Soccer-Australia to inject fresh legs for World Cup qualifier against Taiwan

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia coach Graham Arnold will shake up his match-day squad for the World Cup qualifier against Taiwan as the Socceroos look to continue their unbeaten run on the road to Qatar.

Arnold said he would look to pick players who were rested for last week's 3-0 win over Kuwait after arriving late to the squad's camp in the Middle East.

"We expect a great performance from our boys," Arnold told reporters on Monday.

"We'll freshen the team up and play some players that are fresh and ready to go and add some great energy into the team."

Australia are top of Group B in Asian qualifying on 15 points, five clear of Kuwait and Jordan, ahead of the Taiwan clash, which kicks off at 10pm (1900 GMT) in Kuwait City.

Melbourne City striker Jamie Maclaren, the runaway scoring leader in Australia's top-flight A-League with 25 goals, is in line for a recall, with Arnold wanting more clinical finishing from his team.

"When I watched the game back, we could have been up 6-0 after 39 minutes," he said of the Kuwait game.

"It's about being more ruthless and when you get those chances, I expect the boys to take those chances."

Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant may also make his first appearance but has competition for the right back position from Fran Karacic, who had a solid debut against Kuwait.

"I think he had an unreal game for his debut," Grant said.

"Having competition for places is huge ... It just goes to show how much depth there is in Australian football at the moment.

"Hopefully everyone gets a chance to show what they can do and really push their name forward and make it hard for Arnie going forward."

Australia thumped Taiwan 7-1 when they last met in October 2019. Winless from six games, Taiwan are already eliminated from qualifying.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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