Sarina Wiegman hopes England will ‘go wild’ against Scotland
England’s hopes of reaching the Women’s Nations League knockout rounds and qualifying for the Olympics on behalf of Team GB hang by a thread as they take on Scotland at Hampden Park tonight. The Lionesses are currently second in Group A1, level on points with the Netherlands, but need to finish top of the table in order to progress.
The Netherlands are top due to their superior goal difference and take on Belgium in the group’s other fixture this evening. The Lionesses will go through should England defeat Scotland and the Netherlands drop points, but it is more likely that Group A1 will be decided by goal difference.
That means that the Lionesses must better the Netherlands’ result by three or more goals in order to reach the next stage of the competition and Sarina Wiegman’s side will be out to secure a big win as they face rivals Scotland, whose relegation from the top tier of the Nations League has already been confirmed.
An added complication is that Wiegman’s side are the nominated nation to qualify for the Paris Olympics on behalf of Team GB. England need to reach the Nations League final – or finish third if Olympic hosts France make the final – in order to secure a place.
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England, Scotland and the ‘strange’ dilemma of Olympics qualification
The build-up to what should be a grand staging of a historic football rivalry has instead been dominated by what England, who are the nominated nation when it comes to Olympics qualification, require at Hampden and whether Scotland will help or hinder the “Auld Enemy”, as well as themselves.
A final chance to read Jamie Braidwood’s preview ahead of tonight’s fixture:
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 19:30
Scotland vs England – How can England finish top of Group A1?
One final reminder ahead of kick-off about the permutations of this match with England’s hopes of qualifying Great Britain for the Olympics on the line. To do that, they must first finish top of Group A1.
After five games played, England and the Netherlands are level on nine points: with three wins and two defeats. The teams have identical head-to-head records after the Netherlands won 2-1 in their home fixture and England won 3-2 at Wembley.
Therefore, the Netherlands have the advantage because of their greater goal difference across the group. The Netherlands have scored 10 goals and conceded six, giving the Dutch a goal difference of +4, while England have scored nine and conceded eight, giving the Lionesses a goal difference of +1.
Ahead of their final fixtures, England need to win by at least three goals more than the Netherlands, if both sides win, otherwise they will qualify if the Dutch drop points against Belgium and the Lionesses beat Scotland.
Should they do that, the Lionesses must then reach the Nations League final to be sure of their place at the Olympics next summer.
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 19:25
Scotland vs England – pre-match stats
Ahead of kick-off, here are a few key stats to set the scene:
– England have won 24 of their 27 meetings with Scotland in all competitions (D1 L2), including each of the last three by an aggregate scoreline of 10-2. Scotland’s last win against the Lionesses came back in March 2011 in the Cyprus Cup.
– Scotland have lost seven of their eight home games against England in all competitions, losing each of their last six on home soil against the Lionesses since a 2-1 friendly victory back in May 1977. – Lauren James, who assisted two of England’s three goals against Netherlands last time out, has been directly involved in nine goals in her nine international starts in 2023 (4 goals, 5 assists) and has 10 goal involvements overall this calendar year, more than any other player for the Lionesses.
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 19:20
England vs Scotland
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 19:14
England vs Scotland
Beth Mead last scored for England in a 10-0 win against Luxembourg on September 6, 2022.
Back in the lineup for the first time since her ACL injury, can she get back on the scoresheet tonight?
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 19:11
England vs Scotland
Scotland remain winless in this UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign, having won five of their six games in the build up to the tournament (D1).
They’ve drawn against Belgium twice but can tonight’s hosts pull off a huge upset tonight and end their Nations League campaign style?
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 19:07
Pedro Martinez Losa – Inappropriate to question Scotland players’ integrity
The Scottish manager has reaffirmed Sarina Wiegman’s notion that his side won’t be rolling over tonight, despite what the ramifications of the result could mean for Team GB’s Olympic hopes.
England are the nominated home nation for securing a Paris 2024 Olympics qualification spot, something that will be achieved if they advance and then make the Nations League final or, if France are finalists, come in the top three. With England’s success on that front the only way Scottish players will be able to play at the Games, it is certainly an unusual situation heading into Tuesday.
However, Martinez Losa says his team will still give it all tonight.
“I don’t feel happy about the questioning of the integrity of the Scottish players,” he said. “Scotland is a wonderful country, with wonderful people, they are very passionate about everything and nobody for one second should question the integrity of the players and how much they want to represent their nation.
“Our motivation is our fans, to play good football, to beat England and improve the aspects we have to improve as a team. This is something we couldn’t affect and is part of the competition. We have been trying to stay away from that, there is no conversation to have.”
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 19:00
Scotland vs England – Four changes for Scotland
The hosts, meanwhile, make four changes as Gibson, Mukandi, McLaughlan and Hanson come in for MacIver, Brown, Thomas and MacLean.
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 18:58
Scotland vs England – Beth Mead returns
Two changes for England from their win against the Netherlands and the big news is the return of Beth Mead. The Arsenal forward came off the bench on Friday but tonight will be her first start for the Lionesses since her ACL injury.
Esme Morgan also comes in to partner Alex Greenwood in central defence, with Jess Carter making way.
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 18:52
Scotland vs England – Scotland team news is in!
Scotland XI: Gibson; Corsie, Clark, Mukandi, Docherty; McLaughlan, Kerr, Cuthbert; Evans, Hanson, Emslie.
Ben Fleming5 December 2023 18:49