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Women's World Cup: Australia expect to make winning start

Australia get their FIFA Women's World Cup campaign underway on Thursday when they take on the Republic of Ireland in Sydney.

There are high hopes for the Matildas heading into the tournament and they are priced at 13.00 to win their first ever World Cup.

Australia are in Group B along with the Republic of Ireland, Canada and Nigeria and will be expected to come through with relative ease.

They are priced at 1.50 to win the Group, with Canada looking the biggest threat at 3.00.

It is important Australia get off to a strong start and there can be no room for complacency heading into the game.

WhatAustralia Women v Republic of Ireland Women
WhereStadium Australia, Sydney
When20:00 (AEST), Thursday 20th July 2023
How to watchChannel 7
OddsAustralia Women 1.30, Draw 5.25, Republic of Ireland Women 9.00

Australia in top form

The Matildas could not be in better form heading into the World Cup, having won four of their last five games.

And they had the perfect send-off in their final game before the tournament when beating France 1-0 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Sunday.

France are one of Australia’s main rivals to win the World Cup and are priced at 11.00 to win the tournament.

But a goal by Mary Fowler on 65 minutes was enough to get the job done and give the Matildas a big confidence boost heading into the tournament.

Australia also beat one of the hot fancies England 2-0 in a friendly match back in April, so there is plenty of reason to be optimistic.

Despite Australia being in good form, they did lose 3-2 to the Republic of Ireland in a friendly clash in Dublin back in 2021.

Not much can be read into that game as plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then and the World Cup is next level.

Even so, there could be goals and over 2.5 in the game can be backed 1.72.

Team news

Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson admitted the team that played against France would give a lot of clues to the starting line-up that will face Ireland.

One player who did not feature is Kyah Simon, who is facing a race against time to make the opening game against Ireland.

One or two others are carrying niggles ahead of game one and Gustavsson took no risks against France.

The coach was keen to keep some of his star players on limited minutes, including influential captain and leading goalscorer Sam Kerr.

Kerr played for 62 minutes before being replaced Emily Van Egmond, but will be fit and ready to go for the opening game and will be out to continue her impressive goalscoring record.

Fowler, who came on at half-time and scored the only goal of the game, will have staked a claim for a starting place in the side.

There was also a big injury concern to come from the game. Substitute Tameka Yallop had only been on the pitch for 20 minutes before sustaining a knee problem.

Australia (possible): Arnold, Carpenter, Hunt, Kennedy, Catley, Raso, Cooney-Cross, Gorry, Vine, Kerr, Foord.

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