England vs Norway: Three factors that will decide Women’s Euro 2022 clash

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England face Norway tonight in a key match-up in the race to win Group A.

Both teams began their Women’s Euro 2022 campaign with victories as the Lionesses edged Austria by a single goal.

There were fewer problems for Norway in downing Northern Ireland and England will have to be on top form to secure a victory which would all-but confirm their place in the next round.

Here are three key areas to look out for at Amex Stadium...

White hungry to get off the mark

All eyes are on Norway striker Ada Hegerberg, but England’s No9 Ellen White will be out to prove a point tonight too. White endured a difficult opening game against Austria, failing to find the net and missing a great chance.

She will benefit this evening from playing against two defenders she knows well in Maren Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir, as both of them ply their trade in the Women’s Super League for Chelsea and Manchester United respectively.

Attacking Blakstad out to cause Bronze problems

The versatile Julie Blakstad has been used as a left-back by Norway recently, who value the youngster’s ability to get forward and overlap. She caused Northern Ireland plenty of problems and will be out to do the same tonight against England.

Her opposite number, Lucy Bronze, loves to get forward herself but she must be wary of leaving too much space for Blakstad to exploit on the counter attack. Northern Ireland were punished for that and England could be too.

Kirby crucial to England’s creative spark

After missing the last three months of the season due to a fatigue-related illness, Fran Kirby looks close to her best again. The Chelsea star terrorised Austria’s defence last week and she showed how lethal she can be when given space to operate as a No10.

Norway’s defence has looked shaky at times and Kirby will look to exploit the pockets of space off White. When she went off against Austria, England lost an edge and her value cannot be understated.

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