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Matildas Raso, Simon to face SA, Denmark

Kyah Simon and Hayley Raso will return from injury as Australia look to spark their women’s soccer World Cup preparations in friendlies against South Africa and Denmark.

The strike pair’s national return has been offset by the absence of Alanna Kennedy (thigh), the defender hopeful of an imminent return with Manchester City after injury against Canada earlier this month.

Midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight is back playing at club level in Sweden after a horror run of knee issues, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson monitoring her form rather than parachuting her in for the October 8 and 11 games in London and Danish city Viborg.

“With only four international windows until the FIFA Women’s World Cup (next year) … every match has meaning and every training camp is vital for us to continue building understanding and chemistry in our game plan,” Gustavsson said.

“Maintaining the core of the squad is still our focus but unfortunately there are still a couple players that we will make a call on once we have further medical updates closer to the camp.”

Australia’s last win came against New Zealand in April, these games a chance to rebound from disappointing dual losses at home to Canada earlier this month.

“Last window we saw encouraging periods of how we want to play as a team, and we hope to have more players available for this window to give us the opportunity to get the consistency we are working towards,” Gustavsson added.

All but two members of this squad are based in Europe or the United States, with nine plying their trade in England’s Women’s Super League.

MATILDAS SQUAD: Mackenzie Arnold, Steph Catley, Alex Chidiac, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Larissa Crummer, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry, Charlotte Grant, Sam Kerr (capt), Chloe Logarzo, Aivi Luik, Teagan Micah, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon, Emily Van Egmond, Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler, Lydia Williams, Tameka Yallop.

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