The Women’s World Cup kicked off in France on Friday. And this Sunday, our two Royal representatives will line up on opposite sides of the teamsheet in a Home Nations affair in Group D.
Midfielder Jade Moore – who could pass the 50-cap mark for England at this year’s tournament and is holder of a bronze medal from the 2015 iteration – will take on Sophie Howard’s Scotland side at the Stade de Nice.
Kicking off at 5pm this Sunday, and being broadcast live on BBC, we’ll have a foot in both camps as we wish both of our players and their countries the very best of luck for a successful tournament.
The odds are with England. Phil Neville’s Lionesses already have some silverware to show this year after lifting the SheBelieves Cup back in March. That saw them top the four-nation round-robin against some powerhouses of women’s football: USA, Brazil and reigning World Cup holders Japan.
Scotland, on the other hand, are in uncharted territory as they prepare for their very first World Cup. As far as Royals defender Howard is concerned, their final fixture went well – her headed goal, her first for her country, handed the Scots a 3-2 win against Jamaica in their final preparatory fixture.
Moore was an unused sub in their most recent game – a surprise 1-0 loss against New Zealand – but played the full 90 minutes in their previous fixture as they ground out a 2-0 win against Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium in Walsall.
Nothing will be decided on the opening matchday, of course. But three points for either nation would be a useful start, with Japan and Argentina comprising the other two teams in Group D. The top two from each group qualify for the knock-out stages, along with four of the six third-placed sides.
Moore and England face Argentina next in Le Havre before returning to Nice to finish their group against Japan, while Scotland meet Japan second in Rennes and then travel to the Parc des Princes to face Argentina.