"I have deliberately kept the squad big to give us maximum flexibility until match day," Verbeek explained. "The Qantas Socceroos have a very unique set of circumstances with the distances involved, the number of players in overseas leagues and the timing of this first, critical match in the 2010 World Cup campaign."
As an example of the challenges faced by Verbeek, Mark Viduka's Monday morning game (Australian time) in England rules him out of contention for the match, and left sided specialist, Scott Chipperfield, is just returning from injury.
"I have been very pleased with the way the local players have responded to what we're trying to do in the recent training camps we have held," Verbeek said.
"I want to give them every opportunity to state their claim to be part of the final 18 man squad which must be named on match day.
"Football is a team game and it will take a team effort from many players over the next two years for us to make it, and this is the beginning of a long and challenging journey which promises a feast of football for fans."
John Aloisi (Central Coast Mariners), Michael Beauchamp (Nurnberg), Mark Bresciano (Palermo), Mark Bridge (Newcastle Jets), Alex Brosque (Sydney FC), Jacob Burns (TS Wisla Krakow), Tim Cahill (Everton), Nick Carle (Bristol City), David Carney (Sheffield United), Simon Colosimo (Perth Glory), Ante Covic (Newcastle Jets), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven), Bruce Djite (Adelaide United), Travis Dodd (Adelaide United), Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Vince Grella (Torino), Adam Griffiths (Newcastle Jets), Joel Griffiths (Newcastle Jets), James Holland (Newcastle Jets), Brett Holman (NEC Nijmegen), Josh Kennedy (Karlsruhe), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Scott McDonald (Celtic), Mark Milligan (Sydney FC), Craig Moore (Queensland Roar), Kevin Muscat (Melbourne Victory), Stuart Musialik (Newcastle Jets), Lucas Neill (West Ham United), Jade North (Newcastle Jets), Tom Pondeljak (Central Coast Mariners), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory), Michael Thwaite (Wisla Krakow), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Perth Glory), James Troisi (Newcastle United), Carl Valeri (Grosseto), Rodrigo Vargas (Melbourne Victory), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), Luke Wilkshire (FC Twente)