Bresciano back for Socceroos
Australia coach Holger Osieck has revived the international career of Middle East-based midfielder Mark Bresciano, naming the former Serie A player in a 19-man squad to take on Saudi Arabia in a World Cup qualifier in Melbourne next week.
The 32-year-old Bresciano has not played an international since the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa but has enjoyed strong form for United Arab Emirates club Al Nasr, scoring eight goals in 11 appearances.
The match at AAMI Park counts as a dead rubber for the hosts, who secured their passage to the fourth and final round of qualifying with a 1-0 win over Thailand in Bangkok.
Saudi Arabia, however, need a win to sew up the runner-up spot in regional group D and advance to the next round after being held to a draw by Oman in their previous qualifier.
Oman play Thailand at home in Muscat next week and victory for either team would see them leap-frog Saudi Arabia for the runner-up spot should the Saudis lose in Melbourne.
Despite the match being of little consequence for the hosts, Osieck has named a reasonably strong squad, including goalkeeping veteran Mark Schwarzer and former Premier League midfielders Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton.
The German coach has also named three uncapped players in the squad in defenders Michael Marrone and Erik Paartalu, and back-up goalkeeper Matt Ryan.
The Socceroos arrive in Melbourne next Sunday for a training camp before the qualifier on February 29.
Squad: Mark Bresciano, Alex Brosque, Nick Carle, David Carney, Brett Emerton, Harry Kewell, Michael Marrone, Mark Milligan, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Sasa Ognenovski, Erik Paartalu, Matt Ryan, Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite, James Troisi.