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Is Sam Kerr playing tonight? Matildas star’s availability for Women’s World Cup clash against Canada

Will Sam Kerr be available for the Matildas’ do-or-die Women’s World Cup clash against Canada?

The superstar’s availability will be crucial to the host nation’s chances versus the Olympic champions on Monday night at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

The Sporting News looks at whether Sam Kerr will play in Australia’s crucial final group game.

MORE: Sam Kerr injury update: Latest news on Matildas star’s return for Australia at Women’s World Cup 2023

Is Sam Kerr for playing the Matildas tonight against Canada?

Yes, according to Kerr herself, with the Australian gun claiming she will be available for the Canada match – but was unsure whether it would be a starter or as a substitute.

“The plan has always been the same — miss the first two games and then reassess,” Kerr said in press conference on Saturday.

“I’m feeling good. I was out in the pitch today.

“I would love to tell you guys everything but being in sport a long time, that’s a massive thing that the opposition wants to know. Like Tony [Gustavsson] said yesterday, it’s gonna go down to the wire.

“I’m definitely going to be available, but how we decide to use that … [it won’t] be given to the opposition.”

However, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson refused to confirm if Kerr would play a part in the match – insisting it will come down to a fitness test on Monday before the game.

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“I want to be clear that we knew she was going to miss the first two games and then be assessed going into this game, and that was going to go down to the wire,” Gustavsson said on Sunday.

“We’re going to have a meeting with the medical team and Sam, and discuss what the possibility is for her to play (against Canada).

“Then we’re going to do some tests (on Monday) to see what it looks like.

“(With) calf injuries, one thing is that you’re available but there’s also risk when you come back from a muscle injury … so we need to balance how many minutes is she available, with what are the risks if we manage to go through to the playoffs (with) playing time … so there’s a lot on the table to discuss and we probably won’t know how exactly we’re going to use that until we come into the stadium (on Monday).”

MORE: Matildas injury list: Fowler and Luik join casualty ward

What is Sam Kerr’s injury?

Kerr was struck down by a calf injury at training in Brisbane last week — one day before the Matildas’ opening World Cup match against Ireland.

The news was kept under wraps by the Australian team until the starting XI was announced 60 minutes before the Ireland kickoff on Thursday night.

Sam Kerr’s importance to the Matildas

Kerr is the one bona fide superstar of the Matildas team, with 63 goals in 120 appearances for the national team since making her debut in 2009 at 15 years of age.

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Domestically, she has won three golden boots in North America’s premier women’s league NWSL and since a 2020 move to Chelsea in the Women’s Super League, she has been top scorer in the division twice and has won 10 domestic trophies.

This has seen Kerr nominated for the past four Ballon d’Or Feminin awards, with the Australian finishing third on two occasions.

When playing for Australia, Kerr is used in a talismanic centre-forward role, where the team relies on her finishing, aerial prowess, and pace in behind defences.

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