The Socceroos squad for Australia’s final two first-phase World Cup qualifiers is set to be energised by the inclusion of teen sensation Nestory Irankunda as well as a long-awaited recall for Daniel Arzani.

Australia has already qualified for the final phase of World Cup qualifying for the 2026 tournament in North America and Mexico but is desperate to win its upcoming matches away to Bangladesh on June 6 and in Perth against Palestine on June 11.

Doing so will enhance the Socceroos’ chances of an easier group for the final phase of qualifying if they can leapfrog South Korea into the third-ranking spot in Asia behind Japan and Iran.

Outside of the rankings watch, interest in the otherwise low-key clashes for Australia will be heightened by the selection of Bayern Munich-bound Irankunda, who will almost certainly make his national team debut across the two matches.

As the games are official World Cup qualifiers, naming Irankunda in the official squad on Wednesday will lock down the uber-talented 18-year-old attacker to Australia despite his recent comments that he would seriously consider playing for other countries if he misses out on more Socceroos squads.

Daniel Arzani kicks a ball

Daniel Arzani represented the Socceroos as a teenager at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.(Getty Images: Sebnem Coskun)

“I’m not too sure how things are gonna go. I haven’t been called up for a few of the squads now,” he said after Friday night’s A-League All Stars game against Newcastle United.

“I’m still thinking on what I want to do in the future on a national level. So, we’ll see.

“I’m still eligible for Tanzania, Burundi as well, but it’s obviously a dream of mine to play for the Socceroos and if the opportunity comes again then hopefully it comes sooner and I take it.”

It is understood Irankunda was told he would be selected for Australia before making the comments.

National team management have ticked off Irankunda’s selection with Bayern Munich officials, who have been waiting for him to make the move to Germany to begin the next phase of his career with them.

ABC Sport understands Irankunda will be joined in the squad by the previous iteration of the Australian football wunderkind in Arzani.

The now-25-year-old has not played for Australia since 2021, but has enjoyed a consistent season in the A-League under Tony Popovic at the Melbourne Victory, netting seven assists, four goals and a much-improved defensive effort.

His Socceroos recall could see coach Graham Arnold pair up the best attacking talents to emerge from Australia in a decade in Arzani and Irankunda.

Another likely inclusion of interest is Newcastle Jets striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, who is set for a first Socceroos squad selection after scoring 17 times in the A-League this season.

While the need to win both games for Australia is undoubted considering the rankings situation, the clashes may give Arnold the chance to look at different goalkeeping options.

Captain Mat Ryan may be afforded a rare rest, with Aston Villa’s Joe Gauci and the Victory’s Paul Izzo in the frame for national team opportunities.

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