England coach Wiegman eyes beating Brazil as perfect World Cup preparation

England women’s coach Sarina Wiegman said her focus is on delivering for a sold out Wembley against Brazil in Thursday’s Finalissima rather than having one eye on the upcoming World Cup. BSS

The Lionesses will take on the Copa America Femenina winners for the chance to lift the inaugural trophy for the victor of the clash between the champions of Europe and South America.

England open their World Cup campaign against Haiti in just over 100 days’ time, with Wiegman admitting clashes with Brazil and Australia next week will give her side a chance to fine tune their preparations for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand later in the year.

“I’m thinking of expectations for tomorrow, if you don’t mind,” said Wiegman when asked about the wave of expectation for the World Cup created by England’s Euro 2022 win on home soil.

“We are getting prepared for the World Cup. I think that is going to be an incredible tournament. I think the level of the game has improved a lot, it’s very exciting at the moment to be part of the women’s game because it is growing so fast.

“So I’m really looking forward to it, but let’s first enjoy ourselves tomorrow.”

England captain Leah Williamson admitted the World Cup is on the players’ minds as they are battling to secure their place in the squad over the coming months.

“I think all players have it in the back of your mind because every day you are competing for a place on the plane, but I think tomorrow is big enough that that is on the back of our minds going into tomorrow.”

Brazil will be without the talismanic Marta through injury and coach Pia Sundhage is looking forward to seeing how her young side will handle the atmosphere created by a 90,000 crowd at Wembley.

“For us, we have a little bit of an inexperienced team. If you look at our squad, we’ve not got many players that have played in a World Cup, so this will be fantastic to see how they deal with big crowds and playing against a good team,” said the former USA women’s coach.

“That’s why I see every game as a teacher and we have a chance to learn something after the game tomorrow.”


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