Millie Bright insists the Lionesses are 'ready for battle'

England captain Millie Bright insists that the Lionesses are ‘ready for battle’ on the eve of their World Cup semi-final clash with Australia… as Sarina Wiegman warns there’s more to the Matildas than star striker Sam Kerr

  • The Lionesses will play the latest in a string of grudge matches against Aussies 
  • Wiegman’s side must do battle against a passionate home crowd in Sydney 
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show 

Millie Bright insisted England are ‘ready for battle’ as they look to knock out hosts Australia to reach a first ever World Cup final.

The Lionesses will face a partisan crowd in Wednesday’s semi-final, with the majority of the 75,000 fans expected for the game set to be cheering for the Matildas.

But captain Bright believes England’s players can thrive in the hostile atmosphere and promised they will rise to the occasion.

‘We’ve faced different challenges and adapted really well and shown different sides of ourselves,’ Bright said.

‘We’re just super excited to play in front of a full stadium. With the women’s game, that’s what we want and that’s what we expect now at these big tournaments, especially in the semi-finals.

Millie Bright shared stirring words in her pre-match press conference ahead of England’s semi-final against Australia on Wednesday

Lionesses’ head coach Sarina Wiegman argued that Sam Kerr was not the only player in her side’s preparations

The Matildas and Chelsea striker was confirmed fit to start by head coach Tony Gustavsson

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‘For us, we thrive in those moments. We’re ready for the battle and to put on a good show.’

Australia boss Tony Gustavsson confirmed captain and star striker Sam Kerr is fit to start after coming off the bench in the Matildas’ last two games.

Kerr missed the first three matches after picking up a calf injury in Australia’s final training session before their opener with the Republic of Ireland. England boss Sarina Wiegman said they have prepared for both scenarios of Kerr starting or coming off the bench, but insisted they have not pinned all their focus on one player.

‘Australia is not just Sam Kerr,’ Wiegman said. ‘Yes, we have a plan (if she starts). She can play and she can start on the bench, so that’s the situation.

‘Of course she is a threat, she’s a very good player, so a lot of respect (to her). But there is more than Sam Kerr, because at the end it is always a team performance. When the team does really well an individual can do even better.

‘That’s the same for Australia and it’s the same for England. There is a lot of pressure on her because everyone expects things from her. I think Australia have grown in the tournament too, they had some difficult situations they had to come back from and they did really well. We expect a very strong Australia tomorrow.’


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