SARINA WIEGMAN has praised her players for their resilience after a penalty shootout win against Brazil. However, there is no denying the fact that they still have much work to do before they can claim FIFA Women’s World Cup glory in Australia and New Zealand next year.
On Tuesday night, The Lionesses take on Australia in a friendly at Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium five days after their Women’s Finalissima victory over Brazil. A key decision could be made by Wiegman with Alessia Russo and Rachel Daly still auditioning for the number nine role.
1. They are physical
Australia are a physical team, something Germany should prepare for. They have committed more fouls and yellow cards than any other team in this tournament so far.
Wiegman is well aware of this, and she needs her players to be ready for battle if they hope to come out on top. She warned her squad that Germany will be ‘physical’ at Wembley tonight, adding: “I think it’s going to be a good test.”
Australia will welcome Chelsea striker Sam Kerr back from injury for this game against Scotland. Although she was rested for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Scotland, Wiegman is confident Kerr will start tomorrow.
2. They have Kerr
Kerr’s impressive statistics – 41 goals in 43 games for Chelsea, W-League and NWSL; third on this year’s Goal 50 – showcase that she is no ordinary striker. Not only is she Australia’s most successful women’s footballer but a high-profile brand marketer as well, with her cooking show drawing viewers and endorsements alike.
Kerr has always managed to overcome her injuries and come back stronger. She believes it’s essential for someone to keep working hard regardless of what comes their way, no matter what comes their way.
3. They are quick
Australia have already scored the most goals in this season’s Women’s Super League, making them a must-watch when it comes to attacking football. Their energetic style of play and highly motivated group of young stars have propelled them to the top of the table.
The Matildas have been the talk of the town due to their impressive training sessions, winning matches and impressive list of international appearances. They boast several firsts to their name – including being the most wins and highest ever goal scored by a female Australian in an international competition – but injuries at the back have been their biggest obstacle to victory. Despite these setbacks, Australia remains confident that they can secure a place at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
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4. They are strong
Sarina Wiegman has warned her players that Germany will be a physical opponent in their final group game. So far, Germany has accrued more fouls and yellow cards than any other team at the tournament, while also making more tackles than their counterparts have made so far. Be prepared for an intense contest!
Last year’s European Champions may have lost in the final, but they remain the undisputed rulers on Europe. Their lineup features Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr as well as an abundance of attacking talent.
5. They are creative
At a press conference ahead of Tuesday night’s friendly between England Lionesses and tournament co-hosts Australia at Brentford, Sarina Wiegman urged her players to take this match seriously. She stated: “We can’t afford to undervalue Australia at the moment, especially with Sam Kerr back in our squad.”
Last week, Sydney-born striker Hannah McGillivray missed Australia’s 1-0 defeat to Scotland but will start for England tomorrow. She’s been an integral part of Chelsea this season and poses a significant threat to England’s backline.
Midfield: Leah Williamson and Georgia Stanway are likely to start against Australia – though Maya Le Tissier could get the nod if Jess Carter misses out. Lucy Bronze should also take a break after her energetic display against Brazil; however, we wouldn’t rule out Esme Morgan coming off the bench either.
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