England vs Norway: Millie Bright up for fight in bid to put shackles on Ada Hegerberg

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
England vs Norway: Millie Bright up for fight in bid to put shackles on Ada Hegerberg
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

England defender Millie Bright is relishing the challenge of nullifying the threat of Norway star Ada Hegerberg in Monday night’s Euro 2022 clash.

Norway top Group A after dismantling Northern Ireland 4-1 in their opening game and, in Hegerberg, they have one of the world’s best players.

The striker, who was the first winner of the women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, is back on the international stage after a self-enforced five-year absence due to a perceived lack of respect for female players in Norway.

Hegerberg returned in March in time for this summer’s Euros and England centre-back Bright is motivated by the prospect of trying to keep her quiet in tonight’s game at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.

“She’s a top player, everyone is aware of her strengths and how she plays,” she said. “As defenders, we love that challenge and it’s something we can thrive off. You want to be challenged. We’re prepared for what we’re going to face and we’re ready to put our stamp on the game.”

Hegerberg is part of a dangerous Norway attack, who showed their credentials during their opening victory. The England squad watched that game, with striker Ellen White revealing she popped out to get some food and came back to find Norway had scored twice.

“I’m sure for Norway it’s great to have Hegerberg back in the team. She’s physical and her movement is incredible,” White said. “We have to be really wary of their frontline.”

As well as Hegerberg, Norway are blessed with the attacking talents of Caroline Graham-Hansen and Guro Reiten, and during qualifying for this tournament the team averaged more than five goals per game.

Their desire to attack is partly down to the weakness of their defence, with No1 goalkeeper Cecilie Fiskerstrand out with a long-term knee injury. They have issues at centre-back, too, with Chelsea’s Maren Mjelde working her way back to her best after a knee issue and Maria Thorisdottir having endured a tough season at Manchester United.

England last week made a winning start to the Euros (AP)
England last week made a winning start to the Euros (AP)

England boss Sarina Wiegman expects tonight’s game to be “an open match” and “exciting”, after the Lionesses’s tight 1-0 win over Austria last week. “They [Norway] want to attack a little more, they are able to attack a little more,” she said.

Wiegman is delighted to see Hegerberg back on the international stage, even if it causes problems for England’s defenders.

“We want all the best players in this tournament because that helps the game,” she said. “That’s our responsibility too, all of us, to get the best players on the pitch. People come to the game to see these players.”

Exactly how England stop Hegerberg and Norway is the big question. In her side’s opening game, Wiegman opted to play captain Leah Williamson in her natural position of centre-back, with Keira Walsh ahead of her playing at the base of midfield.

Against sterner opposition, though, Wiegman has preferred to play Williamson in midfield and she could well do the same tonight, meaning Alex Greenwood would return to the defence alongside Bright and Georgia Stanway would drop out of midfield.

Such a call would be tough on Stanway, who was the player of the match during England’s opening win, but Wiegman is not afraid of making big decisions.

Having someone of Williamson’s defensive prowess in midfield could make all the difference for England as they bid to take control of Group A.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting