Newcastle is the next stop on the Lionesses’ EURO 2025 qualification tour, with a mammoth contest against France awaiting this evening.

It’s a classic double header in UEFA qualifying, with France making the short journey across the channel before England themselves travel for the return fixture.

Both games are expected to be pivotal in determining the group standings.

England got underway with a draw and a victory in their opening two games back in April, facing Sweden at Wembley before visiting the Republic of Ireland at the AVIVA Stadium.

A 1-1 draw was first on the agenda, with Alessia Russo’s stooping header cancelled out by Barcelona’s Fridolina Rolfo, who ghosted in at the back stick to level proceedings on that balmy spring evening.

Embed from Getty Images

England then made the quick hop over to Ireland where they secured their first win of the campaign, with goals from Lauren James and an Alex Greenwood penalty.

France, on the other hand, started their qualifiers strongly with two wins. They secured a 1-0 victory against Ukraine in Metz, thanks to an early goal from Marie-Antoinette Katoto.

And their second match saw them triumph 1-0 over Sweden in Gothenburg, with Wendie Renard scoring her 38th international goal and Vicki Becho receiving a red card late in the game.

Team news

The Lionesses have had a couple of squad issues in the build up to this crucial encounter, with standby goalkeeper Kayla Rendell and Chelsea’s Niamh Charles both having to withdraw with injury earlier this week.

Manchester United full back Maya Le Tissier has been called up in Charles’ place, while Birmingham City’s Lucy Thomas also joined the squad at St George’s Park earlier this week as a standby goalkeeper.

England’s most recent blow however, comes as Lauren James has been ruled out due to a foot injury, confirmed by manager Sarina Wiegman last night.

James’ absence meant that Tottenham Hotspur forward Jessica Naz has been called up from the standby list instead.

Out for the win

Ahead of the game, Lionesses captain Millie Bright acknowledge the tough competition ahead, telling Sky Sports:  ”It’s an extremely competitive group, and France are an incredible team and pose a lot of threats.

“But there’s a lot of things that we can do to put the threats on them, we have to be extremely prepared.

”We know it’s going to be two tough games.”

She added: “But it would be a massive message and, as always, we don’t go out for anything other than wins and a good performance.”

Tonight’s match kicks off at 8pm and will be streamed live on ITV4.

Keep an eye across all our platforms for the latest updates from the Lionesses European Championship Qualifying Campaign.

Featured image courtesy of Ollie Mitchell.