Australia coach Osieck sticks with the tried and tested

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The Independent Online

The Australia coach, Holger Osieck, has stuck with the core of players that gave the Socceroos a flying start in their World Cup qualifying campaign as they seek to continue their undefeated run against Middle Eastern minnows Oman next month.

The 19 players named in the squad yesterday for the 11 October qualifier at Sydney's Olympic Stadium were all part of the 23-man group that eased Australia to victories over Thailand and Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

The Socceroos lead Group D on six points as they bid to qualify for their third successive World Cup at the Brazil finals in 2014. Oman, who have never beaten the Socceroos in three previous attempts, are bottom of Group D behind Saudi Arabia.

Osieck retained Tim Cahill in the squad, despite the Everton midfielder suffering a leg injury in a league match against Manchester City on Saturday. There was no room for the midfielders Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton, who have recently returned to Australia to play in the A-League.

Osieck said the pair had not been considered due to a lack of match fitness but Kewell and Emerton will face off for Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC respectively in a league opener three days before the Oman match and a day after the Socceroos friendly against Malaysia in Canberra.

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