After a 1-0 win in their opening group stage match at the 2023 women’s World Cup, Australia will attempt to clinch a spot in the knockout round when they face Nigeria Thursday. The Matildas were expected to be a contender at this competition not only because of their lofty spot in the FIFA rankings, but also because they are a co-host for the tournament.
One player who did not participate in Australia’s opening match was Sam Kerr, the nation’s top scorer. She sustained a calf injury ahead of the World Cup and while the seriousness of the issue hasn’t really been clarified, she was ruled out for the first two games. That means Kerr won’t be suiting up for Thursday’s contest against Nigeria.
With Kerr sidelined once again, Caitlin Foord and Mary Fowler should serve as the strikers up front. Kyra Cooney-Cross will also be an important player as the Australians look to solidify a spot in the knockout stage and hope their star can return by then.