Australia vs England: Top Storylines, Odds, Live Stream for Women’s World Cup 2023
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Daniela Porcelli/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images
Australia and England face off on Wednesday in the second semifinal at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup (6 a.m. ET, Fox, FoxSports.com and Fox Sports app).
The winner takes on Spain in Sunday’s final. Both the Matildas and Lionesses are in search of their first World Cup final appearance.
Australia is looking to become the first host nation to feature in the championship match since the United States in 1999.
England is two victories away from completing the Euros-World Cup double. It is trying to become the third reigning European champion to win the World Cup. Norway and Germany achieved the feat in the 1990s.
Australia possesses home-field advantage in Sydney and it could receive a boost if Sam Kerr is fit enough to start. The star forward has been dealing with a calf injury for most of the tournament.
The Lionesses are without star forward Lauren James, who is suspended from a red card earned in the round of 16, but they have plenty of other attacking options who can thrive on the semifinal stage.
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Elsa – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Australia ( 230; bet $100 to win $230)
England ( 130)
Draw ( 195)
To Advance to Next Round
Australia ( 120)
England (-150; bet $150 to win $100)
Over 2.5 Goals ( 165)
Under 2.5 Goals (-210)
Australia Going for 2nd Win over England in 2023
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Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Australia is the only team to beat England in 2023.
The Matildas picked up a 2-0 win in Brentford in an April 11 friendly match.
Sam Kerr and Charlotte Grant were responsible for the goals in that contest, and the Matildas could use Kerr from the start to deal with the Lionesses on home soil on Wednesday.
Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson admitted that Kerr “pushed through more minutes” than expected in the quarterfinal win over France, per Fox Soccer.
Gustavsson faces a tough decision whether or not to start Kerr, who has dealt with a calf injury since the opening contest against the Republic of Ireland.
Kerr is a game-changer in front of goal, and her presence from the start gives Australia a much better chance of winning in regulation. She may not be able to go 90 minutes, so Gustavsson has to figure out which role Kerr will be most effective in.
Hayley Raso stepped up the most in Kerr’s absence, as she has three goals over five games. Raso and Caitlin Foord need to have strong performances with or without Kerr to book Australia’s spot in the final.
Kerr could be at her best on Wednesday, and if she receives support from her attacking teammates who are in form, the Matildas could have their second win over the European champion in four months.
England Is Two Wins Away from Euro-World Cup Double
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Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images
England is two wins away from claiming it is the best women’s soccer team in the world.
The Lionesses won the toughest continental competition on home soil last summer and they have navigated the challenges of a World Cup with a ton of unexpected results.
England survived a penalty shootout against Nigeria and rallied from an early concession to take down Colombia in its two knockout-round games.
Sarina Wiegman’s side played in the most elimination contests of any side in the world in the last two years. A win on Wednesday would secure the Lionesses’ best World Cup finish. They were knocked out in the semifinals in 2015 and 2019.
England has the attacking depth to keep Kerr off the ball and put the Australian defense under pressure. Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo scored a goal each in the quarterfinal win over Colombia. Rachel Daly and Chloe Kelly have one tally to their names in the tournament.
The Lionesses can hit Australia from any angle in the final third. Their combination play, starting with Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh in midfield, could keep the Matildas pinned back in their own end.
England probably has some bit of revenge on its mind as well from April. Any extra motivation will help the Lionesses in a World Cup semifinal that is a true road game.
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