Westfield Matildas unaffected by Asian Cup favourites tag: Arnold

Goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold is confident the Westfield Matildas will be unaffected by the tag of favourites for April's AFC Women's Asian Cup.

Australia are set to enter the tournament in Jordan as the top-ranked nation after surging to fourth in the world on the back of a record-breaking 2017.

An increase in expectation could add pressure as they attempt to win the continental competition for the second time, but Arnold says the group remain grounded. 

"I don't think that's too much of a factor to us," the Brisbane Roar shot-stopper told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au.


Mackenzie Arnold
Mackenzie Arnold started for Australia in their opening Algarve Cup match

"It's not like we go into every game now thinking that we're top dog, or that we used to go in thinking that we were underdogs or anything like that.

"It just sort of happened, and we play every game like we usually do. We go in with our own game plan and see how it goes."

At the Algarve Cup in Portugal, Alen Stajcic's side defeated Norway 4-3 earlier this week with Arnold starting between the sticks. 

The Matildas face Portugal on Saturday morning (Australian time) in their second game of the tournament.  

Arnold, who helped Roar to the Westfield W-League premiership this season, is excited to face a variety of styles in Portugal as the Aussies finetune their plans for Jordan next month.

"It's ideal to have these kinds of challenges ahead of a big tournament like the Asian Cup," Arnold said.

"It's been a long time since we've played those kinds of teams as well, so I think it'll be important to us.

"It'll be different from the Asian teams we're going to play."