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Northern Ireland Women v England Women: The main talking points

| 10.04.2022

England Women will look to continue their perfect record in World Cup qualifying when they take on Northern Ireland in Belfast on Tuesday.

A 10-0 victory over North Macedonia last Friday added to England’s dominance in Group D and moved them within touching distance of a place at next year’s finals in Australia and New Zealand.

Here we take a look at some of the talking points ahead of the clash, which kicks off at 7.55pm and is live on BBC Two.

England Women in the goals

Head coach Sarina Wiegman has emphasised being as clinical as possible and England have certainly delivered. They have scored a whopping 63 goals in just seven qualifying matches so far and are yet to concede.

An England win to nil is just 2/13 while a victory for the Lionesses and over 4.5 goals is 21/20.

Northern Ireland restricted them to four goals when the teams met at Wembley last October and still have an outside chance of qualifying themselves, although defeat by Austria on Friday was a major blow and they are 25/1 to avoid defeat here. Another 4-0 win for England is priced at 4/1.

Euros warm-up

England have made a very positive start to the year with victory in the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup, beating Germany for only the second time in 27 meetings, alongside their qualifying dominance.

This will be their final competitive outing before the home European Championship this summer, where Northern Ireland are among their group rivals.

They will want to lay down a marker here for that encounter and the bigger tests to come.

Williamson wears the armband

Leah Williamson missed out against North Macedonia due to the concussion protocol but will lead out England on Tuesday for the first time since Wiegman’s decision to name her captain for the European Championship.

The Arsenal defender has gained plenty of experience in leading her country but, with Steph Houghton still sidelined following Achilles surgery, it is a significant moment for the 25-year-old.

White chasing Rooney

Ellen White racked up another milestone against North Macedonia, with her goal taking her to a half century for her country.

White surpassed Kelly Smith as the record goalscorer for the England women’s team last November and goes into Tuesday’s game only three short of Wayne Rooney’s overall England mark.

White is one ahead of Harry Kane and is only the second England player to hit the 50 mark.

Ellen White, England Women

Chance to impress

With time running out before the Euros and Wiegman seemingly settled in most of her selection choices, chances are at a premium for players to force their way into her thoughts.

The North Macedonia game saw Beth Mead, who has bounced back impressively after being left out of the Olympics squad, net four times while Ella Toone also grabbed a hat-trick and Georgia Stanway scored twice.

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Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.