Women's Euro 2022 predictions: England to continue perfect run
England have qualified for the Women's Euro 2022 quarter-finals as Group A winners and they will be looking to maintain their 100% record when going up against already-eliminated Northern Ireland at St Mary's.
The Lionesses romped to an 8-0 victory over Norway on Monday with Beth Mead bagging a hat-trick and Ellen White scoring twice.
Northern Ireland have lost to Norway and Austria so will be playing for pride in their last match of the tournament.
Striker Simone Magill has been ruled out after sustaining a serious knee injury in Northern Ireland's 4-1 loss to Norway.
Defender Abbie Magee dropped to the bench for the 2-0 defeat to Austria and is pushing for a recall.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman — who will be absent from the dugout due to a positive coronavirus test — may consider wholesale changes in an effort to keep all her squad involved and protect key players for the knockout stages.
Chloe Kelly, Alex Greenwood, Ella Toone and Alessia Russo are among those most likely to be called up for their first starts of the tournament.
Northern Ireland are competing at their first major tournament and are pointless after two defeats in two games.
England have won each of their previous three matches against the Green and White Army, scoring a combined total of 15 goals and conceding none.
Kenny Shiels' side have lost their last six outings, including a 5-0 defeat at home to England in World Cup qualifying.
England are unbeaten since Wiegman's appointment with the Dutch tactician leading them to 14 wins and two draws in her time as head coach.
The Lionesses have conceded just three goals in 16 games under Wiegman and have won their last three fixtures without conceding.
England are likely to utilise fringe players and youngsters but they should continue to perform to a high standard and register a convincing victory.
Wiegman is likely to make several changes as she looks ahead to next Wednesday's quarter-final against the Group B runners-up.
However, if Northern Ireland were anticipating a significant drop off in England's performance, they could be left disappointed.
Several Lionesses are eager to impress their head coach and none more so than Manchester United forward Russo, who came off the bench to score in the 8-0 success over Norway.
Russo has netted five goals in her first nine internationals and appears full of confidence after excelling for United in the Women's Super League, scoring nine goals in 22 matches last season.
The 23-year-old looks a solid pick to score the opening goal in what should be a thumping victory for the tournament hosts.
Northern Ireland will not lack motivation despite their elimination but they could be on the end of another heavy defeat.
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