Katie McCabe. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
The Football Family

'There are two wildly different but plausible scenarios in my head'

Football Family podcast previews Ireland’s World Cup opener against Australia.

IRELAND’S DEFENSIVE EFFECTIVENESS will be key to how the World Cup opener against host nation Australia plays out tomorrow, the Football Family podcast has heard. 

The 42‘s Emma Duffy and Sinead O’Carroll, editor of The Journal, both in Australia to cover the competition, sat down with Enda Coll ahead of the big kick off.    

“One scenario is that Ireland absolutely nail that defensive system that they have and frustrate the hell out of the Australian team,” O’Carroll told the podcast for subscribers to The 42, adding that the home side could then “get more nervous and play more within themselves and we sneak a result somehow.”   

She added: “There’s another scenario where we conceded really early on and then our system kind of falls apart because everyone’s like, ‘the defensive system hasn’t worked, now we’re going to have to try to get a goal, how do we do that?’ And everything kind of just crumbles and we lose 3-0 like we did against France. 

“So there’re two wildly different but plausible scenarios in my head, my concern is that the second one will happen.”  

Duffy said: “I do think the France game was a big wake-up call for players, a few of them have said that over the past few weeks. That was a reminder that they still had a lot of work to do before this game. 

“I suppose Australia, they’re quite unpredictable. They attack with a little bit of chaos. They love playing out wide and then they have Sam Kerr up top, and it’s all about the service into her, she’s phenomenal in the air.” 

Yet Duffy said there were more dimensions to Australia’s attack with the likes of Hayley Raso – “an absolute flyer” – and overlapping full-backs providing width and more pace.  

“They looked really, really good against France and I think they’re really up for this,” Duffy said.  

O’Carroll said: “I would be more worried about that than the headers from Sam Kerr, because that’s the stuff that we love defending against.”  

“And you have Louise Quinn there,” said Duffy.  

“It’s the other stuff that we really don’t like defending against,” O’Carroll said. “And it just means that Katie (McCabe) has to stay back because we know what happened against France when Katie went off, the balls came in and the goals went in.”

The panel also discussed the atmosphere in Australia, what the set-up is like and if there’s a buzz starting to build. Plus, they ran through the tournament itself; who to watch, the stories from other nations and gave their predictions for the winning nation.

If you are not already a subscriber and would like to listen to this podcast, sign up here and enjoy unlimited access to The 42. 

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