Fara Williams says the Cyprus Cup will provide the ideal preparation ahead of Euro 2013
England v Italy
3.30pm GMT, Wednesday 6 March 2013
by Glenn Lavery
Fara Williams believes the Cyprus Cup will be of great benefit to England in their preparations for Euro 2013.
The Three Lions open up their assault on this annual friendly tournament on Wednesday afternoon when they take on Italy.
They face Scotland two days later before wrapping things up against New Zealand next Monday.
And the Liverpool midfielder reckons facing three different styles will stand England in good stead ahead of this summer’s European Championship Finals.
Williams explained: “Training has gone well so far, now we just want to get the games underway.
“It will be good for us as players to come up against different styles of play, especially in such a short space of time. It’s exactly what we need in a tournament year.
“Italy generally play a 4-3-3 formation, Scotland line-up in a 4-4-2 and New Zealand tend to play a diamond so we’ll have to adapt quickly. But that's what we'll have to do at the Euros so it's good to get that experience now.”
This is the fifth time England have competed in the Cyprus Cup.
They won the tournament in their debut year – 2009, the year they reached the Final of the Euros.
Williams hopes this will prove to be an omen with just four months to go until Sweden 2013, though she is keen to go one step further this summer.
She added: “This tournament is a great chance for us to gain tournament experience, especially the younger players.
“We need to feel comfortable playing three games in a short space of time and I think we are getting more used to it every year.
“We had a good few days in Cyprus in 2009 and that helped us in Finland.
“Hopefully we can repeat that success again this time. We all know that it matters more in the summer, but good preparation this week can only help us."
England have been drawn in Group C for the Euros where they will face France, Russia and Spain.
Squad in full
Karen Bardsley, Rachel Brown, Siobhan Chamberlain
Laura Bassett, Sophie Bradley, Steph Houghton, Alex Scott, Casey Stoney, Dunia Susi, Rachel Unitt
Anita Asante, Karen Carney, Jess Clarke, Jordan Nobbs, Jill Scott, Fara Williams, Rachel Yankey,
Eniola Aluko, Toni Duggan, Kelly Smith, Ellen White, Rachel Williams.