Matildas still have 'serious firepower' despite injury crisis - Sam Kerr
Striking powerhouse Sam Kerr says Australia's national women's football team is well-placed to cover key absences as they begin their run to the Asian Cup.
The high-flying Matildas return to international action this week at the Algarve Cup, a 12-nation friendly tournament in Portugal.
With only one more match -- a homecoming for Kerr in Perth against Thailand on March 26 -- before April's continental championships, the tournament is a crucial tune-up.
But there's no Caitlin Foord, no Kyah Simon and no Emily Gielnik in Portugal -- all of whom have been mainstays in the side over the last two years.
Injury clouds over Hayley Raso and Steph Catley have the potential to drop the experience level in Alen Stajcic's side further still.
Kerr said their unavailability wouldn't be an excuse.
"100 percent we've still got some serious firepower," she told AAP.
"Last year we didn't play the same team all the time. Whether it was me sitting on the bench, Lisa [De Vanna] sitting on the bench, others.
"We're battling a few injuries.
"The beauty of football is it gives opportunities for some other girls and hopefully there's a few more that step up.
"Myself included. I want to score some more goals this tournament because last time I struggled."
The Matildas are the top-ranked nation in Portugal after a stunning seven-match winning streak in 2017 saw them rise to fourth in the world.
Stajcic's side play Norway (Thursday AEDT), Portugal (Saturday) and China (Tuesday) before a ranking match next Thursday -- a run of four matches in just eight days.
Kerr said their form and reputation made them deserved favourites.
"We're definitely here to win it. We're the highest ranked nation here and we want to win it," she said.
"I wouldn't say its a failure if we don't because our main goal is to prepare for Asian Cup and play the way we want to play.
"We're going to be trying things that maybe won't come off in the first game or the second game but hopefully they come off in April."
The closeness of the fixtures means Stajcic is likely to field every fit member of his squad, including uncapped teenagers Rachel Lowe and Emily Condon.
Kerr said she'd like to see longer breaks between matches but they'd embrace the gruelling schedule.
"By the end of the tournament you feel like you're running backwards," she said.
"It's not ideal for anyone to be playing back to back international games.
"But it gives us an opportunity to try out different things, different players and systems."