England Women host Scotland Women on Friday night, under the lights in the north east of England – Sunderland’s Stadium of Light is the location for both teams’ first game since the summer.
They had contrasting ones, too; while the Lionesses went to New Zealand and Australia to contest the Women’s World Cup, where they went right the way through to the final before losing to Spain, Scotland were sat at home watching, following on from July friendly wins over Northern Ireland and Finland.
The Women’s Nations League offers a fresh start for both, with this the first-ever edition of the competition in the women’s game. Group A1 contains England, Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland. Follow all the latest updates from England vs Scotland below and get the latest odds and football tips here:
Lioness Fara Williams on the aggressive sexist and homophobic abuse she gets online
Former England footballer Fara Williams has spoken out about the sexist and homophobic abuse she has suffered online, saying she’s been told to “get back in the kitchen”.
The 39-year-old, who is England’s most capped player, said the online abuse is “definitely sexist” and gets worse and is “more aggressive” when she is reporting on men’s football rather than the women’s game.
“When I’m doing punditry in a women’s game, the percentages in terms of the abuse you get is really, really minimal compared to when as a female, I talk on the men’s game as a pundit,” Williams said. “The abuse heightens and it’s more aggressive, more direct. Definitely more abusive.”
The football commentator said she thought “jealousy” was “probably one of the main things” which drives people to perpetrate online abuse.
Read Maya Oppenheim’s exclusive interview with former Lionesses star Fara Williams here:
Karl Matchett22 September 2023 18:26
Sarina Wiegman to lead Team GB at Paris Olympics if they qualify
England boss Sarina Wiegman is in line to manage Great Britain at next summer’s Olympics in Paris should qualification be secured, the Football Association has announced.
The women’s football tournament at the multi-sport showpiece will feature two European sides alongside hosts France, with those slots to be secured via the inaugural Women’s Nations League that is just about to get under way.
England have been nominated as the home nation with eligibility to obtain a spot for Great Britain, and thus also the employing and appointing body for Team GB staff.
Wiegman, who has overseen England win Euro 2022 and finish as runners-up at this year’s World Cup, said in a statement from the FA: “My full focus is on the Nations League campaign, but I would of course be very excited if the chance came to lead Team GB next summer. It would be an honour.”
Karl Matchett22 September 2023 18:18
What is the Women’s Nations League and how does Olympics qualification work?
So, we know about the Nations League as a tournament, but what’s different here this year and for the women’s competition? Read on for everything you need to know…
The 2023 Uefa Women’s Nations League sees teams initially placed into either League A, B or C depending on their positions in the Uefa women’s national team coefficient rankings, which were issued after the group stage of the European Qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup had finished.
Within these leagues, the teams were then seeded into four pots according to the same rankings, with each group containing one team from each pot.
The initial league stage then features each team playing one home match and one away match against each of the other teams in their group, with the four group winners from League A then qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition.
At stake are league positions for the European Qualifiers for Euro 2025. The top two teams in each group in League A will remain in the same league for the qualifiers, along with the five group winners of League B who will be promoted.
The rest of League A will then enter a playoff system to remain in the division with the runners-up of each group in League B.
The reward for the top eight teams in League A according to the final European Qualifiers league ranking will be direct qualification for Euro 2025, with the other teams having to contest another set of playoffs for the remaining seven places (hosts Switzerland have a guaranteed place).
But it’s not just Euro 2025 qualifiers – there’s also an Olympics to consider for next year.
The teams that make it to the final of the Nations League will also qualify for the 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, alongside hosts France.
England are the nominated nation for Team GB.
If France do not reach the Nations League final, the winners and runners-up will take the two other Olympic spots – if France are in the final, a spot would go to the third-placed team.
Great Britain have so far been in the women’s football tournament at the Olympics twice, at London 2012 and Tokyo 2021, being eliminated in the quarter-finals both times.
Karl Matchett22 September 2023 18:10
Is England vs Scotland on TV? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch Nations League clash
England will take on Scotland in the first matchday of the inaugural Women’s Nations League on Friday.
The fixture is the first between the two nations for four years, and comes just over a month since Sarina Wiegman’s side suffered heartbreak after narrowly missing out on World Cup success in what was another brilliant tournament from The Lionesses.
They now face a clash with The Tartan Army in front of over 40,000 fans at The Stadium of Light, and the Scottish side will certainly be hoping to get one over the ‘Auld Enemy’ for the first time since 2011.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Karl Matchett22 September 2023 18:02
England vs Scotland – latest updates LIVE
Good evening and welcome to the Independent’s live coverage of England vs Scotland in the Women’s Nations League!
We’re at the Stadium of Light tonight as the Lionesses get back underway, their first game since the 2023 Women’s World Cup where Sarina Wiegman and her team reached the final, where they were beaten by Spain.
This competition offers not just another opportunity to go for silverware, but there’s also a place in the Paris Olympics up for grabs.
Karl Matchett22 September 2023 15:55