England face a crucial clash against France tonight in the second leg of their EURO 2025 qualifying double-header.

The Lionesses travel across the Channel following a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Les Bleues at St James’ Park on Friday evening.

Currently sitting third in Group A3, England trail five points behind their formidable opponents and need a victory to boost their qualification hopes.

The Lionesses have had a mixed qualifying campaign so far, with inconsistent performances putting them in a challenging position.

They have won just one out of their three matches—a routine victory over the Republic of Ireland in April—but have now dropped important points against both France and Sweden.

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“We’re very frustrated with Friday,” England and Arsenal forward Beth Mead told the media last night.

“Things don’t always go right; that’s football.

”But there’s no one more frustrated than the players, who want to pick the hell out of the game,” she added.

“We’ve analysed and feel ready.

”We believe we can put on a strong performance tomorrow night and show that we can beat France comfortably.”

Manager Sarina Wiegman has confirmed that the Lionesses’ only fresh injury following the game is goalkeeper Mary Earps.

Earps had to withdraw from the squad on Saturday after sustaining a groin injury during the last match.

This now opens a window of opportunity for one of the backup keepers, likely Hannah Hampton or Khiara Keating, to step up and play the full 90 minutes between the sticks.

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However, for the outfield players, selection seems to be more complicated for Wiegman at the moment.

The head coach came under fire over the weekend from fans and pundits, who criticised a lack of variation within her starting XI, as well as delays in making substitutions and adjusting formation tactics.

During ITV’s live coverage of the match, former England and Chelsea forward Eni Aluko said: “We saw in the last 10-15 minutes that Millie Bright went up front.

”That’s a tactic we’ve seen before—I just question why Sarina Wiegman didn’t do it earlier.”

“England didn’t have much possession and didn’t control the game in the second half, so why wait until the last 15 minutes?” Aluko questioned.

“We saw how successful two up front was for England in the World Cup; I don’t know why Sarina Wiegman hasn’t gone back to that.

”Maybe she can do it on Tuesday and throw in something different because I think England looked a little predictable in the second half.”

As England look to bolster their qualification hopes, fans will certainly be hoping for a better result this evening,

The match kicks off at 8pm, with live coverage once again on ITV4.


Featured image courtesy of Christian Bruchet via Wikimedia Commons. No changes were made to this image. License details found here.

By Emilie Mwanza

Founder of LG Women's Football. Trainee multimedia journalist