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The last group matches for England in the Nations League will take place on Tuesday, when they face Scotland at Hampden Park.
In anticipation of the competition, let’s discuss some key topics as presented by the PA news agency.
A significant victory may be necessary.
The top team in each group will move on to the semi-finals of the Nations League. England is currently in second place in Group A1, tied with the Netherlands at nine points. England’s women’s team, known as the Lionesses, defeated the Netherlands 3-2 at Wembley on Friday. Although the two teams have the same record in head-to-head matches, the Netherlands has a better goal difference by three points. This means that the Dutch team may need to not only win their next match, but also score many goals. The Netherlands will be playing against Belgium, who are one point behind in third place. Scotland, who have already been relegated, have two points.
This is not only about trying to progress to the Nations League’s last four. England are the nominated home nation for securing a Paris 2024 Olympics qualification spot, something that will be achieved if they advance and then make the Nations League final or, if France are finalists, come in the top three. With England’s success on that front the only way Scottish players will be able to play at the Games, it is certainly an unusual situation heading into Tuesday – ahead of which Scotland captain Rachel Corsie has said it is “absolutely outrageous to question anyone’s integrity”.
England could potentially face relegation from League A if they do not perform well in their upcoming match on Tuesday, possibly leaving them in third place in their group. This would result in them participating in promotion/relegation play-offs. The draws for the final and play-off matches will occur next Monday, and the games are scheduled for February.
If England is in need of scoring goals, they have a valuable asset in Beth Mead, who was the top scorer when they won the Euro 2022 tournament. Mead, who plays for Arsenal, recently returned from an ACL injury and made her first appearance for the national team in over a year during the match against the Netherlands. Despite being down 2-0 at halftime, England’s team, led by coach Wiegman, fought back in the second half. However, they will be missing defender Millie Bright who is still recovering from an injury. In her absence, goalkeeper Mary Earps served as captain against the Dutch.
In September, the teams began their participation in the first installment of the Nations League by playing against each other at the Stadium of Light. England narrowly defeated Scotland 2-1, with goals from Lucy Bronze and Lauren Hemp for the Lionesses. Kirsty Hanson scored for Scotland just before halftime, and also hit the crossbar in the second half.