Matildas to push WWC claims against Sweden

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has urged his players to make their case for World Cup selection in Australia's clash with Sweden.

Australia take on the world No.2 at Melbourne's AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon in a compelling test ahead of next year's tournament on home soil.

The Matildas are plotting a first win over Gustavsson's home nation in three attempts during his tenure.

They lost to Sweden 1-0 in the Tokyo Olympics semi-final and 4-2 in the tournament's group stage, as well as drawing 0-0 in a June 2021 friendly.

"I told them yesterday that we've said we're going to narrow down and have a little bit more continuity - that doesn't mean spots are guaranteed," Gustavsson told reporters on Friday.

"So I approached the team yesterday and said, 'You know what? It's up to you now to show me whether you want to be part of the World Cup roster but also if you want to be a starter or a game changer (substitute)'.

"So now there's competition and I love that."

Gustavsson said players who shone in recent wins over Denmark and South Africa would get first crack at starting against the Swedes.

"Some players in the last camp, when the opportunity was given to them (they) took it," he said.

"A few of those players deserve to get a second chance against a top-ranked team and to take that next step and see, 'Where are we?'."

Gustavsson said the back-to-back victories had shown the Matildas could win well against weaker opposition.

"Now it's the big test," he said. "Where are we against a top ranked team?

"Because we still have a lot of players unavailable, especially in the backline - there's two to three potential starters that are not available and we're going to play Sweden who smashed France 3-0.

"So it's going to be a tough test.

"How do I go about it? I get people that deserve a second chance, a second chance against the top-brand team.

"Are they're ready for it? We'll see where we're at. I'm curious."

Gustavsson promised to stick to attacking football, even if it came at the expense of a clean sheet as he looks to build momentum and belief for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The coach revealed a couple of first-choice players, who he declined to name, would be touch-and-go to take the field after picking up knocks at Friday's training.

The Matildas will definitely be without Alanna Kennedy (shoulder), who was never going to play in the current window, while Elise Kellond-Knight and Chloe Logarzo are likely only to have limited involvement.