Despite Fitness Claims, Sam Kerr Misses Out on Australia’s Key World Cup Game

Australia captain Sam Kerr has not been named in the starting XI for the Matildas’ crucial final World Cup group match against Canada on Monday, despite declaring herself fit.

The hosts went into the match in third place in Group B after a win against Ireland and a defeat to Nigeria in their opening two games. They need to beat second-placed Canada in Melbourne to guarantee a spot in the last 16.

Kerr missed Australia’s first two matches with a left calf injury suffered on the eve of the tournament. But the Chelsea striker was named among the substitutes for the third straight game.

It remains to be seen whether she will make an impact from the bench.

Mary Fowler returns to the starting lineup after sitting out the 3-2 loss to Nigeria due to concussion protocols. She replaces winger Cortnee Vine.

Emily van Egmond retains her place in midfield after an impressive performance against Nigeria.

Canada captain Christine Sinclair and defender Kadeisha Buchanan have overcome fitness concerns to start.

A draw would not be enough for Australia if bottom side Ireland beat Nigeria in the other Group B match. The Matildas need the three points to advance.

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