England Women are back in action tonight when they face Canada at Stoke’s bet365 Stadium. England Women vs Canada Women, live! International friendly – all the action. Follow tonight’s England Women vs Canada Women match. Missing Bronze would add to England’s defensive woes: both captain Steph Houghton and Manchester City team-mate Demi Stokes are also missing.
England Women vs Canada Women preview, team news, kick-off time
England Women have a final chance to stake their claim to be included in Hege Riise’s Team GB Olympics squad when they host Canada in a friendly on Tuesday; England are currently without injured skipper Steph Houghton – Ellen White is captaining in her absence
However, the Lionesses still began the game against France on Friday with a back-four of regular internationals: Arsenal’s Leah Williamson and Chelsea’s Mille Bright at centre-back, Lyon’s Alex Greenwood at left-back, and Houston Dash’s Rachel daly on the right.
The friendly will be the Lionesses’ third match under interim boss Hege Riise and their final fixture before the Norwegian names her Great Britain squad in May for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
The Lionesses were beaten 3-1 by France on Friday in Caen in the first of a double-header of friendlies, but Riise says that while she wants to see some improvements against Canada she feels “comfortable that we are moving in the right direction”.
“I feel comfortable that we are moving in the right direction,” the England boss said on Monday. “The players seem to have fun out there.
“Even though we always step on the field to win, if you look behind the loss, there are bits and pieces that I feel like (were) really good, and some things that we need to just clean up, and that’s what the next game will hopefully look like.”
Riise has spoken of the “great answers” provided by the France game in terms of “what we need to improve and what has improved” in attack and defence, and highlighted the need to finish chances.
While she wants improvement after what was an eighth defeat in 13 matches for England on Friday, Riise said she thinks “we are on a good road going forward”.
“When we see the chances that France created and how clinical they are in finishing the chances, that’s the thing we need to be better at,” Riise added.
“We had the chances, we need to get a goal, that gets confidence. And I hope that’s something we can see against Canada. Also that defensive transition.”
The battle for Olympic selection
Players will certainly be eager to impress Riise in Tuesday’s game, with her 18-strong GB squad to be named in May.
She has said the plan has been for “almost every” member of the 26-player England squad to get game time across this double-header of friendlies; 17 featured against France.
That included one of four goalkeepers, Ellie Roebuck – Sandy MacIver, Carly Telford and Karen Bardsley are also in the group.
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Team news – Bronze doubtful
Others who did not play in the France match were Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Millie Turner and Esme Morgan.
The experienced figures of Bronze and Stokes missed out with minor injuries, and Riise has said she is hopeful the latter will be ready to feature “for a few minutes”, while a decision about Bronze was to be made after a training session on Monday.
England are currently without the pair’s fellow defender, injured skipper Steph Houghton – Ellen White is captaining in her absence.
There will be a familiar face in the opposition dugout when England Women walk out at the bet365 Stadium.
Tuesday’s opponents Canada – joint-eighth in the world rankings, two places lower than England – are managed by Bev Priestman, who was England’s assistant boss under Phil Neville, while Riise is being assisted by a former Canada international in Rhian Wilkinson.
“Bev knows all of our players, but also Rhian is with me, she knows all the Canadian players – so between those two they know quite a bit about our squad and Canada as well,” Riise added.
“But for the England players, (I want them) to just go out, have fun, think about what the experience was from France and hopefully to make that a better performance in the area that we want and need to be better.”
How to follow
Follow live text commentary of England Women vs Canada Women via our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms; kick-off is at 7.15pm.
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