‘We don’t fear you’: Nikita Parris and England are ready for World Cup holders USA
Phil Neville’s Lionesses take on the champions in the Lyon semi-final
England vs. United States
- What: Fifa Women’s World Cup semi-final
- When: Tuesday 2 July
- Where: Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France
- Kick-off time: 8pm (BST)
- TV coverage: live on BBC One
Phil Neville says that his England side are ready to tackle the United States head on in tonight’s semi-final of the Fifa Women’s World Cup.
The Lionesses face the defending champions in Lyon and are hoping to reach their first major women’s final - and English football’s first since the men’s triumph in 1966.
Neville, who was appointed England head coach in January 2018, told BBC Sport: “We’ve planned for it, we’ve played against them and we know how we’re going to play.
“When it was France or USA in the semi-final every one of my players said: ‘Let’s hope it’s USA’.
“When I got the job, the first three games I looked at were the USA. I was sitting in my house in Valencia and watched three games in one afternoon because I thought: ‘How can we win the World Cup?’
“You have to beat the best, and the USA are the best. They’ve proven it. But we’re ready for them. Sometimes, before these games, you can have fear and trepidation - but I can smell nothing but freedom, happiness and excitement.”
Parris dreams of lifting the trophy
England forward Nikita Parris was also in a bullish mood when speaking to the media ahead of the crunch clash.
The Americans came into the World Cup as the big favourites to win the tournament, but Parris has warned the holders that England don’t fear them.
She said: “Why shouldn’t we think we can’t be badder than them? We went to the SheBelieves and won it. And we went toe-to-toe with them. You know. We beat America in the past. We beat them 1-0 under Mark [Sampson].
“Why shouldn’t we think we can beat them. Why do we have to come to this tournament and think, ‘Oh, America’?
“I don’t fear America - and I don’t think my team-mates do. We played them in the SheBelieves. We went right up against them.”
When asked if she had ever dreamt about lifting the trophy, the 25-year-old added: “Yes, of course. What’s the point of coming here if you haven’t dreamed about it?”
Fifa Women’s World Cup fixtures
BBC Sport will show live coverage of the World Cup. All times are BST.
Women’s World Cup semi-finals
- Tuesday 2 July: England vs. USA (8pm; Stade de Lyon, Lyon; BBC One)
- Wednesday 3 July: Netherlands vs. Sweden (8pm; Stade de Lyon, Lyon; BBC One)
Saturday 6 July: 4pm at the Stade de Nice, Nice
When is the Women’s World Cup final?
The 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup final will be played at the Stade de Lyon on Sunday 7 July (4pm BST, live on BBC One).