Australia will take on Team GB on Friday night for a place in the semi finals of Tokyo 2020.
The Matildas have never met Team GB or the any of the four nations which make up Team GB – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – in a major tournament before.
While there is no history at major tournaments, the Aussies and the Brits know each other very well. In season 2020-21, every member of Team GB’s squad played in the FA WSL, while eight members of Australia’s squad plied their trade for clubs there.
Sam Kerr’s Chelsea season was prolific with the striker earning the league’s golden boot after helping Chelsea to back to back FA WSL titles. She also nabbed a hat trick in the Conti Cup final.
Much like her battle against Magda Eriksson, Kerr will come up against Eriksson’s centre back partner Millie Bright who is one of five Blues in Hege Riise’s squad.
The Australian Arsenal trio of Steph Catley, Lydia Williams, and Caitlin Foord will also be surrounded by familiar faces.
Lotte Wubben-Moy and Leah Williamson would be more used to having Catley and Williams alongside them in defence rather than against them. Similarly, Kim Little and Foord are typically working together as part of the Gunners’ attack. On Friday, the Aussies will be trying to stifle Little.
Manchester City have supplied the most players to this squad. There’s the goal-scoring abilities of Ellen White, the strength on the right from Lucy Bronze, and the efforts with the gloves of Ellie Roebuck.
They would have come up against Emily van Egmond’s midfield work, Hayley Raso’s run and dash, and Alanna Kennedy’s deadly right foot at the set piece.
With weeks and weeks of playing against each other in the FA WSL, the Conti Cup, and the FA Cup, these players know each others game.
Part of the battle will be seeing who can use this knowledge to their advantage.