England welcome Belgium to the King Power Stadium in a must-win League A1 clash in 2023-24 UEFA Women’s Nations League.
Victory could see England move back top if Netherlands fail to beat Scotland, whilst Belgium can stay top with a win.
Lauren James is ruled out for England after suffering concussion in training and won’t be available for the return leg next week.
Khiara Keating and Grace Clinton are both looking to make their debuts, following their maiden senior call-ups.
Lotte Wubben-Moy, Keira Walsh and Fran Kirby could all return after recent absences due to injuries, whilst Wubben-Moy’s replacement last month – Lucy Parker has kept her place in the squad.
Belgium have no fresh injury concerns with a full squad in contention for selection.
When is Kick-Off?
England host Belgium in a 7:45pm BST kick-off on Friday 27 October at Leicester’s King Power Stadium, live on ITV4 in the UK.
- England are unbeaten in their last five meetings against Belgium in all competitions (W3, D2).
- Belgium are winless in six previous visits to England (D2, L4).
- England have failed to keep a clean sheet in two meetings against Belgium at home this century (W1, D1).
- Four of England’s last six conceded goals came in the first half across four of their last five matches in all competitions.
- Belgium have failed to win any of their last four away games (D1, L3), despite scoring in three of those games.
Having endured two contrastable 2-1 results against Scotland and Netherlands respectively last month amidst their World Cup hangover, England now need to knuckle down and start to find their best attacking gears again with a sharper end product and tidier defence.
Belgium though will know that England’s defence are currently vulnerable when put under immense pressure, which is something that I expect them to try and target with a strong attacking press but their own defence is resilient as Netherlands and Scotland already discovered.
In fact it might well be the latter and a clinical end product which represents Belgium’s best hopes despite taking four points last month without dominating possession, yet their away record to England is poor and this might well be where the Lionesses ignite their push to top the group.
Prediction: England 2-1 Belgium
Result: England 1-0 Belgium