England's Houghton and Bright injury doubts for Norway clash

Ross Houston
June 27, 2019

England captain Steph Houghton trained with her team-mates on Wednesday afternoon while fellow centre-back Millie Bright sat out. "I think it's nice to get out, have your mind on something else and meet people who don't care about football".

Neville's counterpart Martin Sjogren emphasised in his press conference that Norway "are not scared of England".

Not only is Houghton in danger of missing the match, but centre-back partner Millie Bright has been struck down with a virus which is making its way through the Lionesses camp and is now recovering in her room at the team hotel. "It's a virus. She, more than likely, will be fit but at this moment she's a doubt".

"You guys [the media] have had an obsession with my rotation for the last 18 months. but it's for moments like this", Neville added.

"You plan for these moments. I said six months ago that we don't want to get to the quarterfinal of a World Cup and throw a young kid in - so there has been a plan behind it and I am totally relaxed". "They have a spirit, togetherness and tactical system that is hard to play against".

Houghton scored as England came from behind to beat Norway 2-1 in the last 16 of the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

"I'd put my life on Leah Williamson and Abbie McManus if they are called upon to be the best two players on the pitch". Norway made it to the semifinals in four of its first five appearances - including winning it all in 1995 - but never got further than the round of 16 in the next two tournaments.

"They're probably the surprise team of the tournament because people have been focusing on the top ten teams in the world and they don't fall into that category". With a respectable win under its belt, Norway can no longer be overlooked.

The first female Ballon d'Or victor stepped away from the team over what she has characterized as the Norwegian federation's lack of respect for the women's team.

"Maybe Hegerberg not coming has given them a cause to show the world they can win without the best player in the world". And then they probably thought 'you know what, we were mentally in the zone there - we were mentally strong.' And that's another barrier they have overcome.

Standing between them and a semi-final clash with France or the U.S. though, is Norway.

Although Norway have three England-based players, the vast majority of their squad is semi-professional, though goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth does not see that as a disadvantage.

"It was a very tough match last time".

Now the Lionesses are going in search of a place in the last four, and plenty of familiar faces have offered good luck messages ahead of the clash in Le Havre.

In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).

Other reports by iNewsToday