Algarve Cup
Scotland v Canada
Friday, 1 March 2019, kick-off 1.15pm
Estadio Municipal de Lagos, Portugal

Scotland return to the Algarve Cup for the first time in 17 years this week, with Shelley Kerr’s side facing off against Canada in their first competitive match of 2019.

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup on the horizon, the invitation to participate in one of the most prestigious tournaments in women’s football provides Kerr and her coaching staff with an invaluable opportunity to assess the squad ahead of their debut on the game’s biggest stage.

A tough test awaits for the team in their opening fixture, however, as Scotland come up against the tournament’s top-ranked side in the form of Canada.

Victors in the Algarve as recently as 2016, the Canadians have high hopes going into this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup as they look to improve upon their quarter-final showing on home soil four years ago.

This will be the seventh meeting between the two nations, the most recent of which saw Canada emerge victorious at the 2015 Cyprus Cup.

Team News

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr has elected to call Durham striker Zoe Ness into her squad ahead of her side’s opening Algarve Cup match, with the 22-year-old hoping to add to her three international caps to date.

However, the team will be forced to cope without Arsenal defender Emma Mitchell following her withdrawal from the squad earlier this week.

Several experienced players return to the squad having missed January’s friendlies in La Manga, including captain Rachel Corsie and vice-captain Kim Little.

Kim Little

Canada head coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller has named a highly experienced squad, including five players with over 100 international appearances to their name.

Heiner-Moller has also included a trio of promising teenagers in his playing group, spearheaded by Vancouver Whitecaps striker Jordyn Huitema.

What to expect from Canada

Ranked fifth in the world, Scotland players and supporters alike will be under no illusions as to the strength of opponent lying in wait in Lagos.

The Canadians will go into this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup as potential dark horses for the title, having earned a second successive Olympic bronze medal at Rio 2016.

Heiner-Moller is also able to call upon one of the greatest women’s players of all time, with his squad led by the talismanic figure of Christine Sinclair.

The Portland Thorns striker is Canada’s most-capped player in history, having earned 275 caps in her 19-year career to date.

Sinclair also goes into the Algarve Cup with an outside shot at overhauling the world-leading goals tally of former USA striker Abby Wambach – the Canada skipper needs seven goals to become the leading goal-scorer in the history of international football.

Pre-match thoughts

How to follow the match

Each of Scotland's three matches at the Algarve Cup will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website, beginning with Friday's fixture.

You can also stay up to date with the action as it happens via the @ScotlandNT Twitter account.