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Australian Football: Socceroos wait on Leckie

Mathew Leckie is facing a race against time to be fit for the Socceroos crucial World Cup qualifier against Japan on Thursday but will be given every chance to make it.

Australia are priced at 500/1 to win the World Cup and now face crucial qualifiers against Japan and Saudi Arabia and need to win both to ensure qualification.

Leckie injury concern

The Socceroos are already without a host of key players through injury including Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Harry Souttar.

That makes it even more important that Melbourne City ace Leckie is passed fit after missing the last three weeks with a groin injury.

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Rene Muelensteen will take charge of the team as coach Graham Arnold has been struck down by illness and he says Leckie will be given every chance to prove his fitness.

"He (Leckie) has been doing some really good rehab work with his club," said Muelensteen.

"We've been monitoring him very closely and then we will make a decision whether he can play a part, or some part of it. We're happy that we've got him in the squad and he's looking very good."

Young starlets

Meanwhile Muelensteen also says they have every confidence in youngsters like Marco Tilio and Nick D’Agostino who showed what they could do on the big stage at the Olympics last year.

"We felt we had to create more depth over the years to come and if you look at the games that we played in Japan, those players have come on leaps and bounds," he said.

"They are here to be selected on merit, and they will bring an abundance of energy and quality if they are called upon."

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