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Ellie Carpenter, Kyah Simon, Caitlin Foord return to Matildas squad to face Brazil

Ellie Carpenter is proving herself a versatile and reliable performer at both ends of the park for Australia -- equally adept in defence as she is at causing havoc down the wing in attack. Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Sam Kerr headlines a 23-player squad for the Matildas' first games in Australia since March 2020 and new coach Tony Gustavsson's first trip to Australia.

Facing two matches against fierce rivals Brazil at CommBank Stadium in Sydney -- the first on Oct. 23 -- the Matildas are looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to the Republic of Ireland last month.

Fan favourites including full back Ellie Carpenter, midfielder Emily van Egmond and forwards Kyah Simon and Caitlin Foord have returned to the squad, but Chloe Logarzo (knee), Elise Kellond-Knight (knee), Hayley Raso (shoulder) and Emily Gielnik (toe) are injured.

Several new national team players have retained their place in the squad including September's debutantes Angie Beard, Charli Grant, and Clare Wheeler, and Western Sydney product and Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas forward Bryleeh Henry has received her first call up to the senior national team.

Gustavsson, who took on the role in Sept. 2020, was excited about steering the Matildas in their first home game in 596 days -- with up to 22,500 fans able to attend.

"Finally, we are so excited to get the chance to play in front of home fans," the Swede said on Saturday.

"For me personally, first time ever and I can't wait to get there, and the fact that it's almost a full stadium as well I can only imagine the atmosphere."

With the AFC Women's Asian Cup in India less than 100 days away, and the Women's World Cup looming in 2023, Gustavsson said it was important to use these games to build towards the big tournaments.

"It's about who can reach their full potential come 2023," he said.

"It's not just about who is the best but who can become the best so we're looking at 2023 in all the decisions we're making right now.

"It's all about preparing now and that doesn't mean we're not going to try to win, we will always try to win, but not at the expense of preparations."

It will be the first time the Matildas have assembled since retired star Lisa De Vanna's allegations of abuse within the side surfaced earlier this month.

Gustavsson acknowledged De Vanna and said the Matildas would continue to work to provide a "safe environment" for all.

"We need to drive for zero tolerance always and put well being as No.1," he said.

"For me and my staff, the No.1 job is to do everything we can in our power to create a safe environment for players and staff -- supportive and inclusive."

Matildas Squad:

Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United), Teagan Micah (FC Rosengard), Lydia Williams (Arsenal).

Defenders: Angela Beard (Fortuna Hjorring), Ellie Carpenter (Lyon), Emma Checker (Melbourne City), Charlotte Grant (FC Rosengard), Alanna Kennedy (Manchester City), Courtney Nevin (Melbourne Victory), Clare Polkinghorne (Vittsjo GIK), Jamilla Rankin (Brisbane Roar), Karly Roestbakken (LSK Kvinner).

Midfielders: Kyra Cooney-Cross (Melbourne Victory), Emily van Egmond (Orlando Pride), Clare Wheeler (Fortuna Hjorring).

Forwards: Caitlin Foord (Arsenal), Mary Fowler (Montpellier), Bryleeh Henry (Western Sydney Wanderers), Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Remy Siemsen (Sydney FC), Kyah Simon (Tottenham Hotspur).