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Deng replaces Milligan in Socceroos’ squad

Kuwait City: Captain Mark Milligan has been ruled out of Australia's opening Asian Qualifiers Group B match against Kuwait on Tuesday.

Milligan, who is nursing a leg injury, has returned to his club, Southend United, with versatile Melbourne Victory defender Thomas Deng replacing him for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying tie.

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“We didn’t want to take any risks with Mark so we arranged for him to travel back to his club for ongoing care,” Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold said.

“Thomas was with us in October and November last year, and in June in Busan. He has now arrived in Kuwait and will provide a great defensive option for our squad.”

Over the past week Deng has been in camp with Australia’s U-23 National Team in Wollongong.

It was in Kuwait City last year that Deng made his national team debut when he replaced Josh Risdon in the second half of Australia’s 4-0 international friendly win against Kuwait.

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