England Women flattered to deceive in their opening match of the World Cup against Haiti, but have another opportunity to show what they can do on Friday night when they take on Denmark Women at the Allianz Stadium.
In a frustrating match, which the Lionesses largely dominated, Sarina Wiegman’s team could only find one goal against an incredibly stubborn Haitian defence – and even that goal was a penalty that had to be retaken from Georgia Stanway.
Although England got the job done, it wasn’t exactly a performance to get the nation enticed and excited about the Lionesses’ prospects of backing up their European Championship triumph last year with World Cup success this summer.
England will be keen to show what they can do and have the opportunity to do just that on Friday night, but must not underestimate Denmark.
Wiegman may be tempted to shuffle the pack slightly following that underwhelming performance against Haiti, which may mean opportunities for players like Lauren James, Rachel Daly and Bethany England who had to settle for a spot on the bench in the tournament opener.
England Women v Denmark Women
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Group D
9:30 BBC One / BBC iPlayer / BBC Sport Website
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAY 2019 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY England Women 0-0 Denmark Women
JULY 2017 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Denmark Women 1-2 England Women
JUN 2005 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Denmark Women 2-1 England Women
Denmark left it late, but managed to get the job done in the end by seeing off China 1-0 in their first World Cup finals match since 2007 thanks to an 89th-minute goal from Amalie Vangsgaard.
That continues the Danes’ impressive run in form which has seen Lars Sondergaard’s side win six of their last seven internationals.
This means that England will need to bring their A-game in this one as they are much more likely to be punished if they produce a similar performance to the Haiti match.
Denmark have a tight defence and so there is a chance that England could find themselves frustrated again, but the Lionesses so often find a way to win and I anticipate them doing that again. I am backing an England win with under 2.5 goals with starsports.bet.
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PROFIT/LOSS (JULY 2023): LOSS -49.61 points