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Luongo, Langerak out - Juric in doubt

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Emma Kemp

Brisbane striker Jamie Maclaren looks set to play his first competitive international while Melbourne City midfielder Luke Brattan will vie for a maiden cap as injuries force a squad reshuffle for the Socceroos' World Cup qualifier against Thailand.

Foot injuries have ruled midfielder Massimo Luongo and back-up goalkeeper Mitch Langerak out of the November 15 crunch clash in Bangkok, with first-choice striker Tomi Juric also in heavy doubt due to a knee problem.

Brattan has been called up to replace Luongo after being cut from coach Ange Postecoglou's extended 30-man squad last week while Swansea City gloveman Mark Birighitti will step in for Langerak.

Having been a member of the Socceroos squad for three matches last year but never making it onto the field, Brattan will use Australia's 10-day camp in Bangkok to push for a long-awaited debut.

"Both Mitch and Massimo have been managing injuries and we think it is best they stay with their clubs to help with their recovery over the international break," Postecoglou said.

In another more considerable blow, Juric limped off the field eight minutes into his match for Swiss outfit FC Luzern overnight with suspected knee ligament damage.

The 25-year-old is awaiting scan results, but dropped China-based marksman Apo Giannou has been placed on standby.

Juric has already scored twice in the last phase of qualifying and would be a loss in such an important clash, which marks the halfway point of Australia's final stage on the road to Russia 2018.

Should he be ruled out, Postecoglou will have decisions to make regarding the composition of his attack, having already made the big call to leave talisman Tim Cahill at home to recover from an Achilles injury.

While there are other options, in-form Maclaren appears the most likely to start on the back of his two goals from as many games for the Roar.

It would be just his second international appearance and first in a competitive game following the 23-year-old's debut in May's friendly loss to England.

Maclaren, Nathan Burns, Mark Milligan and Matthew Spiranovic have already arrived in Bangkok with the other players to filter in on Monday and Tuesday.

Second from six teams in Group B and sandwiched between leaders Saudi Arabia and Japan, Australia need three points against last-placed Thailand to stay in the hunt for automatic qualification as one of the top two sides.

"We're in a good position and our football is improving, which is what Ange wants," said Burns, who has been recalled after missing last month's draws with Saudi Arabia and Japan.

"We need to get off to a good start against Thailand and then get on top of them and control the tempo because in these conditions you don't know what the weather will be like.

"So an early goal will settle things."

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