Stadium Australia will play host to a highly-anticipated semi-final tie between tournament co-hosts Australia Women and the reigning European champions England Women on Wednesday morning (11.00).
Australia won a dramatic penalty shootout against France to secure their place in the last four, while England came from behind to topple Colombia.
Since recovering from a calf injury, Sam Kerr has been utilised as a substitute in Australia’s last two games, but she is expected to be given her first start of the tournament for Wednesday’s semi-final.
As for England, they remain without Lauren James, who will serve the final game of her two-match suspension.
Sam Kerr to score anytime @ 12/5
Kerr scored in that Wembley win back in April, but her gradual reintegration following a calf injury means her shooting stats are unremarkable so far, with two efforts off target after two cameos off the bench.
However, the Chelsea star will be eager to make up for lost time here, as she may be ready for the starting XI for the first time this tournament.
Kerr is familiar with the England defence as two of England’s starting centre-backs against Colombia – Jess Carter and Millie Bright – are Kerr’s Chelsea teammates while she has faced the other – Manchester City’s Alex Greenwood – a number of times in domestic action, netting a brace against her and Lucy Bronze in the 2022 FA Cup final.
Kerr will pose the biggest problems for England, and I can see the Lionesses keeping the World Cup poster girl quiet here.
England to win & Alessia Russo 2+ shots on target @ 7/2
Russo has averaged 2.56 shots on target per 90 minutes and has also found the the net twice in three games against China and Colombia.
With Lauren James still suspended, Russo will more than likely lead the line for the Lionesses, and I expect her to be able to hit the target on a few occasions.
England conceded just their second goal of the tournament in their quarter-final encounter against Colombia, and the overall performance was an improved one.
I think they’ll rise to the occasion given what’s at stake here, and their tournament experience could prove pivotal in this clash.