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Women's World Cup: Hopes high for co-hosts Australia

Australia have announced their 23-player squad for the Women's World Cup and there are high hopes for them going far in the competition on home soil.

Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 tournament jointly and, although the competition will be fierce, the Matildas have named a strong squad capable of going far.

The USA are the hot fancies at 3.50, with England priced at 5.50. Spain, Germany and France will also be right in the mix, along with Australia.

The Matildas can be backed at 13.00 to win the World Cup.

WhatWomen's World Cup 2023
WhereAustralia and New Zealand
WhenThursday 20th July - Sunday 20th August, 2023
How to watchOptus Sport & Channel 7
OddsUSA Women 3.50, England Women 5.50, Spain Women 7.00, Germany Women 8.00, Australia Women 13.00

Matildas squad line-up

Australia have named a squad that has plenty of World Cup experience in it, which should count for a lot during the tournament.

Fifteen of the players were involved in the 2019 tournament, while seven  will make their Women’s World Cup debuts.

Head coach Tony Gustavsson has described his squad as a ‘special group of players’ and says they have prepared well and are high highly motivated to do well.

The Matildas will once again be lead by influential captain Sam Kerr, while Steph Catley has been named as vice-captain.

Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Teagan Micah, Lydia Williams.

Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Charlotte Grant, Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy, Aivi Luik, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne.

Midfielders: Alex Chidiac, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry, Emily van Egmond, Clare Wheeler, Tameka Yallop.

Forwards: Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Sam Kerr, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon, Cortnee Vine.

Expectations are high

With Australia being one of the host nations, expectations are high for them to go further in the tournament than ever before.

The Matildas crashed out of the tournament at the last-16 stage in France in 2019 and will be out to make up for that disappointment this time around.

They have made the quarter-finals on three occasions - in 2007, 2011 and 2015 - and with a strong squad and Gustavsson at the helm they are expected to surpass that and go at least one step further.

It is easy to see why expectations are high as the Matildas are in great form heading into the tournament.

They have won eight of their last nine games, with England and Spain among their victims.

Gustavsson is saying they ‘will take it one game at a time’, but deep down he will be thinking his side can go far.

Australia can be backed at 6.50 to make the final.

Players to watch

Captain Sam Kerr is of course the star of the Matildas side as she heads into her fourth Women’s World Cup,

Now playing for Chelsea in England, Kerr has 120 Matildas caps to her name and has scored 63 goals.

Kerr shone at the 2019 World Cup, entering the history books with four goals in the clash against Jamaica.

She has gone from strength to strength while playing for Chelsea and her goals will be key to the Matlidas doing well.

Fellow forward Caitlin Foord, who has 29 Matildas goals in 108 appearances to her name, will also be crucial.

Australia also have a strong defence made up of plenty of experience and Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley and Clare Polkinghorne will all need to be at the top of their game at the back.

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams, like Polkinghorne, will be taking part in her fifth Women’s World Cup and again her experience could be key.

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