The Westfield Matildas conclude their European tour in Wednesday morning’s (AEDT) exciting friendly clash against England.
Alen Stajcic’s side has made a short hop across the English Channel and are set to face the Lionesses in what looms as another crucial pre-FIFA Women’s World Cup match up.
Australia were beaten 2-0 by France on Saturday morning and will be out to remind the world of their quality when they clash with Phil Neville’s side at Craven Cottage.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Wednesday’s 5am (AEDT) kick-off.
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WHERE AND WHEN
Date: Tuesday, 9 October 2018 (local time)
Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Kick-off: 7pm (local); 5am – Wednesday, 10 October 2018 (AEDT)
Australia faced England twice in 2015 and were defeated twice, but they’re hoping to set the record straight on Wednesday.
The first meeting of that year was a Cyprus Cup clash in March, a fixture that saw former Melbourne City striker Jodie Taylor hit a hat-trick in a 3-0 win.
Stajcic’s side came close to exacting revenge in an October friendly, but Engand’s Isobel Christiansen scored the only goal of the game to edge a close contest 1-0.
Phil Neville’s side have hit a strong patch of form in this year and are building nicely ahead of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
After beginning Neville’s tenure with two draws and a loss, the Lionesses have since won six on the trot and look to in contention when the tournament in France commences in June 2019.
They’ve only conceded one goal during this six-match winning run, and a 1-0 triumph over Brazil on the weekend will see the team welcome Australia in red-hot form.
AUSTRALIAN SQUAD NEWS
There are no injuries to report following Saturday’s intense 90 minutes against France, but Australia boss Stajcic might be inclined to rotate his options for this upcoming fixture.
The Westfield Matildas boss did reveal some recent fitness concerns that have plagued defenders Steph Catley and Clare Polkinghorne when he singled the pair out for praise against Les Bleus.
Catley is carrying a knee injury and having surgery this week, while Polkinghorne made her first run out in five weeks following a joint injury.
A long list of exciting options could see the Westfield Matildas shake things up further forward with teenage starlets Mary Fowler and Amy Sayer aiming for more minutes, while uncapped goalkeeper Jada Whyman could be in line to make her Westfield Matildas debut.
Meanwhile, Elise Kellond-Knight could be set to make her 100th appearance for the green and gold should she line up against England.
CURRENT WORLD RANKINGS
After cutting their teeth against a genuine world superpower on Saturday morning, the Westfield Matildas get another opportunity to test their mettle against England.
They’ll be desperate not to come up short again on this occasion. Australia wasn’t at their best against Les Bleus, and the team will be intent on demonstrating their quality against another high-class opponent.
It is against teams of England’s standing that the Westfield Matildas must beat if they are to go all the way at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
And while there’s nothing at stake when the two teams clash, a win for Australia would not only bolster belief around the group but issue a statement of intent out to fellow nations contending for the top prize in France next year.