Netherlands vs England Preview: Sarina Wiegman Handed Major Injury Boost

Image of England's Lionesses.

Image of England's Lionesses. Credit: Twitter@lauren__hemp

Sarina Wiegman has admitted that she has a full squad to pick from this evening against the Netherlands, meaning Alessia Russo is back in contention for a starting spot.

England head coach Wiegman has admitted it will be a ‘very special’ occasion for her this evening as she takes on the Netherlands – the country she helped become European champions – with the current Euro champions, the Lionesses.

Wiegman played for the Dutch national side before becoming the manager that helped them achieve a Euros win in 2017 and were World Cup runners-up in 2019, something that she’s also achieved as the England manager, and will be hoping to add a Natiosn League trophy to her illustrious CV.

Speaking in the Utrecht ahead of the game tonight, Wiegman has admitted it will be a special night for her as she’s back in her native country and will face off against a team which is very similar to the one she left before becoming England manager.

“[It’s] very nice, a little bit strange too – of course I have some memories here,” Wiegman said. “I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. It’s just very special to be here and to play the opponents.

Wiegman Excited To Be Back In The Netherlands

“Of course we know each other really well, I know the staff, most of the staff didn’t change that much, or the players. Lots of people will be in the stands that I know.”

Wiegman is one of the calmest and coolest managers in the women’s game, so she will have very little trouble parking her emotions come kick-off, and that will be needed as it’s a very important game for England tonight in the Nations League.

England won their inaugural game in the tournament against bitter-rials Scotland 2-1, despite not being at their best and getting away with a few controversial decisions, and they must top their group if Team GB are going to confirm their spot at next summer’s Olympics.

The Lionesses have been picked as the nominated home nation team aiming to secure a spot at the games in Paris next summer, but to do that they must top their group – which includes Scotland – and then make the final, or hope France get to the final and England could then finish third and secure a spot.

After a tough game up in Sunderland on Friday night, Wiegman has been handed an injury boost with regular starting striker, Russo, now ready to be selected after missing the game last week due to her being on a personal training programme.

Wigeman was not the only person to be grilled at yesterday’s press conference, with Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp joining her and the winger was full of praise for her national team manager who has started her in the most important games of her tenure.

Hemp Delighted To Be Working With Wiegman

“Sarina is a fantastic coach. Ever since she got the job I feel like she’s taken this team to a whole new level,” Hemp claimed. “For me personally I’m learning every single day.

“I feel like I’m getting so much better and feeling so much more confident as the days go by under Sarina. She’s unbelievable.”

Wiegman certainly has a selection headache heading into the game when it comes to her attacking options because players it’s likely going to be between Russo and the Women’s Super League top scorer from last season, Rachel Daly, as to who starts upfront and then it remains to be seen whether or not Manchester United’s Ella Toone comes back into the side.

Toone was an ever-present during the Lionesses run to the World Cup final, but was omitted from the starting lineup on Friday and will be expecting to regain her starting spot sooner rather than later.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Aaron Hindhaugh

Qualified and experienced journalist covering all aspects of news and sport. Specialist in both Men's and Women's football with increasing coverage of golf and tennis.