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Beth Mead confident Lionesses can turn Euro 2025 qualifying campaign around

Beth Mead (left) insists England have what it takes to “comfortably” beat France (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Beth Mead (left) insists England have what it takes to “comfortably” beat France (Owen Humphreys/PA)

England forward Beth Mead is confident the Lionesses have what it takes to turn their Euro 2025 qualifying campaign around when they face group leaders France in Saint Etienne.

The defending European champions sit third in Group A3 with four points, five shy of Tuesday’s opponents after victory over the Republic of Ireland, a draw with Sweden and Friday’s 2-1 loss to Les Bleues in Newcastle.

Sarina Wiegman’s side need to finish first or second in their group to directly guarantee themselves a ticket to next summer’s tournament in Switzerland, though the boss insisted England always have their sights on the top spot.

Mead said: “We’re obviously very frustrated with Friday. We’ve got a team of winners, everyone is pushing for a starting place and that’s the competition within the team.

“Every day, everyone is fighting for positions. We want to prove things don’t always go right – that’s football – and there’s no one more than the players who get frustrated and want to pick the hell out of the game the other night.

“But we’ve analysed, we feel ready, we feel that we can put a good performance on tomorrow night and show that we can beat France comfortably.”

Wiegman will be without first-choice goalkeeper Mary Earps, who sustained a minor hip injury at St James’ park and withdrew from the squad on Sunday.

England suffered a 2-1 defeat to France on Friday
England suffered a 2-1 defeat to France on Friday (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Birmingham City goalkeeper Lucy Thomas has been promoted from the standby list, while Hannah Hampton is set for a fourth England start.

Wiegman has no other fresh injury concerns ahead of the France encounter, after which players will have a period of rest before returning to St George’s Park for the first of three training camps and a behind-closed-doors fixture against the Netherlands, which precedes the final round of group fixtures in July.

The Lionesses will conclude the group stage with their Republic of Ireland home leg at Carrow Road on July 12th before travelling to Gothenburg to face Sweden away.

Sweden currently sit second in the group, level with the Lionesses on four points but enjoy a superior goal difference.

Mead said: “Obviously we’ve got a big target on our back since winning the Euros, but we have enough quality in this team to be able to play against any team and beat them.

“Obviously it’s a tough group. Most people would probably say it’s the group of death, but you’ve got to beat the best to be the best.”

Sweden and France were all semi-finalists at Euro 2022 and while Wiegman is aware of the challenge they pose to her side’s automatic progression, the England boss does not feel the stiff competition alters her approach.

She added: “We have a kind of identity. We’re not going to throw everything overboard because we want to be unpredictable for the opponent.

Wiegman says England are still aiming for top spot
Wiegman says England are still aiming for top spot (Ian Hodgson/PA)

“We want to build on what we already have and do a couple of things better and have a couple of little tweaks and hopefully get more on our strengths to put them in their weaknesses.

“We don’t calculate. We approach every game to win. If we win we’re in a much better place. Of course we absolutely want to win, but if we wouldn’t win, we still have an opportunity to qualify for the Euros.

“It’s not what we want, because we’re still going to try to top the group and that means we need a win tomorrow.”