TENSE TIMES: FOUR STARS FACE AXE
TEENAGE debutant Daniel Arzani’s World Cup hopes remain in the balance after a brief Socceroos cameo, with Bert van Marwijk refusing to expand when asked about the teenager.
Arzani, 19, is among a bundle of attackers who face a nervous wait as the 27-man squad is cut to the 23.
Newcastle Jets’ Dimi Petratos, who came on just before Arzani, and unused subs James Troisi (Melbourne Victory) and Israel-based Nikita Rukavytsya are the others in the firing line with at least one, possibly two of those set to be axed. Mathew Leckie, who scored a brace against Czech Republic, Robbie Kruse, Tom Rogic and Jackson Irvine’s Russia tickets are booked.
Van Marwijk, who is placing plenty of stock in the wide attacking roles and covets pace, is toying with the idea of travelling with an extra attacker. Rukavytsya and Troisi are among the quickest in the squad, while Arzani and Petratos provide x-factors.
“I’m not sure. I’ve done the hard work now, there’s nothing else I can do, it’s up to the coaching staff to decide,’’ Arzani said.