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The co-hosts of the 2023 Women’s World Cup Australia have a date with destiny in their final match of the group stage as they need a win to progress. The Matildas put themselves in a tough spot after losing their second game 2-3 vs Nigeria. They sit 3rd in the group on 3 points, with Nigeria and their next opponents Canada on 4. The Canadian women came from behind to edge Ireland 2-1 in their last match. With both team’s World Cup dream on the line in this game here are our Australia women vs Canada predicted lineups and the latest team news.
The game is scheduled for Monday, July 31st and will be played in Melbourne, Australia at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. The kick-off time is 11:00 am GMT.
Australia women predicted lineup: Kerr is back, can this ignite the Matildas?
The Matildas missed a golden opportunity to book their place in the knockouts when losing 2-3 vs Nigeria. Shaky defending and lots of individual errors were the main reasons for this defeat. Still, the 1-0 win in the opening match vs Ireland means that the Australians still have all to play for.
It has been a few days of only positivism coming from the Matildas team news. The influential Chelsea striker Sam Kerr, arguably Australia’s best forward, is finally over a calf injury and she should lead the line from the off instead of Man City’s forward Fowler. With Kerr on the pitch, the Matildas are a different beast and much harder to keep quiet.
There was more good news too. Both Luik and Fowler had to enter concussion protocols after clashing heads. Both have been cleared though and will be available.
Caitlin Foord might be a player to monitor. She’s yet to score or impress in this World Cup. However, now with Kerr back Foord can drop into her favourite number-1o role and she will be full of confidence too after scoring in the last 2 matches the Matildas played at this particular stadium.
Australia Predicted Lineups (4-2-3-1):
Arnold – Carpenter, Hunt, Kennedy, Catley – Gorry, Cooney-Cross – Raso, Foord, Vine – Kerr
Canada predicted lineup: Will the legendary Sinclair be back in the lineup?
The Canuks had been scrappy in both their matches so far in the group and yet they are in control of their destiny after collecting 4 points. Canada drew 0-0 vs Nigeria to open their campaign. Then they needed to come from behind to edge Ireland 2-1. Didn’t play very well in either of those games.
The match vs Ireland was also significant for another reason. Coach Bev Priestman shocked many with his decision to leave the 36-year-old Christine Sinclair on the bench for the first time ever in what is her 6th World Cup. Still, the Canuks found a way to win even without her.
A draw in this final match guarantees a place in the knockouts but playing for one against the desperate-for-the-win hosts would be a suicidal approach, so we think Canada will try to be aggressive.
The all-time leader in international goals Sinclair might be 36 but she is still in top shape, so we think the gaffer will restore her to the lineup now. Chelsea’s playmaker Fleming made her return from injury vs the Irish and she should be fit enough to start again now.
Here is how we think Canada will line up in this opening game.
Canada Predicted Lineups (4-3-3):
Sheridan – Riviere, Buchanan, Gilles, Lawrence – Fleming, Quinn, Gross – Huitema, Leon, Sinclair
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