Great Britain - Australia Tokyo 2020 Olympic quarterfinal preview 

Chelsea's Sam Kerr leads the line for Australia against strike partner Fran Kirby as friends from the WSL face off all over the pitch.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Australia and Great Britain face off in the Tokyo 2020 women's football quarter-final and even though these two have never met in a major tournament before there will be plenty of family faces.

Australia's captain and leader Sam Kerr plays with Chelsea in England's Women's Super League and she'll go head-to-head with Team GB and clubmate Millie Bright in the centre of defence, while her strike partner with the Blues, Fran Kirby, will be at the opposite end of the pitch.

Chelsea won the WSL last season with that deadly partnership of Kerr and Kirby, but it's a different story in Tokyo.

And there'll be similar match-ups all over the pitch as every single player on the Team GB squad lines up for FA WSL teams, while eight of Australia’s squad play their football in England's top tier.

Friends will become rivals at the Ibaraki Kashima stadium as both teams vie to reach the semi-final of the Olympic Games for the first time.

Great Britain had two wins over Chile and Japan then drew 1-1 draw against Canada to top their group while Australia finished third in theirs having beaten New Zealand 2-1, lost to Sweden, then held World No.1 USA to a respectable 0-0.

Sam Kerr and Ellen White lead goal scoring

Captain and leader, Sam Kerr has been superb so far in Tokyo, ably assisted by the Matilda's exciting teen prodigy Mary Fowler.

While GB's Ellen White has scored three of GB's four goals so far including a spectacular scissor-kick against Chile and a brilliant header to give her side that 1-0 victory over Japan.

Find out more about Ellen White here.

Hege Rise on Australia's tactics

It's been a wild ride for GB's Norwegian coach Hege Rise who took over from Phil Neville in January.

A bit of an unknown quantity, GB have impressed and have grown in confidence as the tournament has progressed.

"It's been a privilege," Rise said pre-match. "We have been working on the culture, who are we, how do we want to be seen, how do we want to perform?

"All the players buy into that, they know what it will take for us to go all the way. I feel we have done a great job, now it's the knockout stage and it's about how brave we are.

"I feel we are in a good spot right now, the players feel comfortable, they feel we are doing the right things. I'm excited for the game."

"Now we are in the knockout stages, having rested players helps us going into the last part of the tournament. We want to perform, we want to look at the relationship and decide who we feel will match up best against Australia. We're looking at ourselves and how we can win that game."

Rise spoke openly about Australia's setup and how they plan to tackle the match.

"With their formation, they haven't changed that as much. I guess they will be in a 3-4-3, with three attacking players that always run the line, always looking to be in the box for crosses. We will match that and challenge them, hopefully, to play in between in our style where we've been successful."

Australia's inside knowledge

Aussie Coach Tony Gustavsson has showed a certain amount of versatility with personal and tactical changes, and Australia will need every advantage they can get from the players' knowledge of club teammates.

Caitlin Foord and Fowler will run the channels and try to feed Kerr, while Australia's other teen revelation Kyra Cooney-Cross will also have a role to play.

This is the first time Australia have met any British side since a 1-1 draw against England in October 2018, and the Matildas triple threat of Williams, Catley and Foord will aim to get at Arsenal teammate and defender Leah Williamson.

At the back Ellie Carpenter will out to stymie Lyon teammate Nikita Parris when friends become rivals at the Kashima Antlers stadium in Tokyo.

What time is Great-Britain Australia women's football?

Great Britain - Australia Olympic women's football quarter final kicks off on Friday 30 July 2021 at 6pm JST which is 10am BST and 7pm in Canberra ACT.


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