England Women have set-up another friendly international fixture in their prepar
England Women have set-up another friendly international fixture in their preparations for hosting the 2005 UEFA European Championships. Hope Powell's side will face Russia away in Moscow next month.
England have faced a tough schedule this year, playing several sides who will compete in the FIFA Women's World Cup in USA later this month. England have played USA, Canada and Australia - beating the latter 1-0 last week at Burnley FC. This Thursday England take on European champions Germany in Darmstadt.
National Coach Hope Powell said: "Russia played in the last European Championships and that they have qualified for this year's World Cup means they are a team we want to play.
"I want to test our squad against teams who have that tournament experience, like USA, Canada and Australia who we have already played this year.
"To beat Australia - a team that is going to the World Cup - has given the girls confidence. I think they only had two chances on goal in the entire game!"
Powell added: "It's all preparation and needed because we're not playing any qualifications matches for Euro 2005.
"I'm trying to identify what my best squad is for those championships, so tough matches are important. We need to play these teams as a benchmark to see realistically how we measure up against them and so we have a real idea of where we need to be.
"We now have the chance with fixtures of this quality to see how we compare in real terms when we have our best players available."
The Russia game will be played in Moscow on Tuesday October 21st, with a venue and kick-off time to be announced. The two sides last met at the 2001 UEFA European Championship Finals and drew 1-1. Russia went onto win their World Cup qualifying group, whereas England finished second to European champions Germany in their group and then lost 2-0 on aggregate to France in the Play-Off Final.
TheFA.com will bring you the news from Thursday's game in Germany.