Melbourne Victory star Emily Gielnik has helped the Westfield Matildas reach the knockout stage at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and she is ready to take on some familiar faces on Sunday morning (AEST).
Australia finished its Group C campaign with two wins from three matches, claiming second spot and a meeting with Norway in Nice in the Round of 16.
Gielnik, who scored four goals and provided two assists for Victory as it won its maiden Westfield W-League Premier’s Plate in 2018-19, has made the most of starts against Brazil and Jamaica.
The attacker is the only Australia player to provide more than one assist so far, having helped set up Chloe Logarzo against Brazil and the in-form Sam Kerr against Jamaica.
Now, Gielnik is ready to meet some familiar faces, having played with Avaldsnes in Norway’s Toppserien in 2017.
“It wasn’t too long ago to be honest and I’m quite familiar with their style of play and some of their players and played against some of their players in the league,” she said.
“They’re not a bad team, they’re quite tidy to give them a bit of credit.
“But also to us, I think we’re a better team and we just need to make sure it’s not one of those World Cup upsets.”
Playing alongside fellow Westfield Matildas Logarzo and Gema Simon, Gielnik starred during her season with Avaldsnes, scoring eight league goals as it finished second in the Toppserien.
Avaldsnes also reached the Champions League knockout stage in 2017-18, Gielnik netting twice in the group stage before the team was eliminated by Barcelona in the last 32.
“Chloe and I especially, and Gema as well, we’ve played against some of those (Norway) players,” Gielnik said.
“Tameka (Yallop) has been in the team with some of those players so it’s a little bit of an advantage knowing that we know them and know their style of play and hopefully we can help out the coaching staff in some regards to that.
“But at the end of the day it’s just going to be the team who wants it more I think.”
The last-16 clash between the Westfield Matildas and Norway kicks off at 5.00am AEST on Sunday.