Sarina Wiegman hails England Women’s ‘fight’ as they kick-start Euro 2025 qualification bid

Republic of Ireland vs England live: Lionesses in total control of Women's Euro 2025 qualifier

Republic of Ireland 0 England 2

Sarina Wiegman praised England’s fighting spirit after the Lionesses got their bid to qualify for next year’s European Championship back on track with a valuable victory in Dublin.

The visitors needed a win to kick-start their qualifying campaign after Friday’s disappointing draw against Sweden at Wembley. The defending European champions were in better form against a Republic of Ireland side ranked 25th in the world and dampened the excitable mood of the 32,742 crowd at the Aviva Stadium, albeit that the Lionesses had to dig deep defensively late on.

Inspired by a world-class performance from Barcelona midfielder Keira Walsh and bolstered by the return of captain Leah Williamson, England were vastly superior on the ball and their technical dominance told in the first half. In the second, the hosts’ more direct tactics rattled England and Wiegman said: “Sometimes we were a little bit sloppy. I did think we played well.

“In the second half, at moments, we did good but they got momentum and we were struggling a little bit and they made it a real fight. We had to really fight in one-v-ones. What we did show as a team was we really wanted to keep the clean sheet and were able to fight also. That’s what we will take into our next games so I’m really happy with the win.”

That doggedness was needed in the closing stages as the Republic of Ireland launched balls up towards towering centre-back Louise Quinn, whom they have switched to play up front. Before that, though, England were enjoying themselves.

Chelsea’s Lauren James put the visitors in front when she capitalised on a missed clearance by Anna Patten and Alex Greenwood doubled England’s advantage from the penalty spot six minutes later.

That first penalty from Greenwood was awarded after a clear handball by Ruesha Littlejohn, On the half-hour mark, England were given a second penalty – this time when the ball struck Quinn’s highly-raised arm, much to the hosts’ frustration – but Greenwood’s second spot-kick hit the inside of the post and missed.

Unusually for Wiegman in a competitive game, she had made five changes to her starting side, bringing in Hannah Hampton to start in goal instead of established number one Mary Earps. Williamson, who had not played for her country for two days short of one full year because of injury, was visibly emotional about her return during the anthems and produced a strong display. Jess Park, Ella Toone and Jess Carter also came into the side.

Wiegman has luxury of two ‘incredibly good goalkeepers’

On her decision to start Hampton instead of Fifa Best Goalkeeper award winner Earps, Wiegman said: “We have in Hannah as well as Mary two incredibly good goalkeepers so that’s a really luxury position we’re in.

“Mary has been really consistent with us, again on Friday she was really good and important for the team, [but] Hannah is also competing and really improved a lot. I felt this was a game to give her an opportunity to play – I have to trust she can do a good job. And we also know if something happens with Mary we have two goalkeepers and then a third [Khiara Keating] in the squad.”

Asked how Earps had reacted to being dropped to the bench, Wiegman added: “Of course she was disappointed because she wants to play. She has been so good for us and very consistent. Yes, she was disappointed, we had that conversation. Then she just showed up and moved on.”

England’s next move will be to try to beat France at St James’ Park on Friday, May 31, and Williamson vowed that the Lionesses will improve for that match. Wiegman added: “We know they [France] are top level so yes, we have to be at our top level. We have to improve all the time, first of all because we want to improve. Secondly, because if you want to stay at the top, then it’s necessary to develop. Yes, we demand that from ourselves too.”

Match details

Republic of Ireland (5-4-1): Brosnan 6; Mannion 7, Hayes 6, Louise Quinn 6, Patten 5, McCabe 6; Payne 5 (Kiernan 7, 61), O’Sullivan 6, Littlejohn 6 (Connolly 6, 45), Lucy Quinn 5 (Campbell 6, 61); Carusa 5 (Murphy 7, 67)
Subs not used: Stapleton, Caldwell, Barrett, Moloney (gk), Agg, Toland, Murphy, Atkinson, Whitehouse (gk)
Yellow cards: McCabe
England (4-3-3): Hampton 7; Bronze 7, Williamson 7, Greenwood 8, Carter 6; Park 6 (Kirby 6, 56), Walsh 9, Toone 6 (Stanway 7, 75); James 6 (Kelly 5, 86) Russo 6, (Daly 5, 86), Hemp 6 (Mead 6, 56)
Subs not used: Charles, Earps (gk), Wubben-Moy, Clinton, Rendell (gk), Morgan, Turner
Yellow cards: None
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (Finland)
Attendance: 32,742

10:03 PM BST

That’s all folks

Thanks for following along. England get back to winning ways and put themselves in a strong position to qualify for Euro 2025 while the Republic of Ireland can be proud of their performance.

09:56 PM BST

Sarina Wiegman praises ‘improved’ Lionesses

It was a hard game. We totally dominated the first half, we could have been u 4-0. Of course, later on, they wanted to force a goal and came with a strong throw-in. It became a fight and we wanted to stay out of the fight, we would have done had we scored another goal.

I think this game was totally different. They got deeper and tried to play physical and i think the fast half we played really well but we had to switch paly a little bit more They just got that momentum because of their subs.

I see improvement, yes. I just hope we can manage the game a little better.

On Leah Williamson fared on her return:

There was a lot of noise here from the fans and I think Leah stayed calm and played well.

09:50 PM BST

Eileen Gleeson, the Republic of Ireland manager, on RTE

“The second half was super positive, we were aggressive and had opportunities to score.

“We could have defended the first goal better and then they got the penalty, but the girls showed what they are capable of in the second half and we have to build on that and play like that for 90 minutes.

“We put them under a lot of pressure in the second half.”

Eileen Gleeson's side showed heart in the second half but lost 2-0 at the Aviva - Damien Eagers/PA

09:46 PM BST

Katie McCabe: ‘We won’t be dropping our heads’

In the first half I felt we gave them too much space. I’m proud of how we applied ourselves in that second half. We wouldn’t have dropped our heads after that second goal. We created a few chances there towards the end but unfortunate it didn’t go in for us.

On whether England should have had a penalty:

I didn’t think so. There’s not much you can do in that situation.

On Ireland’s qualification chances

Obviously we’ll be reviewing post game and seeing where we can do better, especially in the transitions going forward. There’s four games, we know we have qualities sand strengths. England showed theirs today to win the game. We have to keep going, we won’t be dropping our heads.

09:40 PM BST

What next on the Euro ‘25 road

England continue their Euros qualification journey when they host France at St. James’ Park in Newcastle on 31 May, when the Republic of Ireland host Sweden at Aviva Stadium. The reverse fixtures take place five days later, with the Lionesses going to St Etienne on 4 June, while the Irish visit Stockholm.

09:38 PM BST

England weather Irish second-half storm

In the ITV studio, Karen Carney is impressed with Ireland’s second-half showing:

My heart is still racing after that second half.

The Republic of Ireland played well in the second half and put us under pressure, but England defensively were strong. Credit to them.

09:36 PM BST

Leah Williamson speaks

On returning for England

I just really love playing ofr England. When I put this badge on I feel tell times taller, ten times stronger. I had my eyes set on this ill. These days, with an ACL, you want to come back. The standards at England are so high, so tonight was the completion of the journey.”

On England’s next challenge against France:

We’ll get better, they’ll probably get better, but you can expect a competitive side in June.

Leah Williamson made a winning return to England - Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

09:23 PM BST

Full time - Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Chloe Kelly, on from the bench, goes on a spirited run down the right and gets the better of Patten before whizzing a ball into the area.. it’s Daly who attempts a bit of a half volley - the ball is slightly behind her - and Brosnan gathers. Ireland go on the attack and McCabe finds herself eating up grass down her left. She sends in an enticing cross - it looks like it will fall for O’Sullivan - but it drifts cruelly behind her.

And that’s that. The Lionesses’ first visit to the Aviva ends in a win and they’ve got their Euros ‘25 qualifying campaign up and running. Job done.

09:17 PM BST

90 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

We’ll have four minutes of stoppage time. England should be cruising to a 2-0 win, but they’ve had to weather a bit of a Dublin storm for the past 15 mins as Katie McCabe is booked for going too hard in on a challenge there on Daly.

09:17 PM BST

89 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Ireland will have done well if they hold England to a goalless second half. Save for Kirby’s close-range effort, the visitors haven’t troubled Brosnan too much.

09:15 PM BST

85 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Oh dear.. Hampton finds herself in a real spot of bother, as Hampton attempt at a goal-kick is deflected off McCabe, who is cannily hanging right by the keeper’s side. Hampton holds an arm up in protest as the ball ricochets backwards. McCabe doesn’t wait about - she scampers forward and collects the ball as England’s defenders come racing back after they realise what’s happening.. McCabe reaches the ball but the time she unleashes her shot Hampton is back in position and gathers the ball. Wow, that was close. Was that the correct option from McCabe? She had O’Sullivan to her left who was much more central.

There are 32,742 people here in this stadium and they’d love to see a home goal. They’re still getting behind their team as vociferously as they can. Centre-back Louise Quinn going up front was the Plan B for Eileen Gleeson and it’ll be interesting to see how England cope with that tactic, physically. The hosts are playing so much more direct. Expect a bombardment of long balls.

The Republic of Ireland fans feel that England are time-wasting and their booing is now relentless.

09:11 PM BST

82 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Huge chance Ireland! McCabe sends in a dangerous corner and Hayes comes charging out of nowhere and gets her head on it, but her downwards header bounces straight up - it’s a bit awkward for Hampton - who has to react quickly and she does. Ireland’s direct play is causing the visitors a lot of issues and the crowd are loving it.

09:09 PM BST

78 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Ireland look a bit energised by Connolly’s mesmeric interventions from the sidelines, as McCabe finds herself in a pocket of space up front - thinks about taking the shot - but instead lays it back, before there’s some good hustling from Connolly down the left with Mead, who forces another corner.

09:06 PM BST

78 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

McCabe sends in a fine delivery - it’s straight off the training ground - directed towards O’Sullivan, who is at full stretch as she dives to stick her foot on the end of it and the ball falls perfectly for Quinn, but she gets her feet tangled and there’s about three Irish bodies in there who manage to miss it! Huge opportunity goes begging for the hosts.

09:04 PM BST

76 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Ireland have offered absolutely nothing in attack, but as I type Hampton slips up and Kiernan intercepts the keeper’s loose pass at the back and her shot is deflected out for a throw-in. Up steps Megan Connolly again and she lobs in another missile deep into the penalty area. England just about deal but the hosts draw a foul... free kick Ireland...

Stanway is on for England, while Toone makes way.

09:00 PM BST

70 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Let’s take a look at that marvellous throw-in by Megan Connolly again

08:55 PM BST

67 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

England have a free kick in dangerous position, Ireland stand tall but the ball only gets as far as Toone, who hits one from 35 yards out - she shows exquisite footwork to take the ball away from her marker - but overcooks it and the ball sails over the crossbar.

08:53 PM BST

65 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Ireland look like they’re building something but ther’s a huge chance for England, as Brosnan denies Kirby from close range. It’s Lucy Bronze’s deep cross which is headed back across goal, Fran Kirby takes her shot first time from six yards and Brosnan makes a point blank stop. Sublime reactions from the Everton shotstopper.

08:50 PM BST

62 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Payne is off for Kiernan, while Campbell - Ireland’s long-range throwing specialist - launches an absolute missile from an Ireland throw in. England’s defence looked a bit tense there but they deal with it..

08:46 PM BST

58 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Some really fine combination play as Kirby turns in a few pockets and links up a defensive set into an attack - it’s Russo who comes forward and lays the ball off to Mead, who is bemused to find herself penalised for offside by the assistant referee.

08:44 PM BST

55 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

There’s a double change for England. Park is making way for Fran Kirby, while Beth Mead comes on for Hemp.

08:41 PM BST

52 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Park comes forward with the ball but loses possession as she tries to arrow a lateral pass through, before Williamson nudges a long ball over the top towards a chasing Hemp. The Man City midfielder races onto it but can’t keep the ball in play. Ireland look like they’re playing a *little* big higher in this second half and need to be careful. You really do sense that a quick counter break from England could catch them out.

08:38 PM BST

50 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Lauren James takes a tumble after a challenge from McCabe. The Chelsea striker is down on the pitch and momentarily it looks like she needs the physio on, but slowly gets to her feet.

08:36 PM BST

48 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Hannah Hampton has barely been tested in this match and that doesn’t look like changing any time soon, as England begin settling into the game again with intricate, one-touch football. McCabe wins a throw-in high up the pitch - there’s a number of green shirts in the box - but instead Ireland work it backwards.

08:33 PM BST

46 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

We’re back underway. Just the one change from Ireland at the break - Megan Connolly is on for Littlejohn.

08:32 PM BST

An excellent first half from the Lionesses

England’s staff looked very satisfied as they all trooped down the tunnel. That was an excellent first-half performance from England and a much-improving display compared to Friday’s disappointing showing at Wembley. Keira Walsh is completely controlling the midfield and, when she’s playing like this, she’d get into a world XI. England have broken through the Irish lines incisively. Interestingly, in the other match in this group tonight, France won 1-0 away in Sweden. That makes that, whatever happens here, France will top the group ahead of their double-header of games against England in the next international window at the end of May and in early June.

08:28 PM BST

A half-time blast from the past

08:18 PM BST

HALF TIME Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Some fine footwork from Patten in the midfield and Quinn hustles down the right and its Walsh, who is back defending and forces a corner.. how they’d love to pull a goal back before the break. It’s a bit messy, but England eventually clear. And that’s that for the first half.

Keira Walsh, who had a quiet game by her standards against Sweden last week, has been crucial for England, who have looked very assured on the ball and really took advantage after that early goal, while Ella Toone has been slipping into pockets of space unmarked. You feel England had the rub of the green for that second England penalty - replays are showing the ball hit Quinn’s thigh and then bounced up onto her arm - but justice was served when Greenwood missed.

08:15 PM BST

43 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Russo is half through on goal but Brosnan is on high alert - she comes out and smothers the ball. From the restart, McCabe looks up and arcs a cross-field ball towards Payne but it’s asking a lot of the midfielder and Carter ends up marshaling the ball out.

The Irish will feel that justice has been done there, because that was a very harsh decision to award a penalty against Louise Quinn for that ‘handball’. If we had VAR in operation in this competition, I’d like to that that would have been overruled. The ball struck her arm after a ricochet rather than Quinn getting her arm in the way.

08:12 PM BST

41 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Williamson clips a ball into Russo, who in turn finds Bronze, who comes streaming into the box, but it’s an awkward ball for the defender and she is caught in two minds what to do... she ends up volleying well wide of the target.

08:10 PM BST

39 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

James tries her luck from the edge of the area after Leah Williamson wins back possession with fine sliding tackle. There’s a bit too much curl on James’ shot and in the end Brosnan does well to get down low and gather.

08:09 PM BST

35 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

Patten sends up a long ball but there’s no green shirts upfront for Ireland, who now face an uphill battle to salvage anything from this game. England are playing quite high, as Hemp runs into trouble and is dispossessed by Mannion. Quinn comes forward with the ball but the Lionesses are on high alert - Greenwood mops up at the back. Park brings it forwards and finds James gliding into space, but England slow it right down, before the ball eventually hits the referee. They’re looking comfortable with this 2-0

08:04 PM BST

Was this a penalty?

08:02 PM BST

Alex Greenwood misses!

She had no problems with the first but this time Greenwood arrows her spot kick low towards the right hand corner - Brosnan dives correctly - but the ball spins off the post! A let-off for Ireland.

08:01 PM BST

26 mins Penalty England!

James is once again caught in an offside position as England on the front foot.. Hemp finds some space down the left and she fizzes in a tricky ball towards the area.. and the ball strikes up and hits Louise Quinn on the arm! Lina Lehtovaara blows her whistle almost immediately and points to the spot again!

07:57 PM BST

Skinner on new contract

News has broken tonight that Manchester United women’s manager Marc Skinner has been offered a new contract. It’s Telegraph Sport’s understanding that the two parties still remain some way off an agreement and talks are ongoing. According to sources, discussions have been ongoing for some time and Manchester United want Skinner to stay. The former Birmingham City and Orlando Pride head coach’s existing deal with the Women’s Super League club expires this summer.

07:56 PM BST

24 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

A huge roar around the Aviva as Katie McCabe latches onto the ball in the midfield and threads a pass through to Littlejohn, but Jess Carter senses the danger and England win it back. England look that bit more together when they’re on the ball, while Ireland look a bit devoid of ideas.

07:54 PM BST

22 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 2 England

That second goal has really rattled the Irish, who have been competitive in the challenge but haven’t had much to shout about, as Littlejohn tries to break but runs into heavy traffic. England try to find James but the Chelsea striker has strayed offside.

07:51 PM BST

GOAL England!

Alex Greenwood steps up and coolly slots in from the spot, sending Brosnan the wrong way to double England’s lead. It’s been a dream start for the visitors.

07:50 PM BST

Penalty England!

Drama early on.. as Ruesha Littlejohn comes racing out as Jess Park volleys a downwards ball.. and it flies up and hits the Ireland striker on the arm! Referee Lina Lehtovaara took her time with the decision - there’s no VAR at this stage of the qualifying process - and points to the spot! Littlejohn’s arm did look in an unnatural position.

07:48 PM BST

16 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 1 England

England win a corner quickly from the restart, which is headed away. Keira Walsh follows up down the right... but is denied by a thumping Ruesha Littlejohn tackle .Ireland have a sniff of an attack but it comes to nothing..

07:46 PM BST

Lucky Lionesses

It’s fallen really kindly for Lauren James but England will be very grateful for that touch of good fortune. Keira Walsh’s initial cross was a dangerous one and the Republic of Ireland didn’t deal with it. The first goal tonight was always going to be hugely significant and Sarina Wiegman will expect her side to control this match from here now.

07:44 PM BST

GOAL England!

It’s taken just over 11 minutes. Walsh sends in a deep cross towards Bronze, who is hanging at the back - she heads the ball downwards and it’s a terribly awkward bounce for Anna Patten, who is too narrow as James pounces and stabs in from close range. That was far too easy for the hosts, who should never have been allowed to score that! Ireland had three defenders in the penalty area..

07:42 PM BST

10 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 0 England

Ireland enjoy their first proper spell on the ball - Littlejohn tries to work a tight angle up front - but England win it back and quickly counter.. James tries her luck again but Ireland are looking well drilled in defence and the hosts lose possession when Hemp attempts a one-two with - I think it’s Russo - and Ireland snuff out the attack.

07:40 PM BST

8 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 0 England

Williamson sends a long ball that finds Toone on the edge of the area, but she’s well tracked and Ireland clear the danger. Bronze nudges a ball up towards Russo but the Arsenal striker is closely marked... but England come again through James, who sends in a sumptuous delivery towards Russo.. whose header is straight at Brosnan. The Lionesses were able to strike because McCabe, who had drifted a but higher, was caught out position..

07:36 PM BST

5 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 0 England

Anna Patten, who represented England at U23 level, marshals the ball out of play down the other end. It’s been an energetic start from Ireland, who are contesting 50-50 balls.. England win a free-kick after a bit of argy-bargy and Hemp drifts into space down her wing. Her cross is deflected behind for a corner.

07:34 PM BST

2 mins Republic of Ireland 0 - 0 England

Good hustling from Carusa up front for the hosts and Ireland have an early corner. McCabe whips in a corner and it’s an early test for Hampton, who gathers cleanly.

07:31 PM BST

Republic of Ireland 0 - 0 England

We’re underway! Both sets of players take the knee before kick-off..

07:31 PM BST

The Aviva falls silent

There is moment of silence before kick-off for the Republic of Ireland’s assistant coach Colin Healy, whose wife, Kelly, recently passed away.

The hosts are also wearing black armbands as a mark of respect.

07:25 PM BST

The teams are out..

..and the anthems are in full flow. Leah Williamson looks teary-eyed.

07:22 PM BST

Latest from the Aviva

As the home team’s starting XI was read out, by far the loudest cheer from the home supporters inside the Aviva Stadium was in response to ‘Katie McCabe’. The Arsenal left-back is supremely popular in these parts.
We’re currently being treated to a lights show inside the stadium. Rather than selling out specific lower blocks first, the approx. 30,000 inside this ground and split fairly evenly across all three tiers, meaning there are some empty seats behind both goals.
The main group of England supporters are situated away to the left of Sarina Wiegman’s technical area, behind a corner flag.

07:20 PM BST

Katie McCabe: a familiar face

Ireland, who lost 1-0 to France last Friday, have a heavy contingent of WSL and Women’s Championship players, with Arsenal’s Katie McCabe their poster girl. Ireland featured at last year’s World Cup, where they finished bottom of their group, but McCabe has played down the Anglo-Irish rivalry ahead of the Lionesses’ visit.

I guess that’s men’s history but we’ve not played them as a women’s team since 1987 - you can create what you want to create but it’s just another game,” said the Arsenal defender.

France on Friday was a massive, playing against the European champions is massive. Each game is so big and we remain focused on what we have to do.

It’s another stepping stone for us to try and qualify for the Euros for the first time.

We’ve never played a competitive game in the Euros at the Aviva Stadium so to do that against England in front of 30,000 people will be a really nice occasion and hopefully we can top it off by getting a result.”

Katie McCabe is relishing tonight's match-up with the Lionesses - Charles McQuillan/Getty Sport

07:07 PM BST

‘This is Hampton’s time to shine’

Sarina Wiegman has just shared her pre-match thoughts on ITV and has clarified that Mary Earps is not injured. The Lionesses manager simply believes the in-form Hampton deserves a start.

It’s not down to an injury. We’re in a very luxurious position where have two great goalkepers. Hannah’s been doing a great job at Chelsea and she’s grown into that competition with Mary. This is a moment for her to shine.

On Leah Williamson’s first England start more than a year:

We’ll see in the game. It’s great to have her back as a leader. It’s great for her and it’s great for the team. Hopefully she’ll enjoy it and play well.”

07:02 PM BST

The making of Jess Park

It’s a big night for Manchester City midfielder Jess Park, who earns just her second start for her country. It took just 79 seconds for her to score when coming off the bench for her England debut in 2022, but not everything in a young footballer’s career can happen so quickly. Catch up on Tom Garry’s profile piece on the young midfielder here.

06:54 PM BST

Just over half an hour until kick-off

Lionessess fans gather at Dublin's Aviva stadium - Damien Eagers/PA
England's Mary Earps chats to Ireland's Diane Caldwell ahead of her side's Euro qualifying match - Lorraine O'Sullivan/REUTERS
Alessia Russo and her teammates inspect the pitch at Dublin's Aviva Stadium - Charles McQuillan/GettySport

06:44 PM BST

Team news analysis

Sarina Wiegman, the England manager, has made five changes to the England side who played out a 1-1 draw with Sweden at Wembley last Friday. There’s some pretty big calls to chew over.

Goalkeeper Hannah Hampton, who has been in excellent form for Chelsea in the WSL, starts ahead of Mary Earps, while captain Leah Williamson returns to international duty for the first time since her widely documented ACL injury that ruled her out of last year’s World Cup. Williamson’s involvement sees Lotte Wubben-Moy drop to the bench.

Jess Carter replaces Niamh Charles at left back, while midfielders Ella Toone and Jess Park start ahead of Grace Clinton and Georgia Stanway.

06:38 PM BST

Dublin is breezy

Here’s our resident women’s football reporter Tom Garry with the latest from Dublin. As we know, Jess Park, England’s young exciting midfielder, has earned her first international start.

06:32 PM BST

Lionesses’ fan watch

We’re expecting around 900 England fans in the official away end tonight inside the stadium, but on top of that approximately another 1,000 more are believed to have travelled to Dublin and will be scattered around the home end. They’ve been enjoying themselves in Dublin’s bars throughout the day.

06:30 PM BST

England’s opponents

Republic of Ireland XI: Brosnan, Louise Quinn, Hayes, Littlejohn, O’Sullivan, McCabe, Patten, Mannion, Payne, Lucy Quinn, Carusa.

Subs: Moloney, Whitehouse, Stapleton, Campbell, Connolly, Caldwell, Barrett, Agg, Toland, Kiernan, Murphy, Atkinson.

06:24 PM BST

Your Lionesses team tonight

England XI: Hampton, Bronze, Carter, Walsh, Williamson, Greenwood, James, Park, Russo, Toone, Hemp.

Subs: Charles, Earps, Kirby, Wubben-Moy, Kelly, Mead, Clinton, Daly, Stanway, Rendell, Morgan, Turner.

06:16 PM BST

A must win game for England

Are England in ‘must-win’ territory already? It feels like that’s the case, here in Dublin, as the defending European champions seek to kick-start their qualifying campaign for Euro 2025 after their disappointing home draw against Sweden on Friday night.

The Lionesses never really clicked into gear at Wembley and will know they cannot afford to drop points at the Aviva Stadium, in this most difficult of qualifying groups, with a double-header against the side ranked third in the world, France, coming up in the next international fixture window.

Asked yesterday if this is a must-win game for her side, Sarina Wiegman sought to play that idea down, replying: “Well I don’t really want to talk about must-win but we really want to win this game. If we win this game it puts us in a better position. We know this group. It’s hard to predict where it will go. You just go out there in every game and try to play your best game. That’s what we will do tomorrow. Yes, we know, if the result is good, it puts us in a better position. If the result is not good, it puts us in a harder position. But there are still four other opportunities to change that around.”

However, realistically anything but a win tonight would be a major blow to England’s hopes of qualifying automatically - only the top two sides in this group will do so. And as the Republic of Ireland proved on Friday when they only lost 1-0 in France in a tight game, they will be no pushovers tonight. A crowd of around 30,000 is expected here at the Aviva Stadium and the pressure is on.

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