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England v Norway: Six reasons to be excited about Women’s World Cup quarter-final | World News



With England through to the Women’s World Cup quarter finals, football could well and truly be coming home. Here are six reasons to be excited about England v Norway.

:: 1 – Be part of the conversation

A UK TV audience of 6.9 million watched England beat Cameroon
A UK TV audience of 6.9 million watched England beat Cameroon

When the village postmistress asked me about England’s next match, I knew this World Cup was taking off.

England v Norway is almost certain to draw the highest UK TV audience for a women’s football match, beating the 6.9 million who saw England see off Cameroon to qualify for this quarter-final.

It will be on the big screens at Glastonbury.

'Rising talents' Georgia Stanway (L) and Beth Mead (R)
‘Rising talents’ Georgia Stanway (left) and Beth Mead (right)

:: 2 – England’s young guns

Watch out for rising talents Beth Mead and Georgia Stanway.

It was Stanway who tweeted Glastonbury organisers, checking if her gig-going brother would be able to see the game.

The Manchester City forward, 20, started her first World Cup game against Japan last week and created a goal inside a quarter of an hour.

The other exciting youngster fans clamoured pre-tournament to see more of, Arsenal’s 24-year old Beth Mead, similarly laid on the opening goal when she got her chance to start, against Argentina.

:: 3 – … And the old guns

Jill Scott broke Peter Shilton’s record for most England appearances at a World Cup at the weekend and the 32-year old has been a key figure in the run to the quarter-finals. But Ellen White, 30, has stolen the headlines.

England’s top scorer in France (four goals) can be relied on to repeat her trademark “goggles” celebration if she gets another against Norway.

England's Jill Scott (L) and Ellen White (R)
England’s Jill Scott (left) and Ellen White (right)

:: 4 – A triumph against the odds?

Kind of. The bookmakers actually rate England clear favourites against the 1995 World Champions.

Norway are without their World Player of the Year Ada Hegerberg, who is protesting about how the national federation treats its women players.

But a virus sweeping through the England camp may rob them of Millie Bright, whose central defensive partner Steph Houghton, England’s captain, could also miss out through injury.

England captain Steph Houghton could miss Norway match through injury
England captain Steph Houghton could miss Norway match through injury

:: 5 – There will be controversy

That’s almost a given at this World Cup, as decisions referred to the video assistant referees add to the tension and infuriate the coaches.

FIFA’s refereeing chief Pierluigi Collina insisted on Wednesday that VAR was working, increasing accuracy of decisions to above 98%. Critics would rather have the 92% accuracy without VAR and eliminate the delays.

Don’t be surprised if the debate intensifies tonight.

:: 6 – And… there could be a penalty shootout

This has always been a reason to hide behind the sofa for England fans – until Gareth Southgate’s men actually their nerve to reach last summer’s quarter finals in Russia via a shootout.

The fact that England in this tournament have been more defensively solid than goal-laden lends credence to the idea that this match could go the distance.

Phil Neville's side take on Norway at the Stade Oceane, Le Havre
Phil Neville’s side take on Norway at the Stade Oceane, Le Havre

Rest assured that coach Phil Neville will have prepared for this and will expect his team to emulate Southgate’s.
Bear in mind, though, that Norway won their last match on penalties.

But I don’t want to worry you…

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