How they qualified

Topped their group with 21 points in the second round

Tournament record

The Kangaroos have never missed the competition ever since entering the Asian qualifiers in 2006 and go to the UAE as defending champions having won on home soil last time out

Star Man

Mat Ryan

The Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper has been in consistently reliable form in the English premier League and is one of a number of players with top-flight European experience.

The Manager 

Graham Arnold represented Australia  54 times as a player, scoring 19 goals. This is his second spell as national team head coach when, after a vigorous search, he was appointed in March 2018 in succession to Bert van Marwijk.

What can we expect

Arnold (pictured) has courted considerable controversy with his squad selections in an attempt to retain the trophy. Creative Melbourne Victory midfielder James Troisi – who scored the winner in Australia’s 2015 triumph, coming on as a substitute in the final against South Korea to seal a 2-1 win – reacted to being left out by suggesting the squad was “not picked on performance or merit.”  The 30-year-old was regularly selected by Ange Postecoglou on the road to Russia but found himself on the sidelines when Bert van Marwijk took the helm for the World Cup in June. Australia’s chances have been particularly hit by withdrawal of   Huddersfield Town’s  Aaron Mooy after a thorough assessment of his knee ligament injury. Whilst matching their achievement four years ago might be a tall order, they should still go deep into the competition.


6 January  – Australia v Jordan
Venue: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain

11 January – Australia v Palestine

Venue: Rashid Stadium, Dubai

15 January – Australia v Syria
Venue: Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain


Name Club (Country) International Caps (Goals)
Mustafa AMINI AGF Aarhus (Denmark) 4 (0)
Aziz BEHHICH PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) 29 (2)
Martin BOYLE Hibernian FC (Scotland) 2 (2)
Milos Degenek  Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) 19 (0)
Alex GERSBACH Rosenborg BK (Norway) 5 (0)
Rhyan GRANT Sydney FC (Australia) 1 (0)
Chris IKONOMIDIS Perth Glory (Australia) 6 (0)
Jackson Irvine  Hull City AFC (England) 24 (2)
Matthew Jurman  Al-Ittihad Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) 5 (0)
Robbie Kruse VfL Bochum (Germany) 69 (5)
Mitchell LANGERAK (Gk) Nagoya Grampus (Japan) 8 (0)
Mathew Leckie Hertha BSC (Germany) 59 (8)
Massimo Luongo Queens Park Rangers (England) 38 (6)
Awer MABIL FC Midtylland (Denmark) 3 (1)
Jamie MacLaren Hibernian FC (Scotland) 7 (0)
Mark Milligan (C) Hibernian FC (Scotland) 73 (6)
Aaron Mooy Huddersfield Town AFC (England) 39 (5)
Andrew Nabbout Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan) 7 (1)
Josh Risdon Western Sydney Wanderers FC (Australia) 13 (0)
Tom Rogic Celtic FC (Scotland) 42 (8)
Mathew Ryan (GK) Brighton & Hove Albion FC (England) 49 (0)
Trent Sainsbury (GK) PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) 41 (3)
Daniel Vukovic (GK) KRC Genk (Belgium) 3 (0)