Ikonomidis to make Socceroos return

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Winger Chris Ikonomidis will be named in the Socceroos squad for this month's crucial World Cup qualifiers with Football Australia bosses pushing for him to avoid hotel quarantine upon his return.

Australia's restrictions on returning overseas travellers led to Ikonomidis being denied permission to link up with Graham Arnold's squad for last month's matches against China and Vietnam.

Melbourne Victory were unwilling to have Ikonomidis away for two weeks and then in hotel quarantine for a further fortnight upon his return.

Those same restrictions meant only one A-League based player featured in September's squad - Sydney FC fullback Rhyan Grant.

Melbourne City duo Jamie Maclaren and Mathew Leckie refused to travel due to the quarantine requirements - a situation FA chief executive James Johnson hopes can be resolved if Ikonomidis is granted an exemption to undertake home isolation rather than hotel quarantine.

"In the first instance, we are speaking with the Victorian Government about a selected Melbourne-based Socceroo who will be away with the national team for two international matches against Oman on 7 October in Qatar, followed by Japan on 12 October," Johnson said.

"We are hoping that when this player returns to Australia, he is able to self-isolate at home for the required quarantine period so that he is in a better environment which supports his physical and mental wellbeing, and his preparation for the A-League Men's 2021/22 season, which commences on 19 November."

FA hope if Ikonomidis is granted the OK to undertake home isolation, it will open the door for players like Maclaren and Leckie to be selected for November's World Cup qualifiers.

Grant, whose first international goal for Australia was the winner in Hanoi against Vietnam, has spent the time between matches in Scotland training alongside fellow Socceroo Martin Boyle at Hibernian.

Another returning face in the squad to face Oman and Japan will be fullback Fran Karacic.

The Croatian-born defender debuted in the previous stage of World Cup qualifying in Kuwait earlier this year and has proven his fitness in recent weeks with Italian Serie B club Brescia.

Big guns Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy are all set to be selected after featuring in last month's matches.

The Socceroos will face Oman in Doha on October 7 before travelling to Saitama for a match-up with old foes Japan on October 12.

Oman defeated the Japanese in the opening round of qualifiers and victories in these two matches would put Arnold's men in a strong position to claim one of the two automatic qualification spots for the 2022 World Cup.

Australia's full squad will be named by Arnold on Saturday.

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