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Maclaren ready to step into Socceroos XI

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Emma Kemp

Jamie Maclaren declared he's ready to spearhead the Socceroos' attack in their crunch World Cup qualifying clash against Thailand.

Injuries to Australia's strikeforce have given Maclaren the chance to make his competitive international debut earlier than even coach Ange Postecoglou could have expected.

A fortnight ago the Brisbane striker wasn't even in the frame for next Tuesday's match in Bangkok, having been left out of Postecoglou's extended 30-man squad.

But a week later, with Tim Cahill rested, Maclaren was the bolter in the final 23-man line-up, his strong A-League form the catalyst for his selection ahead of underdone Apo Giannou.

Now, with first-choice marksman Tomi Juric ruled out through a knee injury and Giannou recalled in his place, the 23-year-old looks the most likely to be thrust into Australia's first XI.

"I'm ready, I'm full of confidence" Maclaren said.

"But we all have one objective and that's to qualify for the World Cup, so whoever plays will do a job.

"I'm going to work hard all week and, hopefully, can contribute to this Socceroos squad."

With goals in back-to-back games for the Roar, Maclaren has arrived in Bangkok on a high and has already started knuckling down in an intensive 10-day training camp.

Though the 23-year-old is self-assured he understands there's far more at stake than when he made his Socceroos debut in May's friendly against England.

"For my first camp being a friendly game it was still an amazing experience," Maclaren said.

"But I know the difference between a friendly and a World Cup qualifier - it's that little bit more intense."

He expects the match to be intense, too, having experienced Thailand first-hand at youth level for the Young Socceroos.

"They're a quick, sharp sort of team," he said.

"But the quality we've got in the squad and the way we set up, if we get an early goal it'll settle the tide and we're possession-based so hopefully we'll win."

Most of the team have landed in the Thai capital, with only No.1 goalkeeper Mat Ryan, back-up Mark Birighitti and Giannou still to touch down later on Tuesday.

Juric had been heavily in doubt since limping off the field eight minutes into his match for Swiss outfit FC Luzern on Sunday.

Scans overnight on Monday confirmed the extent of his knee injury.

Massimo Luongo (foot) and back-up gloveman Mitch Langerak were also ruled out on Monday, providing Melbourne City midfielder Luke Brattan and Birighitti a chance to make an impression.

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