Preview: Australia Women vs. France Women – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Women’s World Cup clash between Australia Women and France Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Tournament co-hosts Australia Women will attempt to progress to the last four of the Women’s World Cup 2023 when they face France Women on Saturday.

The Europeans, meanwhile, are looking to spoil the party as they make their fourth consecutive appearance in a Women’s World Cup quarter-finals.

Match preview

Australia's Steph Catley celebrates scoring their first goal with Hayley Raso and Caitlin Foord on July 20, 2023© Reuters

Australia made a nervy start to their home tournament, claiming a narrow 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland, before losing 3-2 to Nigeria in Matchday Two.

They finally hit their straps in their final group game, dealing with the threat of elimination to thrash the reigning Olympic champions Canada via a 4-0 scoreline.

Tony Gustavsson‘s side produced another commanding performance in their last-16 tie against Denmark, with Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso grabbing a goal apiece to wrap up a 2-0 win and secure Australia’s place in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals for the fourth time in their history.

Having lost all of their previous three appearances at the last-eight stage, the Matildas are now looking to create history and reach the semi-finals for the first time.

Australia have already beaten France this year after claiming a narrow 1-0 win last month in a warm-up game for the tournament.

France Women players celebrate after the match on July 29, 2023© Reuters

Since being held to a goalless draw by Jamaica in their opening game, France have managed to build momentum, ensuring they head into Saturday’s contest in a confident mood.

After beating Brazil 2-1 to record their first win of the tournament, France swept past Panama in a nine-goal thriller to round off the group stage.

They produced another free-scoring display in their last-16 against Morocco, as Kadidiatou Diani and Kenza Dali established a two-goal lead, before Eugenie Le Sommer netted a brace to round off a dominant 4-0 victory.

France will be looking to avoid a third consecutive quarter-final exit at the Women’s World Cup after being eliminated at this stage by Germany in 2015 and the USA in 2019.

Victory over Australia would secure Les Bleues their second semi-final appearance and their first since 2011 when they beat England on penalties to advance to the last four.

Australia Women Women’s World Cup form:

France Women Women’s World Cup form:

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Team News

Australia's Sam Kerr watches from the sideline during the warm up before the match on July 27, 2023© Reuters

Australia’s star player Sam Kerr could be brought into the starting lineup after recovering from a calf injury to make her first appearance of the tournament as a late substitute against Denmark.

Gustavsson will keep faith with the settled back four of Ellie Carpenter, Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy and Steph Catley.

Having scored three times in Australia’s last three matches, Raso will continue to offer a goal threat from the right flank.

As for their opponents, Maelle Lakrar did not feature against Morocco due to an injury issue, but she is expected to be fit for Saturday’s quarter-final tie.

However, Lakrar may have to settle for a place on the bench, with Elisa De Almeida likely to retain her place in central defence alongside Wendie Renard.

Diani followed up her hat trick against Panama with another goal against Morocco, and she will be looking to continue her fine form when she features up front against Australia.

Australia Women possible starting lineup:
Arnold; Carpenter, Hunt, Kennedy, Catley; Raso, Gorry, Cooney-Cross, Foord; Kerr, Fowler

France Women possible starting lineup:
Peyraud-Magnin; Perisset, Renard, De Almeida, Karchaoui; Dali, Geyoro, Toletti, Bacha; Le Sommer; Diani

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We say: Australia Women 2-1 France Women

Australia have started to build momentum in their last two matches, and with the Matildas being spurred on by their own supporters, we think they will edge out France to secure their place in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals for the very first time.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

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