi.

Several European-based players will be coming into camp in top form, with Aaron Mooy continuing to win huge plaudits for his displays for Huddersfield Town - one English columnist over the weekend wrote he is "cut from the same silken cloth" as Zinedine Zidane.

Mathew Leckie also made headlines for setting up the first goal to breach Bayern Munich's defence in any competition this season.

Leckie teed up Dario Lezcano, who briefly put Ingoldstadt ahead 1-0 at Allianz Arena, and then forced a brilliant save out of Manuel Neuer before the European powerhouse eventually ran out 3-1 winners.

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