England Women

Sarina Wiegman reveals she won't rotate England team against Northern Ireland

Ali Rampling
Wiegman is set to name a similar starting XI as she did for England's opening two games
Wiegman is set to name a similar starting XI as she did for England's opening two games / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Sarina Wiegman has revealed that she won't rotate her squad for England's final Euro 2022 group match against Northern Ireland in order to not stunt the rhythm of her team, despite the Lionesses' progression to the quarter finals as group winners already assured.

England ensured they topped the group and reached the Euro 2022 knockout stages with a record breaking 8-0 victory over Norway at the Amex on Monday evening.

With the result irrelevant for Friday evening's clash against an already eliminated Northern Ireland, there were suggestions that Wiegman would rotate the pack and offer starts to some of the seven players who are yet to feature at the tournament.

However, the England boss has revealed this will not be the case, with one eye on her side's quarter final tie at the Amex on Wednesday.

"I believe in rhythm," Wiegman said. "I think when you have nine games between the Norwegian game and the quarter final, that's too long. I think you need more rhythm and keep the focus and keep playing, so you couldn't expect lots of rotations - during the game probably, but not before we start.

"We have 23 players and you can only let 11 start. We'll do what we believe gives us the best chance of winning the next game. Of course some players will be disappointed, but we keep communicating, we keep being clear about what we do and why we do it.

"Yes sometimes you can be disappointed and that's completely understandable, but if you weren't eager to play, then the player wouldn't be in the squad."

England will be without Demi Stokes for Friday evening's clash through injury, but otherwise have all remaining 22 players fit and available - including Lotte Wubben-Moy, who has returned to the squad after missing the Norway victory due to Covid-19.

Wubben-Moy is one of seven players who has not featured for England at Euro 2022 and could be rotated in from the bench against Northern Ireland for their first minutes of the championships. Ellie Roebuck, Hannah Hampton, Jess Carter, Nikita Parris, Bethany England and the injured Stokes are the remaining players who are yet to step on the pitch during this summer's tournament.