England Lionesses urged to hunt down first Wembley win
England Lionesses urged to hunt down first Wembley win against Northern Ireland in World Cup qualifier Sarina Wiegman under pressure to deliver
- England Women hope it’s third time lucky in looking for their first Wembley win
- The Lionesses have played at the national stadium twice before in friendlies
- Now, under coach Sarina Wiegman, they face Northern Ireland in a qualifier
England Women will hope it is third time lucky as they look for their first win at Wembley on Saturday evening.
The Lionesses have played at the national stadium twice before in friendlies against Germany, but both ended in defeat — 3-0 under Mark Sampson in 2014 and 2-1 under Phil Neville in 2019.
The World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland marks their first competitive fixture at Wembley and the pressure is on boss Sarina Wiegman to deliver.
England Women will hope it is third time lucky as they look for their first win at Wembley
‘It’s a great stadium that everyone wants to play in,’ said Wiegman. ‘It’s very special with a big crowd, too. I’m pretty calm but I am very excited.’
England beat Northern Ireland 6-0 in a friendly in February but manager Kenny Shiels was without several experienced players. After the defeat, Northern Ireland went on to qualify for next summer’s Euros and won their first two World Cup qualifiers against Luxembourg and Latvia.
Now the pressure is on boss Sarina Wiegman to deliver a big result
‘I expect a harder game than the ones we had last month,’ said Wiegman, whose team beat North Macedonia 8-0 and Luxembourg 10-0 in her first two matches. Wiegman confirmed that Leah Williamson will be captain in the absence of Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze but insisted she has not made a permanent decision.
‘It’s a huge honour,’ Williamson said. ‘It’s probably the most sought after job in football.’
A crowd of 30,000 is expected, compared to 77,768 for England’s defeat by Germany.
But Williamson believes it is time to play more games at Wembley.
‘It’s something we thought would happen more frequently after the Germany game,’ she said. ‘The first competitive game is a milestone for us.’
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