Your guide to Matildas vs England: Times, TV channel, squads

The Matildas continue their preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup when they take on Scotland and European champions England in friendlies in the coming week.

Australia have assembled in London ahead of the matches against their United Kingdom opposition, which will again serve as a good tune-up for Tony Gustavsson’s squad ahead of the upcoming World Cup on home soil.

The Matildas come into the series riding a strong run of form, having won their last seven games – including a clean sweep of Czechia, Spain and Jamaica en route to winning the Cup of Nations in February.

Before the Matildas return to action on Friday night, KEEPUP provides the lowdown on everything you need to know.

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FOORD SCARE: Foord’s withdrawal overshadows Arsenal win and could have repercussions for the Matildas
FINALS: Everything you need to know for the Liberty A-League finals: Dates, venues, tickets

When are the games?

The Matildas take on Scotland on Friday April 7 at 10:15 PM (AEST) / 1:15 pm (local), before facing England on Wednesday April 12 at 4:45 AM (AEST) / 7:45 pm (local).

How can I watch?

Both games will be broadcasted live on free-to-air TV on Network 10 and streaming service Paramount+.

Matildas team news

Tony Gustavsson named a 24-person squad for the two friendlies, making three changes from the side that took home the Cup of Nations in February.

Star right-back Ellie Carpenter and Melbourne City young gun Holly McNamara are back in the squad for the first time since sustaining respective long-term knee injuries, while Sydney FC goalkeeper Jada Whyman also comes into the group.

Carpenter recently returned to club action with European giants Lyon after tearing her ACL in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final as has McNamara with Melbourne City – who sustained the same injury in February 2022.

McNamara is one of four Liberty A-League players in the squad alongside Whyman, Sydney FC teammate Cortnee Vine and Western Sydney Wanderers captain Clare Hunt – while Larissa Crummer made the move from Brisbane Roar to Norwegian side Brann in the time since the squad was announced.

However, their returns come at the expense of Steph Catley, Emily Gielnik and Elise Kellond-Knight who are all out with injury.

Arsenal full-back Catley is currently nursing a foot injury and has been on the sidelines since early March; Gielnik is out with an ankle injury and Kellond-Knight is ruled out with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Catley’s Arsenal teammate Caitlin Foord has also been rubbed out after being forced from the pitch over the weekend after appearing to hurt her hamstring against Manchester City – while Alanna Kennedy was also a late withdrawal due to injury.

Amy Sayer and Matilda McNamara have been called up in their place.

Matildas squad for April friendlies

Mackenzie ARNOLDGoalkeeperWest Ham United32 (0)Burleigh / Football Queensland 
Ellie CARPENTERBackOlympique Lyon59 (3)Cowra and District / Football NSW
Alex CHIDIACMidfielderRacing Louisville FC25 (2)Croydon Kings/ Football South Australia  
Kyra COONEY-CROSSMidfielderHammarby IF25 (0)Ballarat City / Football Victoria 
Larissa CRUMMERForwardSK Brann32 (4)Peninsula Power / Football Queensland  
Mary FOWLERForwardManchester City34 (9) Leichhardt / Football Queensland 
Katrina GORRYMidfielderVittsjö GIK91 (17) Mt Gravatt Hawks / Football Queensland
Charlotte GRANTBackVittsjö GIK16 (0) Cumberland United Women’s FC / Football South Australia 
Clare HUNTBackWestern Sydney Wanderers0 (0)Grenfell Junior Soccer Club / Football NSW
Sam KERRForwardChelsea WFC119 (62) Western Knights / Football West 
Aivi LUIKBackBK Häcken42 (1)Palm Beach SC / Football Queensland 
Holly McNAMARAForwardMelbourne City3 (0)Ermington United Sports and Recreation Club / Football NSW
Matilda McNAMARABackAGF Fodbold Women1 (0)Adelaide City FC / Football South Australia
Teagan MICAHGoalkeeperFC Rosengård14 (0)Brisbane Blue, Brisbane Central / Football Queensland
Courtney NEVINBackLeicester City on loan from Hammarby IF20 (0)Oakville Ravens / Football NSW
Clare POLKINGHORNEBackVittsjö GIK154 (16)Wynnum Wolves, Capalaba / Football Queensland 
Hayley RASOForwardManchester City68 (12)Banora Point / Football Queensland
Amy SAYERMidfielderStanford University6 (0)Northbridge FC / Football NSW
Emily VAN EGMONDMidfielderSan Diego Wave FC127 (30)Dudley-Redhead / Northern NSW Football
Cortnee VINEForwardSydney FC14 (3)Peninsula Power FC / Football Queensland
Clare WHEELERMidfielderEverton WFC12 (0)Adamstown Rosebud / Northern NSW Football
Jada WHYMANGoalkeeperSydney FC0 (0)Tolland football Club / Football NSW
Lydia WILLIAMSGoalkeeperBrighton & Hove Albion102 (0)Tuggeranong, Woden Valley / Capital Football  
Tameka YALLOPMidfielderSK Brann110 (12)Mudgeeraba / Football Queensland
Key Talking Points

Who starts at left-back?

With Steph Catley missing for the upcoming Internationals, Tony Gustvasson has a decision to make at left-back.

Gustavsson has only selected one recognised left-back in Courtney Nevin and it seems likely the the Leicester City defender will be the first cab off the rank. However, the Matildas boss could look to shuffle the deck and try a couple of different options between the two friendlies.

Courtney Nevin.

Ellie Carpenter’s return at right-back opens the door for Charlotte Grant to play in an unfamiliar role on the opposite side or could Gustavsson look to utilise the star Lyon defender on the left?

The other wildcard option is a reversion to a back three – the same formation he used in the Olympics – and bring in an extra centre-back.

Who replaces Foord up front?

At the 11th hour, star Matilda Caitlin Foord was ruled out for the upcoming friendlies, after she was forced from the field in Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City before the international break.

Gustavsson will be forced to shuffle the deck again after the star attacker didn’t get up in time, opening the door for a couple attackers to lead the line alongside Sam Kerr in a two-pronged front-line.

The first option is Mary Fowler, who could play as more of a second-striker alongside Kerr, while Larissa Crummer is more of a traditional number nine when deployed in her preferred role instead of at full-back or out wide.

Then there’s Holly McNamara.

Despite being a winger by trade, McNamara has shown a keen eye for goal, coupled by tremendous football smarts during her appearances for City and could be thrusted in if Gustavsson wants to see what the 20-year-old can do at senior level against some of the best in the world.

Who gets the nod in goals?

The race is on to take the mantle of Matildas number one at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Four goalkeepers have been selected for this window, with Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold, Teagan Micah and Jada Whyman all given an opportunity to impress in what may be one of the final times to do so before the World Cup rolls around.

Alanna Kennedy and Mackenzie Arnold

Gustavsson has gone with different options throughout his tenure, with Williams, Arnold and Micah all getting substantial opportunities to push their claim.

Arnold, however, put forward a compelling case to be the undisputed number one at the Cup of Nations – where she was awarded Player of the Tournament.

Nonetheless will be a curious watch to see if the West Ham keeper retains her spot in the team for the friendlies or whether Gustavsson will once again look to rotate.


World Ranking: 23

The Matildas kick-off their friendly series against Scotland in London on Friday night, a side that narrowly missed out on FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification.

Scotland finished second in Group B of UEFA qualifying behind powerhouses Spain, sending them to the playoffs where they beat Austria in the first-round 1-0 thanks to an extra-time winner from Bristol City forward Abigail Harrison.

They then came up against Ireland five days later, where they fell in heartbreaking circumstances on their home deck 1-0 after substitute Amber Barrett fired home the decisive goal with just under 20 minutes remaining to secure a maiden appearance at the World Cup.

Since then, Scotland have only returned to action once, playing in the Pinatar Cup in February – which ended in a third place finish behind champions Iceland and Wales.

During this period off the pitch, the team have been making a stand after they launched legal action against the Scottish FA in December over inequalities in pay and treatment between the men’s and women’s game.

“After years of iniquity, disrespect, and in some cases abuse, we have a historic opportunity to advance equal pay and to promote equality for women and girls in football,’ captain Rachel Corsie said.

“This campaign is about parity, and we’ll be seeking to engage with the Scottish Football Association, the fans, and everyone in Scotland’s football community to deliver this long overdue change.”

Ahead of the friendlies with Australia, Scotland will be without Corsie, along with Birmingham’s Christie Murray, Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert and AC Milan striker Christy Grimshaw – who all miss due to injury.

West Ham midfielder Lisa Evans is also out of the side.

Coach Pedro Martinez Losa has since been forced to shuffle the deck, with the likes of Real Madrid midfielder Caroline Weir, Angel City’s Carlie Emslie, Manchester United forward Martha Thomas and experienced defenders Emma Mukandi and Kirsty Smith selected.

And of course, there’s Scottish Sam Kerr!

READ: Meet the other Sam Kerr

Scotland will also face Costa Rica on Wednesday morning (AEST) at Hampden Park.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Lee Gibson (Glasgow City), Jenna Fife (Rangers), Eartha Cumings (Liverpool)

Defenders: Emma Mukandi (Reading), Kirsty Smith (West Ham United), Nicola Docherty (Rangers), Sophie Howard (Leicester City), Rachel McLauchlan (Rangers), Jenna Clark (Glasgow City), Amy Muir (Glasgow City), Kathryn Hill (Rangers)

Midfielders: Caroline Weir (Real Madrid), Samantha Kerr (Rangers), Lisa Robertson (Celtic), Lauren Davidson (Glasgow City), Jamie-Lee Napier (London City Lionesses), Chelsea Cornet (Rangers), Emma Watson (Rangers)

Forwards: Claire Emslie (Angel City), Fiona Brown (FC Rosengard), Martha Thomas (Manchester United), Kirsty Hanson (Aston Villa), Brogan Hay (Rangers), Sarah Ewens (London City Lionesses)


World ranking: 4

The tests don’t get much bigger than this for the Matildas.

Tony Gustavsson’s side wrap up their UK foray with a clash against the reigning European champions England on Wednesday morning – a team that hasn’t lost in almost two years. This will be the eighth top ten side the Matildas have faced in the lead-up to the tournament.

The Lionesses come into the contest riding a 29-game unbeaten streak which stretches all the way back to April 2021 – where they last fell to defeat against Canada 2-0. Since then, they have been near unstoppable and have firmed as a favourite for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

During this run, England won all six of their Euro 2022 matches to come home with a first European crown, doing so on home soil in an enthralling 2-1 win over Germany in the final at Wembley Stadium. They also won two Arnold Clark Cups in 2022 and 2023.

En route to qualifying for the World Cup, England also knocked off Latvia 20-0 in November 2021, which was the highest winning margin ever in Women’s World Cup qualifying history.

England are headed up by former Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman, whose appointment has coincided with their 29-game unbeaten run. Wiegman took over with an enormous pedigree, having led Netherlands to a runners-up finish in the 2019 Women’s World Cup along with winning the 2017 Euros.

Before they face Australia, the Lionesses will take on Copa America champions Brazil in the 2023 Women’s Finalissima at Wembley Stadium.

For the two matches, Wiegman has named a strong squad, with the likes of Lucy Bronze, Leah Williamson, Rachel Daly and Keira Walsh among the inclusions.

However, Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy and Manchester United captain Katie Zelem have been dropped in place of Manchester City’s Esme Morgan and goalkeeper Hannah Hampton.

In-form striker Bethany England is among the surprise omissions after a solid run of form at Tottenham in the WSL, while injured trio Mille Bright, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead all miss.

The latter duo – Kirby and Mead – are in serious doubt of recovering in time for the World Cup, with Wiegman admitting she’s “concerned” about Kirby’s fitness and that Mead is “unlikely” to return from a torn ACL.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Hannah Hampton (Manchester City)

Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lucy Parker (West Ham)

Midfielders: Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Laura Coombs (Manchester City)

Forwards: Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Jess Park (Everton), Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Head to head

Australia and Scotland have met four times, with a tied head-to-head of 1-2-1.

The last times these teams met was in the lead up to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – where they played out a 1-1 draw. Laura Alleway scored the the opener before Jane Ross pulled one back. This was also 81-time Matilda and former Perth Glory midfielder Collette McCallum’s farewell game.

Meanwhile, Australia and England have met four times, with the Lionesses winning three of those occasions and the most recent encounter ending in a draw at Craven Cottage.

Fran Kirby opened the scoring early in the contest, before Clare Polkinghorne scored a late equaliser.

Australia also beat Great Britain in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 4-3 – a team that had a plethora of England players in their squad.