‘There is so much at stake’ – Williamson excited for England’s fixture against France

‘There is so much at stake’ – Williamson excited for England’s fixture against France
‘There is so much at stake’ – Williamson excited for England’s fixture against France

England captain Leah Williamson admits that she is excited to face France given the fact that crucial UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 qualification points are at stake.

The Lionesses face Les Bleues at St James’ Park in Newcastle this evening. England have the opportunity to leapfrog their latest opponents in the group table with a win.

When speaking in the pre-match press conference, England captain Williamson admitted that she is excited to play against France given what is at stake.

“We picked up a draw and a win in the last camp, so there were dropped points there against another top opponent,” Williamson said. “We have a very hard group.

“The next game is obviously the first of two fixtures which are important because after that, there are only two more left. We want to make steps forward in qualifying as soon as possible, just as everyone wants to do. I think that’s why I’m so excited for this game because there is so much at stake.

“We are a good team, they’re a good team, so it should be a good game. We have a job to do and we have been speaking about it all week.”

England have never faced France during Sarina Wiegman’s tenure as head coach and Williamson admits that the threats of Les Bleues are a little unknown.

She said “[We are expecting] a fast-paced game. Both teams have pace in them which always creates a good dynamic.

“To be honest, this is the first time in a long time that we have played them and [the first] under Sarina, so I don’t know [what to expect]. 

“We are ready for what we know they are going to do and hopefully, our play has improved since the last international window as well.”

The latest international window comes at the end of a gruelling domestic season, however, Williamson insists that England are not in holiday mode and that they are highly-motivated by their latest challenge.

She said “Sometimes, you get to a camp at the end of the season and you can feel that everybody is ready to go on holiday. I don’t feel that this week, I feel like everybody knows the magnitude of these two games regardless of the opponent. It’s a competitive fixture which we have always said we love playing in, so it’ll be exciting.”

England’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 qualifier against France at St James’ Park kicks-off at 8pm this evening.