Some great friendly international games coming up for the Matildas with away games against France on 5 October and England on 12 October, followed by a two-match home series against Chile on 10 and 13 November in Penrith and Newcastle. France is currently ranked third in the world and England fourth. 

Coach Alen Stajcic tells Ray Gatt that some Matildas players have played around 60 games this calendar year which he describes as “an outrageous amount of football”, and he intends resting around five or six key players who have not had a break for 18 months for the matches against France and England. Stajcic says the flip side of that is it will give other players an opportunity to show what they can do against top quality opposition. 

The two home matches against Chile will be played at the same venues that hosted last year's two-match series against Brazil, and were incredibly popular and successful. 

Other than Brazil, Australia hasn't faced a South American team in 20 years and although Chile is ranked 39th (to Australia's eighth), they were also runners-up in the recent Copa America and will be at next year's World Cup in France. 

Tim Cahill farewell

November is shaping-up to be a busy month, because Tim Cahill's farewell game has also been confirmed as the international friendly between Australia and Lebanon at Sydney's Olympic Stadium on 20 November. Cahill said it was “incredibly humbling” to be acknowledged with a farewell match. 

Melbourne Victory sign Spanish midfielder

Melbourne Victory has announced the signing of 29-year-old Spanish midfielder, Raúl Baena, on a one-year loan deal from Granada for whom he played 23 games last season. He has also spent four seasons with each of Espanyol (under Mauricio Pochettino) and Rayo Vallecano. 

Socceroos abroad

A wrap of some of the Socceroos in action over the weekend. As we reported yesterday, Trent Sainsbury made his debut for PSV Eindhoven. Tom Rogic played for Celtic in their Old Firm win over Rangers. Mile Jedinak was in action as a centre back in Aston Villa's loss to Sheffield United. Massimo Luongo's QPR drew 0-0 with Birmingham City. Mitchell Duke's Shimizu S-Pulse lost, and Mitch Langerak had a good day with Nagoya Grampus defeating Jubilo Iwata 6-1. 

matildas, socceroos, tim cahill, raul baena, melbourne victory

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