England Women will be hoping to build on their 1-0 win over Belgium Women on Friday by beating the same opponents in Leuven on Tuesday.
England had a Lauren Hemp goal to thank for giving them a 1-0 win against Belgium in the Women’s Nations League on Friday and Sarina Wiegman’s side will be confident they can complete a double over the same opponents when they head to Leuven on Tuesday.
The win at Leicester steadied the ship for the Lionesses after they had lost their previous match in the tournament to the Netherlands, but it was also a somewhat frustrating evening for England as they were unable to create many opportunities.
The loss of playmaker Lauren James to concussion may have had something to do with that, but they found the Belgians were able to sit back and soak up pressure, which meant that chances were at a premium.
We can expect more of the same in Leuven as Ives Serneels’s hosts sit back and look to break the England defence on the counter attack, a tactic that suited them well when they beat the Netherlands in their last home match.
That has been the only win Belgium have posted in their last seven matches but England are going to have to work hard to break through.
The Lionesses are expected to claim their third win in this season’s Nations League, but they may not run away with things, so it could be just a 1-0 or 2-0 victory.
Arsenal striker Alessia Russo has claimed the status as Wiegman’s preferred centre-forward option and she could reward her coach with the opening goal in Belgium.
Russo opened her Women’s Super League account for the Gunners in the recent 2-1 win over Aston Villa following her move from Manchester United and she has had nine attempts in four league games.
Add to that the two goals she scored in the Champions League penalty defeat to Paris FC and the four goals she has scored in her last seven matches for the Lionesses, she remains the chief England goal threat and looks attractively priced at to score the first goal.
Belgium may not create much in the final third but if they do get within sight of the Lionesses goal then expect Fortuna Sittard striker Tessa Wullaert to be at the heart of the action.
She scored 20 goals in as many appearances for her club side last season after joining from Anderlecht and has scored 75 goals in 121 internationals since making her Belgium debut in 2011.
Manager Ives Serneels has no fresh injury concerns after Friday’s defeat in Leicester and former Manchester City forward Tessa Wullaert is expected to lead the line again. Brighton goalkeeper Nicky Evrard should be between the posts.
Lucy Parker returned to Aston Villa before Friday’s game having suffered an ankle injury in training and she remains unavailable. Chelsea’s Lauren James is out again with concussion.
Belgium have won just one of their last seven matches - a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands.
England are unbeaten in their last 13 games against Belgium.
|Belgium Women wins||1|
|England Women wins||11|
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.