Australia commences their European tour and the most significant portion of their FIFA Women's World Cup preparation with the Cyprus Cup.

The tournament opener will see the Matildas take on the Netherlands for the third time in as many years as both World Cup bound sides continue to build for Canada 2015.

“The preparations for the Cyprus Cup are shaping up really well," said Sydney FC's Servet Uzunlar.

"We are looking really good and we are just looking forward to getting some internationals under our belt.‚ÄĚ

[More: Servet Uzunlar's Matildas return]

The 4 Cyprus Cup matches form part of the Matildas 9 game European tour with further encounters scheduled with Scotland, Austria and possibly two African nations.

[More: Cyprus Cup Coverage | Matildas squad]

It is an opportunity for Alen Stajcic to evaluate some members of the squad under tournament conditions, while for others it will be a return to competitive football after long layoffs.

"We have had a lot of camps and [have] been working on a lot of things," stated Perth Glory's Caitlin Foord.

"This is I guess the trial of how we have been going and it's just going to be good to get some games."

[VIDEO | Cyprus catch up with Caitlin Foord]

In addition to the Dutch, the Matildas will also clash with the "old enemy" and World Cup aspirant England with a possible finals meeting with a another Canada 2015 qualifier.

These matches are on top of a closed 3 x 30 min thirds scratch match against World Cup hosts Canada. Goals from Canadian captain Christine Sinclair and Josée Bélanger saw the Matildas go down 2-0 but defender Stephanie Catley described the hit out as a good test pre-Cyprus Cup.

"I think we learned a lot in terms of physicality and being calm on the ball," she noted.

"I think we also learned how good we can be in possession and we had some excellent combination plays and periods where we dominated.

"Obviously we have just have to tighten up a few things at the back and not let teams score when we have been dominating."

"We took a lot out of it and hopefully we can put that into play against the Netherlands."

[VIDEO: Stephanie Catley previews the Netherlands]

Oranje have proved tricky opponents for Australia in recent years with the Matildas recording a loss and draw in their past two clashes.

Dutch women's football has been on the rise for many years with that rise punctuated by their qualification for the 2015 Women's World Cup, their debut.

Historically defensively sound, the new generation are a much more attacking outfit with the flair traditionally associated with Dutch football as a whole.

Dani√ęlle van de Donk, Lieke Martens¬†and wunderkind¬†Vivianne Miedema¬†are the latest batch of players to make their way to the senior side supporting stalwarts like¬†Sherida Spitse,¬†Claudia van den Heiligenberg and¬†Manon Melis.

While aware of the dangers of the Netherlands, Catley believes the Matildas are better prepared to face their opponents this time round.

"We played them in the Cyprus Cup last year and I think we were playing a very similar style to them which maybe didn't suit us as well."

"I think this time around we are playing some really exciting, attacking football and everyone just seems to be on their game right now."

A win over the Netherlands would be the perfect start on many levels for Australia, particularly in light of the strength of Group A.

A top spot finish would not only mean results over World Cup opposition and top 20 nations but it would also result play off in the championship match against the winner of Group B, which includes Canada, Korea Republic, Scotland and Italy.

The last time these two sides met was in March 2014 with the Matildas clawing back a two goal deficit for a 2-2 draw.

There are no broadcasts of the Cyprus Cup but follow us on Facebook at Twitter for updates.


Cyprus Cup

Netherlands v Australia

4 March 2015

GSZ Larnaca

Kick off: 17:30 local (2.30am AEDT)

Upcoming Matches

Australia v England

6 March 2015

GSP Nicosia

Kick off: 17:30 local (2.30am AEDT)

Australia v Finland

9 March 2015

GSZ Larnaca

Kick off: 17:30 local (2.30am AEDT)

 Matildas Squad

Laura ALLEWAY, Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk), Nicola BOLGER, Stephanie CATLEY, Larissa CRUMMER, Brianna DAVEY (gk), Lisa DE VANNA, Caitlin FOORD, Kate GILL, Katrina GORRY, Michelle HEYMAN, Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, Alanna KENNEDY, Collette McCALLUM, Teresa POLIAS, Clare POLKINGHORNE, Hayley RASO, Gema SIMON, Kyah SIMON, Ashleigh SYKES, Servet UZUNLAR, Emily VAN EGMOND