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Euros - Football: Northern Ireland v England preview

After dismantling Norway 8-0 in their last outing, the goals are expected to keep coming for England as they prepare to face Northern Ireland on Friday night.

Confidence is growing in the Lionesses' camp and a high-scoring affair looks to again be on the cards in Southampton.


Northern Ireland v England, Euro 2022


St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton


20:00, Friday 15th July 2022

How to watch


OddsNorthern Ireland 40/1, Draw 14/1, England 1/25

England put down a marker

The 8-0 thrashing of Norway last time out really sent out a message to the other nations that the hosts are not to be messed with at this major tournament.

Tournament favourites France, along with the likes of Germany and Spain, will have been watching the game closely and might well have been impressed with what they witnessed.

France are 11/4 to win Euro 2022, Germany are 7/2 and Spain are 11/2.

The Lionesses looked to have relieved themselves of the pre-tournament jitters that might have affected them in their narrow 1-0 win over Austria in their opening game.

Sarina Wiegman's side really let loose against a Norway team who are still the seventh favourite of the 18 teams to win the European Championships this summer at 50/1.

A hat-trick from Beth Mead helped England to their comprehensive win over the Scandinavians and now all the focus is on completing a clean sweep in Group A with victory over rock-bottom Northern Ireland.

NI facing long evening ahead

Northern Ireland head coach Kenny Shiels has been pretty vocal that his side have struggled to cope with the quality of some of the more experienced teams in the tournament.

A 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Norwegians in their opening game, was followed up by a more resilient performance in a 2-0 loss to Austria.

With Northern Ireland already ruled out of making the knockout stages of Euro 2022, it's pride they will be playing for against the hosts, who are 3/1 to win the tournament on their own patch.

A goal from 37-year-old Julie Nelson has been the only highlight so far for NI, with the defender becoming the country's first ever goalscorer at a European Championship.

Another moment or two like that at St Mary's for Shiels' side would not go amiss as Northern Ireland hope to unsettle their talented English opponents.

Chop and change for England?

With their place in the knockout stages already confirmed, Weigman might well be tempted to rest some of her stars for the quarter-finals to come.

England have managed to win all 10 of their previous meetings with Northern Ireland with the aggregate scoreline of 54-2 in those encounters not making for pretty reading for the Green and White Army.

With form firmly on England's side, the likes of forwards Chloe Kelly and Alessia Russo will be hoping for starts, after coming off the bench against Norway.

There should be plenty of chances for those in the attacking positions for England and expect a strong start from them as they look to put the result to bed before the break.

Over 2.5 goals in the first half is available at 2/1.

Stars to look out for with underdogs

Shiels will be hoping one of his more experienced players can produce a moment of magic to make Friday night's game a proper contest.

Lauren Wade found the back of the net twice in Euro 2022 qualifying in a 6-0 win on the road against the Faroe Islands.

A mainstay in the side after starting all of Northern Ireland’s games in the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup, Wade has shown she has an eye for goal and is 9/1 to score anytime against England.

Goalkeeper Jackie Burns is set for a busy night if she continues between the sticks on Friday night.

Handed her debut for her country at the tender age of 16 in a friendly loss at the hands of the Netherlands back in 2013, Burns has made the No.1 jersey her own.

Plying her club trade in Sweden, the BK Hacken shotstopper will be looking to her defence to keep England's chances to a minimum.

But it does look set to be a tricky night for Burns and one in which she will have to be at her very best to keep her side in the game come the latter stages of the contest on the south coast.

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