Matildas eye solid defence in Sweden clash

Vice-captain Steph Catley is confident the Matildas' shaky defence can find its feet ahead of a massive litmus test against Sweden.

The Matildas have not kept a clean sheet since beating the Philippines 4-0 at January's Asian Cup.

Australia are attempting to build on the momentum of recent wins over South Africa and Denmark against the world No.2.

But Sweden, who beat the Matildas in the Tokyo Olympics semi-finals, will pose a far sterner test.

"Today we just looked at some defensive principles and a bit about their line-up and the different things that they do going forward," Catley told reporters on Wednesday.

"How we can nullify that as best we can and try and transition the other way as well.

"They're a dynamic team. They've got a lot of good players and are very good in the final third.

"As a defensive line, you're always proud of clean sheets and being a unit and working together, and that's something we really focused on last camp."

Finding the Matildas' best defensive form at AAMI Park on Saturday could well involve Melburnian Catley shifting into the centre from her starring left-back role.

Alanna Kennedy (shoulder) is in camp but will not play, while Aivi Luik and Clare Polkinghorne have combined most frequently.

Catley has recently played centrally at club side Arsenal and has previously filled the role for the Matildas.

"Wherever I need to play, I'm willing to play," she said.

"I've had a lot of time at centre-back back recently. So whatever my role is, I'll be ready."

Catley scored a wonderful 'Olimpico' (a goal directly from a corner kick) in Arsenal's 4-0 win over Leicester at the weekend before departing for Melbourne.

It summed up how her set-pieces have become a valuable weapon for club and country.

"It's always nice to get on the scoresheet. It's something that I don't do often, maybe once a year," she said.

"So that's my goal ticked off for the first one.

"I've always been involved in set-pieces in my career, but recently I've really sort of homed in on it - (trying) to get my technique right and mix up my deliveries and make sure I've got a few different weapons."

The entire Matildas squad trained at Melbourne's Lakeside Stadium on Wednesday, with forwards Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord among those joining Catley in making the long trip from England.