Leckie, Maclaren back in Socceroos frame

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Attacking duo Mathew Leckie and Jamie Maclaren's Socceroos hiatus is set to end when Australia return to home soil next week against Saudi Arabia.

Graham Arnold's team will play their first match in Australia in over 760 days when they face the Saudis in a crunch World Cup qualifier in Sydney next Thursday.

The game is just the second match the Socceroos have played in Australia during their qualifying campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The only other match the Socceroos have played at home on the road to the 2022 World Cup was a 5-0 rout of Nepal in Canberra in October 2019, a match in which Maclaren scored a hat-trick.

Arnold will name his squad for the qualifiers in the coming days with Leckie and Maclaren expected to be named.

The Melbourne City pair had made themselves unavailable for the past two international windows due to concerns about travel restrictions and quarantine periods.

The return of the experienced Leckie and A-League golden boot Maclaren will be a huge lift for Arnold ahead of the clash with the Middle East powerhouse, who have won four from four so far to top Group B ahead of Australia.

It's also crucial given Celtic star Tom Rogic is unlikely to be available after injuring his hamstring last week, with Ange Postecoglou saying the 28-year-old is facing up to three weeks on the sidelines.

The return home allows other A-League Men's players to potentially be selected, including Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne and another City player in Andrew Nabbout.

Fullback Rhyan Grant and Melbourne Victory winger Chris Ikonomidis both made themselves available despite quarantine restrictions for the qualifiers against Japan and Oman last month.

After losing their 100 per cent record with a 2-1 loss to Japan in Saitama, the Socceroos can take a big step on the road to Qatar if they can claim victory at Commbank Stadium.

Several European-based players will head to Australia in good form after starring for their clubs in recent games.

Riley McGree scored two goals in his past three matches to help Birmingham City to three-straight English Championship wins while goalkeeper Mat Ryan's man-of-the-match display last week helped Real Sociedad earn a 2-0 La Liga win over Celta Vigo in Spain.

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