Following their Women’s World Cup opener against Haiti, the European champions will face the toughest opponents in their group – a Danish team that is just nine places below England in the FIFA women’s rankings.
The last meeting between the two nations took place in 2019, where goals from Nikita Parris and Jill Scott were enough to seal the 2-0 victory.
England’s Rachel Daly has admitted she is frustrated at not starting England’s first World Cup group stage match against Haiti and insisted she will continue to push to replace Alessia Russo as starting striker.
Read more of Daly’s comments HERE.
What and when is it?
England play Denmark in their second Women’s World Cup match on July 28 at 9:30 am ET.
Where is the match being played?
The match is being played at the Sydney Football Stadium.
how to watch
The match will be broadcast on the BBC.
Who are the Danes?
Denmark is currently ranked 13th in the world and most recently was runners-up in the Tournoi de France earlier this year.
What is Denmark saying?
Speaking to FIFA ahead of the tournament, Danish coach Lars Sondergaard called England “one of the greatest nations”, but later added that growing investment in women’s football across Europe made it difficult to pick a winner.
He said, “That development is why you can’t say one team is the overwhelming favourite.”
What is England saying?
Most people expected Daly to start ahead of Russo as she was handed the number 9 shirt by coach Sarina Wiegman and also started the team’s last friendly against Portugal earlier this month.
But it was Arsenal’s new signing who was chosen for the Haiti opener, with Daly coming off the bench in the second half and Chelsea’s Beth England an unused substitute.
Russo worked hard and led the line well in Brisbane, but he also missed chances and, with three games without scoring, in open play, it could be argued that Daly, the top scorer in the WSL last season, deserves an opportunity.
Russo still hasn’t done enough to prove he can definitely fill the boots of Ellen White, who started ahead of her at Euros last summer but retired last year. The 24-year-old has emerged as one of the stars of the tournament, but has mainly been used as an impact player coming off the bench against tired defences.
Asked if she was frustrated, Daly replied: “I think anyone would be. Nobody is happy to sit on the bench.
“If you are, then you are not in the right place, not in the right career. It’s a tough place for Sarina to pick the team. I respect her decisions and will support Alessia at all times, and obviously I know Beth will do the same.
This response hinted at the fact that Russo was told she will be the first pick and Wiegman tends to stick with the same team, rather than tinkering with lineups and formations, during a tournament.
But Daly is not ready to meekly accept a supporting role and Wiegman will come under pressure to make changes for Denmark given their uninspiring performance against Haiti.
“I think that’s the beauty of having a competitive team [that there is not a first choice striker]added Daly, who scored 22 goals in an Aston Villa team that finished outside the top four in the WSL last season.
“I think everyone is looking for a position. It’s a headache that Sarina has to deal with in many positions. I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes, obviously making such important tournament decisions. But she is a fantastic manager, we respect all her decisions. Tonight proved it works, so we’re happy.
“I mean, could you put it [ the lack of goals at the moment] in several things, but I think we are a very new team, a relatively new team.
“We lost a lot of players to injury, retirement. We’re still building, but I don’t think it’s a concern and concern at the moment. Hopefully more will come.
“Obviously, we’re coming off a break after the season, but no, I wouldn’t say that. [we are rusty]. I think Haiti were a fantastic team and a force to be reckoned with. I think they’re going to do some damage. I think you have to give credit to the opposition too, they were brilliant.”
Russo, however, had a different response when asked about being rusty, as did manager Wiegman in her post-match comments.
“Yeah, I think so,” said Russo, when asked if the team had been slow to start the game because it was rusty after so long without a competitive game. “We as players are the first to recognize that.
“We’ll be training again this week and training hard to move forward, but tournaments are always about winning. That’s the most important.
“I never worry about missing goals or winning with this team. I think we have a very special and talented cast. I know people show up at the right times.”
Who else is in England’s group?
England’s final Group D match will be against China, who complete the group alongside Haiti and Denmark.
What are the other World Cup groups like?
A group: New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland
Group B: Australia, Ireland, Nigeria, Canada
Group C: Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia, Japan
Group E: United States, Vietnam, Netherlands, Portugal
Group F: France, Jamaica, Brazil, Panama
Group G: Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Argentina
Group H: Germany, Morocco, Colombia, South Korea
What are the accessories?
Who is in the England squad?
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Laura Coombs (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)
To forward: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Alessia Russo (Manchester United)
England face the biggest threat of the group in Denmark. Back them up to still come out on top with these Women’s World Cup free bets.
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