With the first game of the Women's World Cup fast approaching, the Matildas World Cup squad are ready and raring to go at their home tournament. Although New Zealand are kicking off the tournament against Norway a few hours earlier, Australia will do battle against the Republic of Ireland in Group B at 20:00.
As skipper of the side, Sam Kerr is not only the most well-known player in the Matildas squad, but she is also one of the best female footballers in the world. Whether she is scoring goals, tackling pitch invaders, or writing children's books, Kerr is always up to something and she is likely to be in the headlines again this winter and the Matildas look to go all the way.
Australia Women's World Cup Squad
Australian boss, Tony Gustavsson, took a little longer than other managers to name his full 23-player squad for the World Cup but the announcement finally came last week. The Swede has elected to go for experienced pros in what is certainly going to be a high-pressured environment for the home nation who will play in front of packed crowds throughout the winter. Here is the Matilda's squad in full:
- Lydia Williams (Brighton)
- Teagan Micah (Rosengard)
- Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham)
- Courtney Nevin (Leicester City)
- Aivi Luik (BK Häcken)
- Claire Polkinghorne (Vittsjö)
- Ellie Carpenter (Lyon)
- Charlotte Grant (Vittsjö)
- Clare Hunt (Western Sydney Wanderers)
- Steph Catley (Arsenal)
- Alanna Kennedy (Manchester City)
- Tameka Yallop (Brann)
- Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar)
- Kyra Cooney-Cross (Hammarby)
- Clare Wheeler (Everton)
- Alex Chidiac (Racing Louisville)
- Emily van Egmond (San Diego Wave)
- Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC)
- Mary Fowler (Manchester City)
- Hayley Raso (Manchester City)
- Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
- Caitlin Foord (Arsenal)
- Kyah Simon (Free agent)
Upon the announcement of the squad, Gustavsson said: “Today is the end of a two-and-a-half-year process and the wonderful start of a thrilling new journey for the team. Selecting this World Cup squad has been the toughest challenge so far, but the whole coaching and support staff are all completely overjoyed for the 23 players who will represent the nation during this tournament.
“These 23 players not only exemplify what it means to be a part of the tradition of the CommBank Matildas, but also what it means to represent the 25 million Australians we know are fully behind us. They have the heart, desire and the passion for the crest, and I can’t wait to see the next part of their story.”
We're not crying, you are
— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) July 3, 2023
Matildas World Cup odds
As the co-hosts, Australia Women are attracting a lot of attention in the betting stakes for the Women's World Cup. Here are some of the key markets to keep a close eye on throughout the tournament.
Australia to win the World Cup – 10/1
Despite being the co-hosts, the Matildas aren't among the top favourites for the tournament heading in. A lot of that could be down to their disappointing showing at the Asia Cup last year. Gustavsson's team crashed out in the quarter-finals which, under normal circumstances, would have resulted in them not even qualifying for the World Cup but their host status saved them.
Before a ball is kicked, they are fifth favourites behind the USA, England, Spain and Germany, however, if they weren't the host nation then they would also likely be behind the like of France, Brazil, and Sweden. It will be interesting to see how these odds change as the tournament progresses.
Australia to reach the final – 9/2
Although they aren't particularly fancied when it comes to winning the entire tournament, the bookmakers do give them more of a chance of simply reaching the final. The Matilda's route to the final is far from easy but they can make things easier for themselves by winning their group. By doing so, they can avoid an almighty clash with England in the Round of 16.
If Australia come second in Group B, however, then expect these odds to lengthen quite significantly as they would have to get through several big hitters to reach the showpiece event in August.
Australia to win Group B – 1/2
Speaking of Group B, Australia Women are the favourites to win their group this winter but not by a huge margin. They have been put in a group with Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and Nigeria which isn't the easiest group on paper.
Canada are their biggest threat when it comes to topping Group B with Beverly Priestman's side coming into the tournament as the Olympic Champions. Australia face off against Canada in their final group game which will likely seal the fate of both sides.
Sam Kerr to win the Golden Boot – 12/1
Sam Kerr is unquestionably the golden girl of Australian Soccer and all of the home nation's hopes will be put on the Chelsea striker. She is one of the best players in the world and comes into the tournament in fine form after scoring the winning goal in the Women's Fa Cup final for Chelsea against Manchester United in May.
If Australia are to go far this Winter, then Kerr will unquestionably play a big part which makes the odds of 12/1 very appealing. If she gets off to a quick start against the Republic of Ireland tomorrow then these odds will tumble very quickly.