Could A-League stars make an impact at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup?

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With Socceroos manager Graham Arnold looking ahead to next year’s Asian Cup, will we see A-League personnel step up to the plate and help defend the green and gold’s title?

We certainly will.

Despite the Socceroos’ best players playing their trade across Europe and Asia, Arnold will surely call on his long and successful managerial career in the A-League and not limit his options in order to bring players that could influence the Socceroos in a positive manner.

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Former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou only chose three players from Australian clubs to partake in Russia and they were Josh Risdon from the Western Sydney Wanderers, Newcastle Jets player Dimitri Petratos and Daniel Arzani at Melbourne City (now at Celtic).

It is easy to overtook players in the A-League as being legitimate threats when representing the green and gold outfit, but at the Asian Cup, their influence could make the difference in the Socceroos recapturing the title.

Craig Goodwin is one player that shoots to mind. The Adelaide United man’s three goals and two assists in five matches this season have him as one of the best players in the league right now and that warranted a called-up to the Socceroos most recent international game against Lebanon.

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Despite not entering the fray, Goodwin’s pace and skill in forward areas could be a great asset for the Socceroos, especially given the fact the Aussies do not posses a regular left-footed winger.

Whether it is from the outset or off the bench, Goodwin’s ability should be utilised by Arnold.

Wanderers fullback Risdon has made the right-back position his own after his solid outings at the World Cup and he should thrive in Arnold’s attacking system.

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With Arnold’s stated intent to play with three centrally zoned strikers, Risdon will be afforded the time and space to bomb down the touchline and provide telling crosses into the penalty area, where strikers will lay wake.

Everyone knows about Australia’s goal-scoring issues and that only amplified with the retirement of legend Tim Cahill after the Lebanon match.

With Arnold looking to solve this puzzle, the 55-year-old should be keeping a close eye on Brisbane Roar’s Adam Taggart.

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The striker has netted five goals in five appearances this campaign as he looks to get back into the Socceroos set up since his inclusion in the 2014 World Cup squad.

He has proved himself as a regular goal-getter in the A-League through his stints at Newcastle, Perth Glory and now the Roar.

If he can continue this trend of form come selection time next month, we may see Taggart in Socceroos colours again.

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What do you reckon? Can A-League stars make an impact at the Asian Cup if given the chance?

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Will we see more players selected than the three picked at this years World Cup?

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Michael Djordjieski
Bachelor of Sports Media graduate from the University of Canberra. Live and breath everything to do with football.

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