England’s Women look to join Germany, China, Australia and Canada in the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup, as they take on Norway in the last-16 stage in Ottawa.
After defeat in their opening game of the tournament to France, England responded well with 2-1 victories over Colombia and Mexico to secure their place in the last-16, setting up the tie against the Scandinavians.
They’ve showed signs of improvement in their victories over the two South American sides, however in both games they have conceded goals late on leading to concerns over their concentration.
Norway, meanwhile, sit 11th in the world rankings, five places below the Three Lionesses, and represent tough opposition for an England team looking to win their first ever knockout match at a Women’s World Cup.
They were runners-up at Euro 2013 and in the group stage in Canada they have coasted past Ivory Coast 3-1 and Thailand 4-0, as well as holding tournament favourites Germany to a 1-1 draw.
These two sides last met in January 2014, where they drew 1-1 in Mark Sampson’s first game in charge, with Eni Aluko netting the goal for the Lionesses before Melissa Bjaneso netted a late equaliser for the Norwegians.
Sampson has utilised all of his 20 outfield players so far as well as a number of different formations in the tournament, leaving him with a host of options for the game.
However, Jodie Taylor and Jordan Nobbs both missed their final training session on Sunday and are doubts for the game. Aluko was left out of the Colombia game last week and could be brought back in to add some pace to the attack.
Norway have a wealth of experience to call on – captain Trine Ronning has 153 caps, whilst midfielder Solveig Gulbrandsen has 179 – however it’ll be one of the youngsters England have to keep tabs on.
At the age of just 19 Ada Hegerberg already has 34 caps and has netted 16 goals in that time, including three in the tournament so far.
Shoot Says: England 2-1 Norway AET