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Australian Football: Fornaroli gets Socceroos call

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold is set to roll the dice for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Saudi Arabia with veteran striker Bruno Fornaroli set to get the nod.

Australia are priced at 500/1 to win the World Cup but first of all they have to qualify and need to win both games to guarantee their place at the finals.

Surprise call-up

Arnold is set to name his extended squad for the double-header on Thursday and there will be some surprise names in there.

Fornaroli will be in there after his coach at Perth Glory Richard Garcia confirmed he had got the nod.

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The 34-year-old was born in Uruguay and played for their under-17s. However he is also eligible to play for Australia and is delighted to have got the nod.

"I found out, so I mentioned it to him. The first thing he did was smile and say, 'I'm an Aussie now'," Garcia said. "It was a nice moment seeing him so proud to be an Australian."

Fornaroli is a proven goalscorer and has bagged seven goals in 14 games this season. The Socceroos have plenty of quality in attack but Mathew Leckie is struggling for fitness and could miss out.

Perfect replacment

Fornaroli would be the ideal replacement and Garcia knows he would not let anyone down.

"He brings experience, quality, finishing ability. I don't think Bruno feels pressure," Garcia added. "It will be a different proposition when he's got the quality that's in the national team (around him).

"He'll be able to find the ball in different places. I think he'll be a real threat. He's got a great ability to hold up the ball and bring other players in the game, and that's going to be a real asset to the national team."

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