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Match Previews

Women's World Cup Preview: England vs France

9 June 2015

Lionesses looking to avenge cruel World Cup exit

France v England
Women's World Cup, Group F
Tuesday 9th June, kick-off 6pm BST
Moncton Stadium

Fran Kirby's England begin their Group F campaign with a difficult opening fixture against France this evening - the French having made the semi-finals at the last World Cup in Germany in 2011.

The French, managed by Philippe Bergeroo - a former Lille and Toulouse goalkeeper who was on the French men's coaching team when they lifted the World Cup in 1998 - have had the upper hand over England in recent years.

The Lionesses were defeated by France when the teams last met in 2013 and England were knocked out of the 2011 World Cup by the French too...on penalties!

Four years ago, France had dominated for long periods of the quarter-final but Jill Scott handed Hope Powell's side the lead, only for Elise Bussaglia to equalise with three minutes remaining. And from the penalty spot, Claire Rafferty and Faye White couldn't find the back of the net so France progressed.

"France are probably ahead of us at the minute, the world rankings don't lie," manager Mark Sampson said yesterday. "When we are at our best we are at their level and we can win this match, but we haven't done it enough."

In fact, England have not beaten France since 1974 - the French are ranked third in the world at the moment, three places above Fran Kirby and her England teammates.

But the squad is relatively fit going into the first game of the tournament. A bout of food poisoning has raised a doubt over a couple of the squad but all 23 players took part in a full training session on Sunday.

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