The Lionesses kick-off their campaign in Group D against the surprise package, who have qualified for their very first senior competition - and the European Champions will be expected to win

Sarina Wiegman, Head Coach of England, speaks to the media during an England Press Conference at Brisbane Stadium

Sarina Wiegman is ready for England’s first game

Sarina Wiegman has insisted England won’t be stepping into the unknown when they face World Cup debutants Haiti.

The Lionesses kick-off their campaign in Group D against the surprise package, who have qualified for their very first senior competition. Many will expect the European Champions, as one of the tournament favourites, to start with three points.

But the tournament has already seen surprise results with co-hosts New Zealand beating a talented Norway side and Nigeria holding Olympic Champions Canada. However, ahead of their opening match in Brisbane Wiegman said no stone had been left unturned in preparing for Haiti.

“We have a whole team behind us to analyse the opponents,” said Wiegman. “I think we know everything we need to know about them.

“We are very well prepared and I don’t think there’s any stone left unturned in preparing for this game. We’ve highlighted every player from them, they have a strong squad and we’ve pointed out some of their key players.

“There has been some team dynamics that are different (since winning the Euros) but the principles have been the same. Getting football fit and developing our style of play has been exactly the same.”

England are gearing up for their opening game England are gearing up for their opening game (


The FA via Getty Images)

England also face Denmark and China in Group D and know that they could avoid co-hosts Australia in the last 16 if they win the group. Many expect the Lionesses to go far Down Under and Wiegman insisted the pressure would not affect performance.

“The pressure is always on England,” she added. “It’s no different so we’ll just play our game and focus on how we can win. That’s just what we do all the time.”

The Dutch coach also gave her view on the recent player bonus stand-off that has overshadowed England’s build-up. The FA’s decision not to pay players extra money on top of the funds dished out by FIFA, has led to negotiations on the issue being paused until after the tournament.

But Wiegman does not believe this will have any impact on performance.

“There have been conversations,” added Wiegman. “But I’ve not noticed anything about that. When we go on the pitch everyone is aligned and focused on football.

“I have not seen anything other than focus. So we are ready, we have always looked to be ready for 22 July and I think we are.”

Wiegman also confirmed she had no fresh injury worries ahead of the opening game.

“The whole squad is fit,” she added. “I have decided on the starting XI, but I’m not going to tell you.”

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