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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Melbourne City forward Arzani and veterans Cahill and Milligan make cut for Australia World Cup squad

Croatian-born full-back Fran Karacic and midfielders Josh Brillante and James Troisi and striker Nikita Rukavytsya players omitted

Australia's Tim Cahill will play at a fourth World Cup after being chosen in Bert van Marwik's final 23-man squad. Murad Sezer / Reuters
Australia's Tim Cahill will play at a fourth World Cup after being chosen in Bert van Marwik's final 23-man squad. Murad Sezer / Reuters

Melbourne City forward Daniel Arzani made the cut alongside veterans Tim Cahill and Mark Milligan as Bert van Marwijk finalised his 23-man Australia squad for this month's World Cup.

Arzani, 19, enjoyed a breakout season as Melbourne finished third in the A-League, their highest placing since becoming part of the City Football Group in January 2014.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the City Football Group as well as its flagship club Manchester City, said in an interview last month that they were beginning to see a return on their investment in youth at the Victoria club and that Arzani would do "great" in Russia.

Arzani is joined in the Socceroos squad by veteran goalscorer Tim Cahill, who looks set to play in a fourth World Cup finals at the age of 38 after being included in Van Marwijk's final 23.

The totemic forward made the cut along with 32-year-old defensive midfielder Milligan, the former Baniyas player who now plies his club trade in Saudi Arabia, who is also included in the Socceroos squad for a fourth successive tournament even if he never got on to the pitch in Germany in 2006.

Croatian-born fullback Fran Karacic, a surprise selection in Van Marwijk's initial squad who has never been to Australia, Australia-based midfielders Josh Brillante and James Troisi and striker Nikita Rukavytsya were the players omitted.

There was a place for Tomi Juric, who has been struggling with a knee injury, and for the player brought in as late cover for the Luzern striker, Jamie Maclaren.

"Every step of the selection process has been difficult because the players have all given everything to make the final selection," Van Marwijk said from the team's training camp in Turkey.

"I believe this group of players can do Australia proud at the world’s biggest football tournament if we continue to work collectively and intensively over the next two weeks and into the competition."

The Socceroos play one final warm-up match against Hungary in Budapest next weekend before heading to Russia where they meet France in their first Group C match in Kazan on June 16.

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Read more on World Cup 2018:

Predictions: Winners, losers, top-scorers and players to watch

In pictures: The World Cup 2018 stadiums in Russia as seen from space

Absentee XI: Icardi, Morata, Nainggolan and others cut from their World Cup squads

In pictures: All 12 Russia 2018 World Cup stadiums

Etisalat offers first Fifa World Cup viewing deals

Lowdown: Where to watch 2018 Fifa World Cup matches in Abu Dhabi and kick-off times

Lowdown: Where to watch 2018 Fifa World Cup matches in Dubai and kick-off times

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Squad:

Goalkeepers - Mat Ryan (Brighton & Hove Albion, England), Danny Vukovic (Genk, Belgium), Brad Jones (Feyenoord, Netherlands)

Defenders - Aziz Behich (Bursaspor, Turkey), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos, Japan), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings, South Korea), James Meredith (Millwall, England), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers Zurich, Switzerland)

Midfielders - Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa, England), Jackson Irvine (Hull City, England), Robbie Kruse (Bochum, Germany), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers, England), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli, Saudi Arabia), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town, England), Tom Rogic (Celtic, Scotland).

Forwards - Tim Cahill (Millwall, England), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern, Switzerland), Matthew Leckie (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian, Scotland).