Belgium vs England LIVE: Women’s Nations League team news and line-ups as Fran Kirby starts tonight

Belgium vs England

Belgium have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions (two draws, four defeats), beating Netherlands 2-1 in the Nations League in September.

Lionesses ready to exceed victory ‘expectations’, insists Sarina Wiegman ahead of Nations League clash

England coach Sarina Wiegman says the Lionesses are under no illusions about what is expected of them these days, insisting England are ready to keep producing victories game after game.

A stellar run over the past few years has seen the women’s national team win the European Championship and reach the Women’s World Cup final, where they lost to Spain.

Now they are targeting success in the Uefa Nations League – and a place at the 2024 Paris Olympics too for Team GB – and face Belgium in their fourth Group A1 game. Wiegman says the squad are comfortable with the pressures on them, and believes they can improve on the 1-0 victory over the same opposition last week.

Lionesses ready to exceed victory ‘expectations’, insists Wiegman

England face Belgium in their fourth Group A1 match

Belgium vs England

The Lionesses ended a run of conceding in five successive games following their 1-0 win over Belgium last time out, only once in 2023 so far have they recorded shutouts in successive games, doing so in a run of three games in July.

Belgium vs England

England lost their last away game, losing 2-1 to Netherlands in the Nations League in September – not since January 2007 have they lost successive away games, losing to Germany (5-1) and China PR (2-0).

How can Team GB reach the Olympics?

Sarina Wiegman’s side must top their group to have a chance of qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games on behalf of Team GB.

Great Britain will reach the Olympics if England, the nominated nation to play on their behalf, reach the Nations League final.

However, third place could also be enough to reach the competition if the Olympics host nation, France, reach the final of the Nations League.

Belgium vs England

England enjoyed 71 per cent possession and had 23 shots at goal compared to Belgium’s 12 in their encounter on Friday night but only managed one first-half goal from Lauren Hemp.

Can they improve this evening?

Belgium line-up vs England

There are two changes to the Belgium team from Friday’s match with Jassina Blom and Sari Kees returning to the line-up as Feli Delacauw and Jody Vangheluwe drop to the bench.

Belgium XI: Evrard, Kees, De Caigny, De Neve, Cayman, Missipo, Vanhaevermaet, Deloose, Blom, Detruyer, Wullaert.

Subs: Lemey, Lichtfus, Daniels, Delacauw, Fon, Iliano, Janssens, Littel, Philtjens, Van Belle, Vangheluwe, Wijnants.

Wiegman on what to expect from the Lionesses tonight

“We always talk about our game plan and the different parts of the game, so in possession, out of possession and in transitional moments.” Sarina Wiegman said when explaining what she hopes to see from this evening’s clash with Belgium.

“But what I really liked on Friday, was there was so much energy in the team and you saw the players’ real intention that we really wanted to win.

“If we lost the ball, we wanted to win it back and we had only one stage in the game where we dropped a little bit and then we picked up again.

“So what I want to see [on Tuesday night] at least is the same energy and intention of the whole team and the togetherness and then what we said in possession, get it to the next level, especially in the final third.

“We also want to prevent the counter-attacks because they are really trying to get into their counter-attacks and try to get free kicks and corners. So if we can have as less of those as possible then we will make it even easier on ourselves.”

Why the Ballon d’Or still doesn’t care about women’s football

The show was always going to be about Lionel Messi. For the eighth and perhaps final time, the greatest player in the world won the Ballon d’Or, and in the glitz, glamour, and sparkly tuxedos of the Paris ceremony, there could be few who disagreed the night belonged to the Argentine after his World Cup-winning year.

The Ballon d’Or is more than that, though, or so it claimed at the beginning of the two-hour ceremony on Monday night. Host Didier Drogba declared the presentation would be a celebration of the best male and female players in the world. Yet apart from the outstanding Aitana Bonmati, the Spain and Barcelona midfielder who deservedly picked up her first Ballon d’Or award, the best women’s players in the world were barely recognised at all.

There were some improvements: Barcelona won Women’s Club of the Year, a new prize which honoured the European champions and treble winners, but throughout the evening were constant reminders that the Ballon d’Or did not care enough about the women’s game: you could start with scheduling the ceremony in the middle of a women’s international window, and on the eve of a busy night of fixtures in the Women’s Nations League.

Why the Ballon d’Or still doesn’t care about women’s football

Aitana Bonmati was the only women’s player to win an individual award and Novak Djokovic presented the main prize – so what message does that send about equality in football, asks Jamie Braidwood?

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