Wales’ women will ‘get in Russia’s faces’ in World Cup qualifier

Wales’ women will ‘get in Russia’s faces’ in World Cup qualifier

Jayne Ludlow became named Jarmo Matikainen’s successor as Wales manager in 2014
Women’s 2019 World Cup qualifying: Wales v Russia
Venue: Spytty Park, Newport Date: Tuesday, 12 June Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Wales will “get in Russia’s faces” on Tuesday as they try to take another step towards reaching the 2019 Women’s World Cup, manager Jayne Ludlow says.

Beating Russia in Newport would set up a winner-takes-all game against Group One leaders England in August.

Russia lost 3-1 to England in Moscow on Friday, while Wales beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 in Swansea on Thursday.

“Our plan is to step on the pitch and get in their faces and not give them any breathing time,” said Ludlow.

“I’m sure if we do that then we’ll shock them a little bit.”

Wales go into the game two points behind England with victory against Russia guaranteeing at least second, which would be their best finish in a World Cup qualifying campaign.

Ludlow’s side host England on 31 August in their final fixture, but could also qualify via the play-offs if they finish as one of the four best runners-up from the seven groups.

The Arsenal midfield great says she has a fully fit squad, including playmaker Jess Fishlock, who was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Fishlock said: “I feel quietly confident. I have so much belief in this group of players.

“It’s hard to sum up how important this game is on Tuesday, especially with England having beaten them.

“If we can get a result against Russia, it’s going to be exceptional.

“Jayne has got everything right so far and I have no doubt that whatever she has planned, we’ll look forward to getting it done.”

Women’s World Cup qualifying: Wales to ‘pounce’ crucial game venue on England

Fishlock was on the end of some rough challenges during the win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday, but Ludlow says her own side are prepared to fight and seize their opportunity.

“This group fights for things,” Ludlow said. “We’re a very small nation and for us to have any success in tournaments – male or female – we have to step on the pitch and fight every time we put the jersey on.

“We’re not expected to out-possess most teams, but we are expected to win battles and this game is no different.”

England manager Phil Neville says he has plans to change his team’s approach after seeing sides set out to frustrate a Lionesses side ranked second in the world.

Fishlock delighted to be made MBE

Ludlow, though, said she would not be looking to alter Wales’ set-up even if their unbeaten run – during which they are yet to concede a goal – has earned them a new-found respect.

“You’re talking about a national team that could name five squads,” Ludlow said of Neville’s England, who Wales held to a goalless draw in Southampton in April.

“Great for him, happy days. We’re very different. We’re a very small nation with a very small pool of players and when we step on the pitch we play to our strengths.

“We obviously understand everything the opposition will bring, and we prepare for certain things, but our game is always about trying to get these guys to shine with all the things we’re good at.”

A sell-out crowd of around 1,200 is expected at Newport’s Spytty Park for the fixture with Russia.

Wales squad: Claire Skinner (Cardiff City Women), Olivia Clarke (Boston United), Laura O’Sullivan (Cyncoed Ladies); Loren Dykes (Bristol City Women), Sophie Ingle (Liverpool Ladies), Alice Griffiths (Wales Performance Squad), Rhiannon Roberts (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Rachel Rowe (Reading Women), Elise Hughes (Everton Ladies); Jess Fishlock (Seattle Reign), Hayley Ladd (Birmingham City Ladies), Angharad James (Everton Ladies), Nadia Lawrence (Wales Performance Squad), Natasha Harding (Reading Women) Gemma Evans (Yeovil Town Ladies), Ffion Morgan (Wales Performance Squad), Tamsyn Sibanda (Arsenal); Helen Ward (Watford Ladies), Kylie Nolan (Wales Performance Squad), Melissa Fletcher (Reading Women), Kayleigh Green (Yeovil Town Ladies), Hannah Miles (Yeovil Town Ladies), Grace Horrell (Cyncoed Ladies).

You can now add WSL 1 notifications for line-ups, goals, kick-off, half-time and results in the BBC Sport app. Visit this page to find out how to sign-up.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football

June 12, 2018 at 12:42AM


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