Emily Gielnik hopes her intimate knowledge of the Norwegian league and some of their players will be an advantage for the Matildas in Sunday morning’s (AEST) Round of 16 clash at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Matildas and Melbourne Victory attacker spent one season in Norway’s Toppserien in 2017, scoring eight goals in 19 appearances for Avaldsnes IL.
She is one of a number of Australian stars who have spent time in the Norwegian league, including midfielders Tameka Yallop and Aivi Luik, attacker Chloe Logarzo and defender Gema Simon.
“I’m quite familiar with their style of play and some of their players. They are not a bad team, quite tidy,” Gielnik told www.matildas.com.au.
“But I think we’re a better team and we just need to make sure it’s not one of those World Cup upsets.
“It’s a little bit of an advantage knowing we know them and their style of play and hopefully we can help out the coaching staff in some regards.
“But at the end of the day I think it’s just going to be the team that wants it more.”
After ending the group stage with a 4-1 win over Jamaica on Tuesday night (local time), the Matildas were up early the next morning to move from Grenoble to Nice, where they will take on Norway.
Ante Milicic’s squad travelled via a private jet to get to the French Riviera in the quickest possible time, spending the afternoon doing a recovery session at a nearby beach.
“We’re all beach babies, we’re back in our natural habitat you could say,” Gielnik said.
“Everyone is super excited and there’s a lot more positivity in the air.
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“The main focus for us is recovery, with the short turnaround, the flight and just being in a new area.
“It’s massive recovery time, we’ll be on the pitch tomorrow and before you know it, it will be matchday minus one and then we’ll be playing.”
The Matildas last faced Norway back in early 2018 at the Algarve Cup, with Larissa Crummer’s last-minute goal giving Australia a thrilling 4-3 win.
World Cup France 2019™ – Round of 16 - Next Australia match
Norway v Australia
Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de Nice, Nice
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Saturday 22 June)
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