The Socceroos look set to be without midfield enforcer Vince Grella once more, but Harry Kewell looks a certain starter for the World Cup qualifier against Bahrain in Manama next week.

Australian coach Pim Verbeek named both Grella and Kewell, who missed the victory over Qatar in Brisbane last month because of injury, in his 24-man squad for the match on Thursday week (Australian time).

But Verbeek admitted Grella’s naming was more a longshot scenario than a likely one after the defensive midfielder tweaked a hamstring playing for English club Blackburn at the weekend.

“It doesn’t look good. I’ve put him on the list because that’s the way it works with Fifa – if I take him off he can’t play,” Verbeek admitted.

“But that’s one of the players we have big doubts if he’s to be available for next week.”

Grella’s impending loss will be offset somewhat with the return of his defensive midfield deputy Carl Valeri from suspension, and the strengthening of the Socceroos’ attacking options with Kewell and Mark Bresciano back.

But veteran left-sided player Scott Chipperfield was not considered because of injury – Verbeek admitting Kewell and Bresciano’s ability to play as left-sided attackers also eased that burden for him.

“They are fantastic players and they can play on the left-side, so if Chipperfield is gone, with Harry back and Bresciano back – if they are all fit – I am very happy with my players,” Verbeek said.

Verbeek has only named one A-League player in his squad – Queensland Roar skipper Craig Moore.

He has pinned his hopes on European-based players, despite the likelihood they won’t arrive in camp in Bahrain until 48 to 72 hours prior to the match following their weekend club games.

Italian-based Bresciano is likely to be the latest arrival into camp, possibly as late as the day before the match.

Midfield trump card Tim Cahill and giant striker Josh Kennedy, who were devastating against Qatar, are in the squad along with in-form Celtic striker Scott McDonald.

Verbeek has also sprung a surprise, calling up Olyroos keeper Adam Federici.

Federici has been in good form with his English club Southend and will vie with Michael Petkovic for a spot as the reserve goalkeeper in the final 18-man squad for the match.

Australia go into the match top of Group A with six points in their two games, with Bahrain fourth in the five-team pool with a solitary point.

Qatar host Japan in the other Group A match next week, with Uzbekistan having the bye.

Socceroos: Mark Bresciano, Jacob Burns, Tim Cahill, David Carney, Chris Coyne, Jason Culina, Bruce Djite, Brett Emerton, Adam Federici, Richard Garcia, Vince Grella, Brett Holman, Josh Kennedy, Harry Kewell, Scott McDonald, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, Michael Petkovic, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovic, Shane Stefanutto, Mile Sterjovski, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.