Following their impressive display against Cameroon in the Fifa Women’s World Cup round of 16, England now have Norway standing in the way of a potential semi-final place.
Phil Neville’s side defeated Cameroon 3-0 in a highly-controversial game that was dominated by VAR decisions and ill-discipline from the African side.
However, the Lionesses will have to put that behind them as they contend with a Norway side who knocked out 10-woman Australia 4-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes.
With a final-four place to play for, Squawka takes a look at England’s match against the Norwegians to see what we can expect from this quarter-final fixture.
When is England vs Norway?
Competition: Fifa Women’s World Cup
Venue: Stade Oceane, Le Havre
Date: Thursday, 27 June
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Where can I watch live?
UK residents will be able to watch the Fifa Women’s World Cup quarter-final match between England and Norway on BBC One. Coverage starts at 19:30 BST.
Pressure on any England side will always be apparent but with Neville’s side reaching the quarter-finals, the initial pressure of avoiding an early exit has gone out the window.
Undefeated, four wins and only one goal conceded in that time, England have played some fairly impressive football as they easily made their way out of Group D.
However, the test is now truly on as they attempt to etch their name upon the World Cup trophy, with each respective match a major milestone on their route to glory.
Meanwhile, Norway have already lost at this summer’s World Cup finals, losing 2-1 to hosts France in the group stages. However, that hasn’t stopped them reaching this far, with Martin Sjögren’s side coolly dispatching four penalties against Australia to secure their place against the Lionesses.
Will England’s captain return to fitness?
England’s match against Cameroon was a feisty affair, with Alain Djeumfa’s side showcasing varyious examples of poor temperament throughout the 90 minutes of action.
Lioness and Manchester City captain Steph Houghton was on the receiving end of a nasty studs-up challenge by striker Alexandra Takounda who perhaps got off lightly, picking up just a yellow card.
However, Houghton didn’t get off so lightly, with her injury potentially ruling her out of Thursday’s quarter-final clash, much to the disappointment of Neville.
He said: “We’re concerned about her, she’s not someone that stays down. It was a late tackle and we’re going to have to do everything possible to get her fit for the quarter-final.
“She’s a big player for us, our captain.”
Houghton – who opened the scoring against Cameroon – would be a big loss to England, who at this stage, need every ounce of experience and leadership to guide them towards World Cup glory.
With over 100 caps for her country, Houghton is the personification of the above.
Norway continuing to impress
With star player Ada Hegerberg ruling herself out of contention for this summer’s World Cup, Norway seemed to have it all to do as they looked to better their last World Cup outing.
Coincidentally, that exit was at the hands of England, with the two nations going head-to-head in 2015 at the round of 16 stage. England sealed a narrow 2-1 victory at the expense of the Scandinavians.
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This time around, Norway – who were ranked 12th in the Fifa rankings prior to the start of the World Cup – have looked a solid outfit, with striker Isabell Herlovsen now scoring in her last two outings and looking in good form.
At the back, they haven’t been as strong as England, but have only conceded four goals and two of those were against a much-fancied France side.
If they are to beat England, they will need to ensure that they make few mistakes but also stop conceding goals in the final moments of the match, having conceded three goals in the final 20 minutes of action so far.
Houghton is a big doubt following her nasty ankle injury on Sunday. Otherwise, Neville won’t have to make too many alterations to his side.
For Norway, they suffered no injuries or suspensions against Australia and go into this match with a full squad.
1. Houghton to make it
Despite the concerns, Houghton hasn’t yet been ruled out of this fixture and with her importance, it would take something extraordinary to keep her out.
Manchester City teammate Abbie McManus could step in if needed but – perhaps hopefully – we’re expecting Houghton to start.
Predicted England XI (4-3-3): Bardsley; Bronze, Houghton (c), Bright, Greenwood; Walsh, Scott, Kirby; Parris, Duggan, White.
2. Norway remain the same
Although they went the full 120 minutes against Australia, Norway will have had almost six days to relax, train and prepare for this vital fixture.
Expect a tighter, more rigid formation than England’s with both Herlovsen and Caroline Graham Hansen leading the line for the Norwegians.
Predicted Norway XI (4-4-2): Hjelmseth; Wold, Thorisdottir, Mjelde, Minde; Saevik, Engen, Reiten, Boe Risa; Herlovsen, Graham Hansen.
It won’t be easy but the Lionesses have more than enough ability to bypass Norway en-route to yet another semi-final for England. England 3-1 Norway