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England women: Lionesses face their first competitive test after Euro 2022 success

A month after lifting the Euro 2022 trophy, the Lionesses of England were back at St George’s Park this week, returning to something approaching normal after the whirlwind of record-breaking achievements this summer.

With the buzz of their 2-1 extra-time win over Germany in the Wembley final on July 31 just beginning to fade, Sarina Wiegman’s side have now set their sights on their next goal as She resumes her World Cup qualifying campaign in Austria. Saturday.

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European champions England are given a guard of honor as they go out to train at St George’s Park

After returning from Vienna, England will face Luxembourg in front of a sold-out crowd in Stoke, knowing that their Euro success places new levels of expectation on their shoulders. “It’s a target on your back but the pressure is a privilege,” defender Rachel Daly said recently.

Saturday’s match will also see England start life without influential duo Jill Scott and Ellen White, who have both announced their retirement since the Euro triumph, taking with them 274 caps of experience.

“Beth Mead is on fire”

Beth Mead has been directly involved in 22 goals in eight games in this ongoing World Cup qualifying process (12 goals, ten assists), seven more than any other England player.

In total, Mead has contributed to 47 goals in his 45 caps for England (28 goals, 19 assists).

This opened the door for 20-year-old Lauren James and 21-year-old Ebony Salmon to be added to Wiegman’s youth squad, while Fran Kirby is out with a foot problem.

England are yet to lose under Wiegman, who celebrated his first anniversary as England boss this week, with the Lionesses claiming 18 wins from 20 appearances in all competitions (D2), scoring 106 goals in the process. road – an average of 5.3 per game. .

Wiegman: Women’s football must think bigger

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England boss Sarina Wiegman and Millie Bright prepare for upcoming World Cup qualifier against Austria

Wiegman insists there will be no room for complacency following the Euro 2022 triumph, while claiming the women’s game has yet to reach its peak despite the success of the summer tournament .

“Yes, we have some changes from the euro,” she said. “But you also have to adapt to new situations. We have solutions. We are of course in a good position with the players we have at this level.

“It’s totally different – ​​coming from Euro [the support] was really good. This stage [on Saturday] is small. I think we would like to see more people, which is a bit disappointing.

“Women’s football is growing so much that we have to think a little bigger. We can play in bigger stadiums. It’s good that it’s sold out but hopefully in the future they make another decision.”

Analysis: Who fills Ellen White’s seismic void?

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After naming his first team since winning Euro 2022, Wiegman raved about the outgoing pair of Jill Scott and Ellen White

Laura Hunter from Sky Sports:

The answer to this question is simple, isn’t it? Not a soul on the planet was left unmoved by Alessia Russo’s famous heeled nutmeg against Norway, not to mention the three other strikes she amassed during Euro 2022 – including a move particularly glorious rotation and finishing against Northern Ireland.

But Russo has challengers. England has more than one worthy candidate waiting in the wings.

They can qualify for next year’s World Cup if they simply avoid defeat to Austria on Saturday, but that won’t be enough for Wiegman. She will want to place a marker. The Lionesses, who now carry the fear factor after crushing Europe’s top flight, cannot afford to lose that apprehensive appeal. Especially not on the world stage.

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Ellen White

Former England striker Lianne Sanderson says her former team-mate Ellen White will ‘inspire a generation’ after her retirement from professional football was announced

Fortunately, the pool of English talent continues to expand. Salmon replaced White in the squad after establishing a reputation in America as a quick striker with an eye for goal. She will compete with Chelsea’s Russo and Bethany England for a place in England’s top three fluids. “She’s just a real goalscorer,” Wiegman said of Salmon when talking about her recent caps.

Remind you of someone?

White’s handover coincided perfectly with a rise in England’s attacking talent. James has also been added to the mix and brings an altogether different dimension. That’s before Beth Mead, Lauren Hemp and Ella Toone received their special mention. This enterprising team is stacked with goal threat.

White retired at the peak of his career, but paved the way for future generations of wannabes. His 52 goals in 113 senior appearances may never be beaten, but with England’s ever-growing attacking riches you wouldn’t be betting against it.

. England female lionesses make face their first test competition after success Euro News football

. England women Lionesses face competitive test Euro success

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