Brisbane Roar star closes in on dream Socceroos debut


Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren appears set to earn a dream start against England in Saturday’s friendly as Ange Postecoglou trials a new formation in the clash with England.

Maclaren is expected to partner Robbie Kruse in a two-pronged attack as the Caltex Socceroos look to use their searing speed in attack to penetrate the hosts.

Postecoglou is expected to play 4-4-2 with a diamond formation in midfield, with skipper Mile Jedinak to hold allowing Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic to continue their blossoming combination further forward.

“We want to know what we can and can’t do and what’s going to suit us and what’s going to suit our players,” Postecoglou told Fox Sports.

“We’ll use this game and the two games in Australia to try and few things and also to hopefully become a stronger team out of it.”

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The selection of Maclaren in attack should come as no surprise given his incredible form in the Hyundai A-League last season.

The 22-year-old ended the campaign with 20 goals for Roar, the most ever scored by an Australian player in a single season.

“Hopefully we can unearth one or two more players that can help us down the track,” said Postecoglou of what he wants to get out of this clash with England.

“That’s got to be the primary objective. I know people are really excited about this game by my goal and our goal should be to beat England at a World Cup.

“That should be the end game and that’s out focus right now.”

Jamie Maclaren celebrates after scoring for the Olyroos at the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship.

The only other selection surprise appears to be at the back with Mark Milligan set to partner Bailey Wright in the heart of defence.

The versatile Milligan has played most of his international career in midfield but with Matthew Spiranovic and Trent Sainsbury unavailable, looks to have got the nod at centre-back.

Youngster Milos Degenek and the experienced Alex Wilkinson are other option, although the latter hasn’t played in a month since Melbourne City were knocked out of the A-League finals.