England Women to face world's best ahead of World Cup

Thursday 04 Dec 2014
England Women are seventh in the FIFA rankings

England Women will play USA and France at home in 2015 as preparations advance for next year's FIFA Women’s World Cup.

England will take on USA, the No.1 ranked team in the world, on Friday 13 February and fourth-placed France on Thursday 9 April. Venues and kick-off times will be announced in the coming weeks.

England Women

Sampson wants his side to face tough opposition in the World Cup build-up

The matches will play a key part of head coach Mark Sampson's side's preparation for the World Cup in Canada. The draw for the tournament takes place on Saturday 6 December in Ottawa, where England will find out which teams they will face in the group stage.

Last month’s historic game against Germany at Wembley Stadium, which attracted a record 45,619 crowd, was the first of the series of international matches that the 'Lionesses' will play before next summer. England will also take part in next year’s Cyprus Cup, an annual tournament which runs from 2-12 March 2015.

Sampson said: "It’s great news we can confirm the matches against USA and France. For the team to improve we need to create as many opportunities as possible to test ourselves against the top tier nations.

"In USA and France we are without doubt facing some of the best teams in the world, and teams who will have genuine ambitions of winning the World Cup.

"The Germany match gave us a real marker in terms of where we need to strive to be in the long term.  We have a long way to go to reach those levels but the experience of matches against the top players and top teams will allow us to develop the qualities we need to be competitive as we can be in the summer.

"The team will mature a lot off the back of the Germany experience and now with more opportunities to test ourselves against top-tier nations we have the opportunity to continue to grow."

By FA Staff