France vs England | Tuesday 9 June, 2015 | Moncton Stadium | 18.00 GMT
England take on France in the first of their difficult Group F matches at this year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada.
France, ranked third in the world, have long been outclassing England who are now 15 matches without a win against Les Bleus. It will be a matter of pride now to turn their fate around and Mark Sampson is hoping that his side can prove they have what it takes.
Several of the England squad are recovering from injury but Sampson is hoping to have his pick of the squad as the competition progresses.
The team doctors are also currently “assessing a couple of players in relation to [food poisoning],” revealed Sampson ahead of the first of two games at the 13,700 capacity stadium. “The positive thing was that we had all 23 take part in a full training session on Sunday. I’m confident we are in a great place to pick from that 23.”
In Sampson’s first major competition since succeeding Hope Powell in 2013 when the squad were knocked out of the Euros after a 3-0 loss to France, the England boss is aiming for a top four finish.
France have proven England’s main rival in previous international competitions, knocking them out of the 2011 World Cup, too, that time on penalties.
Since Sampson’s appointment 18 months ago England have climbed five places in the world rankings to sixth, three behind France.
“France are probably ahead of us at the minute,” Sampson conceded. “World rankings don’t lie
“When we are at our best we are at their level and we can win this match, but we haven’t done it enough.”
England have not beaten France since 1974 but will be hoping to turn that around to put them in with a good chance of progressing from their group, which also contains Mexico and Colombia.
“Getting a good result against France would be a massive boost, but we have to look at the objective we have in the group and that’s to get through to the knockout stages.
“We have that back-up plan of some of the best third place finishers going through. So France is a game we want to win, but if we get beaten we’re not going to cry about it, we’ll move on to the next game.”
Women’s World Cup France vs England Betting Tips
We think England have enough fight in them to level the playing field against France, making for a very interesting clash on Tuesday. We’re tipping England to win at 5/1 with Sky Bet and Toni Duggan to score, priced at 4/1 with Betway.