The Matildas haven’t played since March 2020, but they finally return to the field early on Sunday morning in a blockbuster match against world number two side Germany.
The friendly, to be held in Wiesbaden, Germany, is the first match under the mentorship of new coach Tony Gustavvson – and with less than 100 days until the Tokyo Olympics, the Swedish mastermind has previous little time to renovate the team in his image.
The early indications are that the Matildas, who have for years played a possession-based approach, will adopt a more direct and aggressive style.
“It’s all about goals, goals, goals. That’s music to my ears,” Chelsea superstar Sam Kerr said, per Fairfax. “It seems to me it’s going to be about how we get the ball in the back of the net. I think that’s really exciting and it’s going to take time to get used to as we’ve come from a really big football playing style.”
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With a number of Matildas attackers starring in England’s Women’s Super League, including Kerr (10 goals in past six games), Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso – and plenty of others enjoying standout seasons across the continent – Gustavvson has no shortage of weapons at his disposal.
But there are some notable absences: Ellie Carpenter and Steph Catley (82 caps), the team’s two first-choice fullbacks, missing due COVID-19 biosecurity protocols and hamstring injury respectively.
Another midfield talent in Amy Harrison was also forced to miss the pair of clashes against Germany and Netherlands (early Wednesday morning AEST) due to COVID-19 protocols.
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As for Germany, the hosts have been in action throughout 2020 while the Matildas were stuck on ice.
In the latter half of 2020, Germany forged a perfect record across four games, winning the lot and conceding just once – booking their place in the 2022 Euros.
The side, led by coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, beat Belgium 2-0 in February of this year before losing 2-1 to the Netherlands – their first loss since the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup.
The Matildas take on Germany from 12.05 am on Sunday before meeting the world No. 4 Netherlands on Wednesday from 2.30am.
HOW TO WATCH
Watch Australia v Germany live on Fox Sports 503 from 11.30pm AEST Saturday, ahead of a 12.05am kick-off (Sunday).
Stream LIVE and on demand on Kayo Sports.
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Mackenzie Arnold, Laura Brook, Emma Checker, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik, Beatrice Goad, Dylan Holmes, Alexandra Huynh, Alanna Kennedy, Sam Kerr, Chloe Logarzo, Aivi Luik, Ella Mastrantonio, Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso, Indiah-Paige Riley, Karly Roestbakken, Amy Sayer, Emily van Egmond, Lydia Williams.
MATCH CENTRE: Live updates, line-ups, stats
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