Australia Vs. Denmark Round of 16 Outlook

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
03/08/2023
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Matildas Round of 16 Outlook Against Denmark

With injury troubles set to subside what should we expect from the Matildas in their round of 16 matchup with Denmark. 

News Insights

  • How did we get here?
  • Australian outlook heading into the matchup.
  • Sam Kerr’s World Cup debut is looming.
  • What’s on the line in this match?

The Matildas overcame a shaky opening two games to impress thoroughly in a 4-0 dominant win over Canada to progress atop group B. Now, set to face Denmark in the round of 16, the Aussies are expecting the return of Sam Kerr as expectations grow with each passing round in the knockout stages. 

Group Stage Recap

The Matildas came into the 2023 Women’s World Cup as a host nation with large expectations and plenty of pressure. Early on it seemed as though that pressure might make them wilt rather than flourish with a disappointing set of opening matches. 

The Matildas edged out a 1-0 victory over Ireland in their first match of the World Cup. Though they were able to come away with three points, the way they played didn’t exactly inspire confidence in the squad. 

Any confidence that remained was then significantly diminished by an abysmal performance against Nigeria in a 3-2 loss in match two. 

They finally looked like the team the country thought them to be performing brilliantly in a 4-0 dismantling of reigning Olympic champions Canada. With the win and Nigeria’s tie with Ireland, the Matildas qualified atop group B. 

Denmark opened their World Cup with a tight 1-0 victory over China followed by a hard-fought 1-0 loss to world no. 4 England. 

Their final matchup against Haiti saw them win 2-0 and progress as the second ranked team in group D behind the English, setting up a date with the Aussies in the process.  

Australia Vs. Denmark Outlook

Sydney’s Stadium Australia is expected to be sold out on Monday night when the Matildas take on Denmark. The crowd will look to play a factor in an otherwise tight on-paper matchup. 

Australia is the 10th ranked team in the world while Denmark is just behind them at number 13. Though the Matildas will be favourites heading into the matchup, it will be no easy task to waltz past Denmark. 

The Danes play a very composed and responsible style of football. They are a quality defensive side having allowed just one goal in the group stage coming against European Champions England.

Denmark will no doubt look to thwart the Aussies potent transition game to eliminate their pace advantage and turn the match into a more structured, slow-paced style. 

Ex-Matilda Elise Kellond-Knight echoed this stating “If I were the coach of Denmark, I’d be sitting pretty deep, taking away our transition game.”

For the Matildas, they will look to replicate what they did so well against Canada; Getting the ball out wide and using their pace on the wings to create chances on goal. Counterattacks provide the best opportunities for this style of play so if Denmark opts against playing conservative, watch for the Matildas to commit numbers forward in transition. 

Of course, we can’t talk about this matchup without touching on the health of Sam Kerr. The superstar Aussie skipper was declared fit to play against Canada but was likely closer to 50% healthy than 100% given that she wasn’t used since they were winning.

Kerr will no doubt be available and has time for her calf to heal more now. However, whether she will start and be 100% healthy or come off the bench remains a mystery.

What Could be on the Horizon?

Should the Matildas take care of business against Denmark and progress to the World Cup quarterfinals, they would face the winner of the round of 16 matchup between the group F winner and the group H runner-up. 

France won group F while Germany will likely finish second in group H. Whoever were to win that matchup would certainly give the Matildas a difficult quarterfinal.

With the group stage behind them, the group B winner Matildas are now set to face off against Denmark with a berth in the quarterfinals on the line. The Matildas will look to play the match at their tempo and are due for reinforcements as Sam Kerr inches closer to full health.