Portugal vs England Women Preview: Can the Lionesses return to winning ways?
Image: Getty Images/Linnea Rheborg

Portugal vs England Women Preview: Can the Lionesses return to winning ways?

Phil Neville's Lionesses' squad will be looking to earn their first victory in five games when they face Portugal at the Estádio do Bonfim.

hannahpinnock
Hannah Pinnock

The Lionesses are back in action on Tuesday night when they face Portugal in a friendly at the Estádio do Bonfim in Setúbal.

This fixture follows another disappointing result for Phil Neville's side, who lost 0-2 to Brazil on Saturday afternoon, despite a late consolation goal from Beth England.

Portugal are in better form, however, after beating Albania 0-1 in their Euro 2021 qualifier on Friday.

Team news

Vast changes have been made to a depleted England squad, as a number of players have withdrawn.

Fran Kirby, Abbie McManus, Mille Bright and Demi Stokes all withdrew prior to the Brazil game.

They were replaced by Melissa Lawley, Gemma Bonner and Lucy Staniforth.

It was announced on Sunday that midfielder Jill Scott has also withdrawn due to injury, Manchester City forward Lauren Hemp and Everton's Chloe Kelly have now joined up with the squad.

Jordan Nobbs also made her return to the international stage on Saturday following her long-term knee injury that saw her miss this summer's World Cup.

Previous meetings

The two sides have met each other eight times so far, the Lionesses winning six of those games.

Two draws game in 2000 and 2001 during qualifiers for the 2003 Women's World Cup.

England and Portugal last met in 2017 when the Netherland's hosted the Euros.

Both teams were drawn in Group C, England won all three of their games which included a 2-1 victory over Tuesday night's opponents.

What the manager had to say...

Despite a poor run of results, Neville has remained positive regarding his team's performances.

"When we went to Norway and Belgium, that was nowhere near the level that this team should be playing at," he said to the FA. "But what I’ve seen [against Brazil]; that’s the level of a top, top team.

“We got punished for two lapses of concentration in the second half. The game should have been dead and buried by then.

“Our football was some of the best I’ve seen us play for a long time.”

What the opposition had to say...

Forward and former Chelsea player, Ana Borges, is excited about the prospect of facing England.

To the Portuguese FA, she said: "England are a power of women's football and one of the strongest teams in the world, as we saw at the last World Cup.

"We got three points from Albania, but we know our performance was not the brightest and we can do much more.

"It's important to work together on demanding games because we have seven more finals to go until we get to the next European Championships. We want to have a good game at Bonfim."

It may not be a competitive match, but Neville will be wanting to see a reaction from his players against a good Portugal side.

England's last victory came against Norway in the FIFA World Cup quarter-final, but results haven't gone their way since.

Losses against the USA, Norway, Sweden and Brazil, as well as a draw against Belgium,  isn't a good record for the WWC semi-finalists.

The Lionesses may not have qualifying matches for Euro 2021 to contend, due to being the tournament hosts - but an upturn in form will be crucial in the build-up to next summer's Olympic Games.

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