Australia kick off their run to the 2026 tournament, co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico, by playing Bangladesh at Melbournes AAMI Park on Thursday, then
Palestine in Kuwait five days later.But Hibernians Boyle, who missed last years World Cup with a torn right ACL, will only be available for the latter game due to swelling on that knee.
“He obviously had the ACL injury last year,” coach Graham Arnold said.- WATCH ESPNs in-depth interview with Graham Arnold on YouTube
“Hes had a bit of swelling over the last couple of weeks and he didnt play last Wednesday, played Sunday, pulled up well.
“But I decided — after speaking to the medical staff for their clubs, they were a little bit concerned — that he wouldnt fly out to Australia.
“But he will be in Kuwait for the Palestine game.”When asked whether Boyle would be fit for Tuesday night, Arnold said “100 percent.”
“It was just mainly down to obviously the fact that it was on the knee that he had the ACL, the swelling and the long flight that could have made his knee swell up again.
“So with the communication between my medical staff and their medical staff, the best thing to do was to leave him over in
Scotland.”Hes training, I spoke to (Hibs coach) Nick Montgomery and he trained for four days with Hibs and hell join us soon as we get across to Kuwait.”
Arnold will put out his strongest available starting line-up against Bangladesh.Whether he opts to directly replace winger Boyle or play two strikers, like Mitch Duke and potential debutant Kusini Yengi, is unclear.
The Socceroos will start their World Cup qualification campaign without Martin Boyle after the attacker was ruled out of their clash with Bangladesh through a knee injury.
Visionhaus/Getty Images”It gives me a different option,” Arnold said of Yengi.”Because you can play with two No.9s, two big No.9s and I do think we will have the height factor that if we get some good delivery in the box that weve got two big strikers and thats important.
“We can play a different way.”Arnolds charges will likely have far more possession on Thursday than in recent friendlies against
Argentina, England, Mexico and Ecuador.”What I said to (the players) yesterday, and Im being honest with them, is that technically were probably better and physically were better,” he said.
“Its about the mentality and the mindset of going into this game and showing everyone what our skills are and what weve got.
“Theres going to be plenty of times where we get in one-on-one positions and situations and I want to see them go for it and be positive and and get men in the box to score goals.”
Arnold will take the outright record for most A internationals as Socceroos coach when he steps into the technical area for the 59th time on Thursday.