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October 15, 2018
England women v Brazil women: game will be a challenge
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England women v Brazil women: game will be a challenge

Fara Williams played in the World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan in November as England won 5-0

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England’s friendly against Brazil on Saturday is an opportunity for the Lionesses to show what they are capable of, says midfielder Fara Williams.

England’s most-capped player was recalled to the squad after she was forced to withdraw from the last round of fixtures because of injury.

“We have to beat these teams,” the Reading midfielder, 34, told BBC Sport.

“We have to treat it like these are the quarter-finals or the semi-finals of the World Cup.”

The Lionesses play Brazil at Meadow Lane, home of Notts County, before taking on Australia on Tuesday at Fulham’s Craven Cottage.

“Ultimately we want to win,” Williams added.

“The opponents are massive and they are teams we don’t usually come up against. We usually face teams outside of the top 10 and haven’t challenged ourselves to the extent that we will between now and the World Cup.

“It is an opportunity for us to see where we are at. Brazil will be a massive test and they have some fantastic players.”

Team news

Williams – who has earned 168 senior caps but missed England’s final two Women’s World Cup qualifiers – hopes she can retain her place in the squad for the World Cup.

“I have to play well at Reading this year to put myself in a position to be among the players in the squad,” said Williams. “At the minute it is a very good squad and a hard one to break into.

“I am hanging in and I’m hoping to hang in for the World Cup. I always want to play and will play as long as I can. I will always be available if called upon.”

Manchester United goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain, 35, replaced Karen Bardsley in the squad after the 33-year-old Manchester City number one was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury.

Seattle Reign forward Jodie Taylor also withdrew with a bone bruise. The 32-year-old – who was the top goalscorer at Euro 2017 – will also miss the fixture with Sweden in November.

England manager Phil Neville believes his side can go on to win the World Cup in France

‘The hard work has just started’

England manager Phil Neville: “Both teams will be challenging opponents, with Brazil and Australia both ranked in the top 10 in the world. And of course they are potential World Cup opposition for us.

“It’s been an incredible year for the Lionesses, but the hard work has only just started. The next nine months will be crucial and it begins with these friendlies. We’re all looking forward to testing ourselves against challenging opposition and I’m sure our fans will come out in good numbers to show their support.”

England captain Steph Houghton: “It was an incredible feeling to secure our place at the World Cup, and now we can really start to focus on the work we need to do between now and then, starting with these fixtures against quality opposition.

“The two friendlies will give us exactly the kind of tests we need to prepare ourselves mentally, physically and tactically for the tournament.”

Source BBC News

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