The upcoming Women’s Nations League match at Hampden Park on Tuesday will not be an easy one for England, as manager Sarina Wiegman acknowledges that Scotland will not hold back. Despite the potential impact on Team GB’s Olympic aspirations, Wiegman believes Scotland will be highly motivated to secure a victory. England, chosen as the qualifying team for Great Britain, must reach the Nations League finals to maintain their chances of qualification for the upcoming Games in Paris. However, their current position in Group A1 is second, requiring them to defeat Scotland and rely on the Netherlands, currently leading the group, to not win against Belgium. In the event that the Netherlands emerge victorious, England still has a chance to advance. However, in order to do so, they would have to defeat Scotland by a margin of three goals more than what the Dutch achieve against Belgium. Both teams have a lot at stake, as several Scotland players are also aiming to be selected for Team GB’s squad if they qualify. If Scotland were to win, it would essentially extinguish their own aspirations of participating in the Olympic Games.
The particular circumstances surrounding this match have raised doubts about the credibility of the Nations League, with Andries Jonker, the manager of the Netherlands, being one of the individuals expressing concerns. Despite the intense rivalry between the two nations, Wiegman is certain that there will be no cheating or unfair actions during the match. She explained that finding a solution to this challenge is not simple, as it requires ensuring fairness, as everyone involved wants to come out victorious.
Wiegman recognized the fierce competition between the teams and anticipates Scotland to put up a formidable resistance. She stressed the significance of having a strong defensive strategy and swiftly recovering the ball when it is lost. Wiegman also conveyed her wish for her players to exhibit bravery and initiate offensive moves from the beginning, while also maintaining control and creating chances to score. Rachel Corsie, the captain of Scotland, has conveyed her discontent with the attention given to whether her team is completely dedicated to triumphing in the game. She considers it disrespectful and shocking to doubt their honesty. Presently, Scotland occupies the last position in the group standings, having obtained merely two points, and has already been demoted from the highest division of the Women’s Nations League. In their most recent match, they achieved a 1-1 draw against Belgium, with Erin Cuthbert being responsible for their goal.
For England to advance to the finals of the Nations League, they must secure a triumph over Scotland. Their elimination will be the outcome in any other scenario. Should England emerge victorious against Scotland while Belgium triumphs over the Netherlands, England will advance as Group A1 champions. However, if both England and the Netherlands secure wins, England must obtain a superior goal difference to surpass the Dutch, who presently possess a +4 goal difference in contrast to England’s +1.