Russo: England need to remain focused to qualify for Euro 2025

Alessia Russo has called on England to remain focused as they look to seal Euro 2025 qualification.

The Lionesses face Republic of Ireland at Carrow Road in Norwich on Friday before ending their campaign with an away trip against Sweden on July 16 as they bid to reach next summer’s Euros in Switzerland.

Sarina Wiegman’s side sit third in Group A3 with seven points, behind second-placed Sweden on goal difference with France leading the way on nine points, but Russo is still confident the reigning European champions can seal qualification despite not being top of the group.

“Of course that’s what we want [qualification],” the Arsenal striker said.

“We want to be qualified, and look forward to that and have a focus on it. This group is tough, but ultimately that’s the goal.

“We know what we want to do as a group, we know our standards, we know what we want out of this camp.

“I think that’s all that matters going into the group. Like I said, it’s a top group, and the teams in it are all very tough and all very different.

“We know what we can do, and what we can control to hopefully come out on top.”

England's Alessia Russo celebrates with team-mates after opening the scoring against Sweden
England are still firmly in the hunt for Euro 2025 qualification despite sitting third in the group behind France and Sweden

England, who can seal qualification with a second-placed finish in the group, opened their qualification campaign back in April with a 2-0 win against Republic of Ireland, thanks to first-half goals from Lauren James and Alex Greenwood.

Russo is expecting another hard-fought clash with Eileen Gleeson’s side at Carrow Road.

“They are a really tough side to come up against,” Russo said.

“Different to the likes of Sweden and France – they maybe play a bit deeper. We find it a little bit more difficult to break them down, but that’s what it’s like in a lower block.

“They are tough, they’re aggressive, and very passionate. I think we felt that in the away game against them. It’s definitely not an easy test coming up.”

Russo backs England to emulate women’s team and win Euro 2024

Women’s Euro 2022 winner Russo is confident Gareth Southgate’s side will get the job done in Germany.

A Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands awaits on Wednesday but it has been far from plain sailing for the men, who have been criticised for some uninspiring performances.

Russo sees similarities with the women’s run to the final of last summer’s World Cup, where they finished runners-up, but said the manner of progress did not matter.

“I think in tournament football sometimes people perceive the games to be easier than they actually are in that moment,” she said.

“I think you win and progress and that is all that matters. I think also as tournaments go on you do slowly begin to build form going through it and hopefully they will continue that.

“With us we kind of didn’t hear any of that noise – that’s important and I have no doubt the men are doing exactly that.

“When you are in tournament football all that matters is you win and progress and that’s what they have been doing, in tough times they have been finding ways to win.

“Obviously in an ideal world you’d like to play the best performance every single game but that’s not possible. I’m English and I think they are going to win it and hopefully they do.”

skysports gareth southgate 6620863

We’re all one team, one England. We’re backing them like they would have done with us. They’re all very experienced and they know what it takes to win”.

Russo backs England men’s team ahead of Euro 2024 semi-final

What’s next for England?

The Lionesses return to action on Friday with their final two Euro 2025 qualifying matches. Sarina Wiegman’s side host Republic of Ireland at Carrow Road on July 12 and then end their campaign with an away trip against Sweden on July 16.

Women’s Euro 2025 qualifiers: England can secure spot in July

England face two crucial matches against Republic of Ireland and Sweden this month as their quest to reach Euro 2025 continues – here’s how the new-look qualifying system works.

Wiegman’s side sit third in Group A3 with seven points, behind second-placed Sweden on goal difference with France leading the way on nine points.

The Lionesses earned an important victory over France to boost their qualification hopes having lost to the group leaders at St James’ Park three days earlier in June.

The Republic of Ireland cannot qualify automatically after losing all four of their Group A3 matches and instead will enter the play-offs.

England, the current European champions, can still finish in top spot although it is out of their hands. However, second place is still enough to qualify for Euro 2025.

What is the Euro 2025 qualifying schedule?

Qualifying matchdays five and six: July 10 to 16 2024

Play-off draw: July 19 2024

Play-off round one (two legs): October 23 to 29 2024

Play-off round two (two legs): November 27 to December 3 2024

Euro 2025 finals draw: December 16 2024

Euro 2025 finals: July 2 to 27 2025 (Switzerland)

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