England vs Belgium Preview: Predictions for Lionesses fixture in the Nations League at the King Power Stadium
England take on Belgium on Friday as they look to bounce back from their UEFA Nations League defeat to Netherlands earlier this year. Here’s what our writers predict will happen.
Currently the Lionesses, Netherlands and Belgium sit joint top on three points but, beginning with a clash with against the Red Flames this Friday at Leicester City's King Power Stadium, Sarina Wiegman's side could progress to the top of their group with two wins.
Keira Walsh and Fran Kirby are back in the squad - the latter for the first time since before the World Cup - while Grace Clinton and Khiara Keating could gain their first caps after being called up by Wiegman as the Lionesses look to bounce back from their defeat to Netherlands last time out.
Can the Lionesses ensure their UEFA Nations League gets back on track against Belgium? Our women’s sports writers Graham Falk, Georgia Goulding and Susanna Sealy share their thoughts and predictions ahead of the game.
The last time England played Belgium, they cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win. The Lionesses will be looking to return to form after their loss to the Netherlands and will feel they can produce another winning performance against the Red Flames. However, this is the same Belgium side that were actually able to beat the Dutch in the Nations League, so there's a lot riding on this clash. England certainly know how to perform under pressure though, so this should be a great opportunity for Sarina Wiegman's side but it might not be as straight forward as some are hoping.
Georgia's prediction: A 2-0 win for England with Lauren James on the scoresheet.
England will bounce back from their recent defeat to the Netherlands, I have no doubt. This team is not used to the taste of loss but they know how to respond when the unfortunate happens.
They are about to play in a must-win match as they sit third in their Nations League group and a big score seems just around the corner for a side welcoming back a Euros 2022 legend.
Fran Kirby is back in the picture and her wealth of experience will be a much needed addition to a squad ready to take on a team currently ranked 18th.
Susanna's prediction: I predict England to win 3-0 with Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo to feature on the scorecard.
England haven't been as free flowing as you'd hope since they returned from the World Cup, however, much of that could be attributed to the fact the players have had barely any rest.
While the majority of them went straight from the games against Scotland and Netherlands into the cut and thrust of the Women's Super League, they'll hopefully feel slightly more refreshed and be ready to tackle the double header against Belgium.
The Red Flames looked quite nippy against Scotland and were second away from grabbing all three points but England should have enough to get the win - though it'll be tighter than we expect.
Graham's prediction: England 2-1 Belgium. Alessia Russo and Ella Toone to get on the scoresheet.