Bosnia & Herzegovina - England preview: Time to bounce back

The Lionesses were held by Belgium on Friday and will be hoping to make amends for dropped points tomorrow.

Bosnia & Herzegovina - England preview: Time to bounce back
Bosnia promise to be as tough a test tomorrow as they were in November. (Photo: Zimbio)

After a frustrating result at home to Belgium last time out, England head to Bosnia & Herzegovina tomorrow looking for three points to cushion the blow of Friday night's one.

The Lionesses' set-up meant the Red Flames were able to restrict their attacking threat rather comfortably that night, and Bosnia will look to do the same on Tuesday, especially after doing exactly that in the reverse of this fixture at the back end of last year.

More frustrations for England?

Bosnia set up for the draw when these two met in November, and they came very close to it but for Jill Scott's second half opener. It was the midfielder who came to the rescue on Friday too with an 84th minute equaliser, but a team of England's quality should not be needing a get out of jail free card, regardless of their opposition's plan.

When the Lionesses opened up their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign in September, they ran riot against an Estonia side who were also looking to go for just the point. That was because of the team selection.

Mark Sampson deployed direct and pacey players in that game, the likes of Dan Carter, who scored a hat-trick, Fran Kirby and Gemma Davison. The latter showed her quality against Bosnia too when they last met, given player of the match for her great running, and these are the type of players the manager will need to field on Tuesday if he wants to break his opponents' incredible resistance.

Will Jill Scott have to bail England out again tomorrow? (Photo: The FA)
Will Jill Scott have to bail England out again tomorrow? (Photo: The FA)

Team news

A boost for the Lionesses in terms of directness is that Nikita Parris has been brought into the team after Katie Chapman and Amy Turner both pulled out with leg injuries. The loss of the former will be a particularly big blow, as she was one of the stand-out performers in an otherwise poor display in Rotherham on Friday.

However, Parris is another who brings a pacey option; alongside Kirby and Davison, and Eniola Aluko and Demi Stokes - all of whom are already in the squad for this fixture.

Aluko herself could be pushing for a start, along with Davison, after they made an impact off the bench against Belgium. Karen Carney too went on to be a game-changer as the team rescued a draw.

Nonetheless, there is unlikely to be a change in between the sticks for the Lionesses after Sampson defended Karen Bardsley despite her costly error in their last outing.

For Bosnia, there are a number of changes to the squad that faced England last time, but the main threats remain.

Forwards Lidija Kuliš, of 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, and Milena Nikolić, of Spartak Subotica, provide the counter-attacking danger, while Almina Hodžić had a terrific game in between the sticks in November and will be aiming to do so again.