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By ESPN Staff
Apr 17, 2011

Matildas host NZ in World Cup warm-up

Australia will host New Zealand in a two-match women's soccer series in Gosford next month, preparing for the World Cup.

The matches, scheduled for May 12 and 15 at Bluetongue Stadium, will be the Matildas' last matches on home soil before heading to Germany on June 14.

The last time they met in a two-match series in February last year, the Matildas won 3-0 on both occasions.

The Football Ferns are ranked 24 in the world with Australia sitting in 11th place behind England and Norway in the rankings released on March 18.

Coach Tom Sermanni needs to reduce his 34-player squad to 21 for Germany.

"Following our four camps at the Australian Institute of Sport I've had a good look at the group of players and it is going to be incredibly difficult to cut this squad down," said Sermanni in a statement released by FFA on Monday.

"The work rate and intensity in the sessions has been incredible and all 34 players have put a strong case forward for selection.

"These matches will provide the ideal opportunity to assess where we're at against a quality opposition and give the coaching staff more to think (about selections)."

The Matildas go into camp in Gosford on May 9.

The first game on May 12 will be in a closed stadium but tickets are available for the second match on May 15.

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