Thirty-three days after defeat in the 2023 Women’s World Cup final, England will be back in action for the first time since that devastating disappointment when they take on Scotland on Friday evening in the UEFA Women’s Nations League. It’s a new competition and a chance for the Lionesses to put the summer behind them, as they look ahead to three trophy chances in the next two years.
The first of those comes in this tournament, in which they will face Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands in the group stages. The latter, head coach Sarina Wiegman’s home country, will be their opponents in the second game of this international window, in Utrecht on Tuesday.
England will hope to progress to the latter stages of the Nations League for not only a shot at winning the thing, but also to ensure that Great Britain has the chance to take a women’s football team to the Olympics in France next year. They will likely need to reach the final to achieve qualification. The Lionesses need to secure their place at the European Championships in 2025, too, and will do exactly that if they finish first or second in their group.
So, as the focus shifts to new objectives and silverware, GOAL picks out six issues that England will need to tackle as they take to the field again…