England face Latvia in the second of their 2023 World Cup qualifiers this month, looking to make it six wins from six on the road to Australia and New Zealand.
The Lionesses narrowly beat Austria by a single goal at the weekend, which was their closest win in this campaign so far after scoring 32 goals without reply in their previous four games.
Ellen White netted the only goal of the match which England dominated. They could have scored more on another day, although it took two important saves in the second half from goalkeeper Mary Earps to ensure Sarina Wiegman’s team held onto the lead.
As a result of that goal on Saturday, White is now only one behind the all-time Lionesses goal record held by Kelly Smith on 46. Given the vast mismatch here, equalling and breaking that record is a real possibility and could be the headline story from the match.
This is everything you need to know about the Latvia game…
When is kick off? Tuesday 30 November, 19:00 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Keepmoat Stadium
TV channel/live stream? ITV4/ITV Hub (UK), Paramount+ (US)
Highlights? ITV Sport YouTube channel, England YouTube channel
Referee? Veronika Kovarova (CZE)
England’s final training session ahead of the game on Monday morning was cancelled due to weather conditions at their base in Newcastle.
Wiegman could be forgiven for rotating her usual starters in order to look at other players in the squad. But that isn’t something she has done so far against favourable opposition, while she has also said that she still expects England to be ‘ruthless’ here again.
It appears that a desire to build cohesiveness and familiarity ahead of next year’s home European Championship and the World Cup beyond is trumping the urge to tinker with team selections. At most, perhaps Nikita Parris might be pushing for a start ahead of Beth Mead.
4-3-3: Earps; Daly, Bright, Greenwood, Stokes; Kirby, Walsh, Toone; Parris, White, Hemp
The reverse fixture in Riga last month is the only time England have faced Latvia to date. The Lionesses won 10-0 and it was tremendously one-sided as they controlled 78% of the ball, had an astonishing 58 shots, 21 of which were on target, 24 corners, and denied Latvia even one shot.
Manchester United’s Ella Toone, who remains a relative newcomer to the senior England setup, scored a hat-trick that night, while Rachel Daly got two from right-back. Ellen White, Millie Bright, Beth Mead, Leah Williamson and Georgia Stanway also netted.
The weather conditions and lack of ideal preparation after seeing the planned proper training session on Monday cancelled could mean that a repeat of the 10-0 is a big ask.
However, England are still heavy, heavy favourites and will win comfortably. The exact score-line could depend on Latvia’s mentality and fitness as it was 4-0 at half-time last time, but the final three goals of the double figures rout came inside the final 12 minutes.
Prediction: England 8-0 Latvia