Both sides finished second in their respective groups with two wins and a loss.

Australia suffered a first up defeat to Italy before recording consecutive victories against Brazil and Jamaica. Meanwhile, Norway bookended a 2-1 loss to France with wins over Nigeria and South Korea.

While the Norwegians are contending with fitness concerns over their star player, Caroline Graham Hansen, Australia is as close to full strength as possible with all players taking part in training.

Going by the pre-match press conferences, both coaches believe this game will be close with the respect between the two countries obvious.

The honours are split slightly in Norway’s favour in the head to head, with the Europeans winning three matches to Australia’s two with one draw between the teams.

The last time they met was at the 2018 Algarve Cup where Australia scored a 4-3 win in cyclonic conditions in Portugal.

The winner of this match sets up a scintillating quarter-final with the winner of the clash between Cameroon and England.


Elise Kellond-Knight (Australia)

Taken by Rachel Bach (@bythewhiteline)

Wherever she plays on the pitch, Kellond-Knight is an experienced head and a vital cog in this Matildas lineup. Ante Milicic heaped plenty of praise on the Reign FC midfielder, noting her intelligence on the park and versatility.

Thanks to the defensive reshuffle, she may still be required at left back although Milicic did concede he’d like to see her in her more natural number six role. Regardless, she is too important a player not to take to the field and Australia are all the better for having her on the park.

Guro Reiten (Norway)

The 24-year-old forward scored Norway’s first goal at this World Cup in their opening game against Nigeria. Plying her trade in the Toppserien with LSK Kvinner, she has the ability to produce handy goals and in a game that has the potential to be high scoring that could be beneficial.


The World Cup gets real in a whole new way once we finish the group stages. However, the messaging out of the Australian camp has not changed since day one. The focus is entirely on themselves, their style of play and their principles.

It has been noted by Norway - and acknowledged by Australia - that the Matildas’ strength is their forward line.

The Norwegian coach, Martin Sjogren, said that his opponents score a lot but concede a lot as well; a criticism that Ante Milicic labeled as fair.

Both teams are strong and predictions have it as the most evenly balanced of all the round of 16 clashes based on world rankings, form, and other statistical analysis. Milicic has prioritised stability as a key part of his plans to beat the team known as the Grasshoppers, and with one day less rest than Norway, there could be some tired bodies out on the park.

This game has the potential to be the match of the round and will be interesting for fan and neutral alike.

Stade de Nice, Nice, France
22 June 2019 (local) - 23 June 2019 AEST
Kick-off: 9.00 pm (local)- 5.00 am AEST
Broadcast: Live on Optus Sport and SBS