Women’s International Friendly Canada vs. England April 13, 2021 — bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, England (2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 p.m. PT) Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
Can Canada do it on a rainy Tuesday night in Stoke? The Canadian women’s national team will finish a two-game British tune-up camp Tuesday when they face England on OneSoccer (2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 p.m. PT). Coach Bev Priestman led Canada to a 3-0 win over Wales in Cardiff Friday – the first of the two matches scheduled to prepare for this summer's Tokyo Olympics. Deanne Rose, Evelyne Viens, and Jessie Fleming all scored for the Canadians who will face a much stiffer competition Tuesday. The Lionesses, for whom Priestman served as an assistant before taking the Canada post last October, are ranked no. 6 in the FIFA World Rankings – two spots ahead of no. eight Canada and well ahead of the 31st-ranked Welsh. England is preparing for the Olympics in a sense, with its players vying for spots on a unified Team Great Britain alongside Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish talent. Canadian captain and international soccer’s all-time leading goalscorer Christine Sinclair could play Tuesday after leaving Friday’s tilt injured in the first half. Coach Priestman says the injury is "not serious" and she’s expecting Sinclair to make a full recovery. Canada last played England on April 5, 2019 in preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Sinclair scored the match’s lone goal. England enters Tuesday's tilt following a 3-1 defeat to France Friday. Chelsea forward Fran Kirby scored their lone goal from a penalty.
RELATED READING: CanWNT vs. England: What to watch for in Canada’s big Olympic tune-up || CanWNT-Wales match recap || 3 thoughts for Canada vs. Wales || (OneSoccer Today) CanWNT rectifies finishing woes, Sinclair injury reaction
5 THINGS TO KNOW
- Spots to be earned: Tuesday’s tilt is the final match Canada has scheduled before this Summer’s Tokyo Olympics and, while later-Spring pre-tournament games have often come in previous Olympic cycles, there are no guarantees with COVID-19 pandemic protocols and limitations. Several "on the bubble" players will look to show Priestman they deserve to make the 18-player cutoff. Centre-back Vanessa Gilles will look to follow up on several solid experiences for Canada while midfielders like Jayde Riviere, Sarah Stratigakis, Julia Grosso, and Jordyn Listro will attempt to get (potentially) one more solid performance in before Priestman makes her decisions.
- Sinclair’s injury status: Canada supporters were pleased to learn Sinclair's injury sustained Friday wasn’t as serious as it looked. After the game, Canadian coach Bev Priestman told reporters "it seems pretty positive" for Sinclair, and that she wasn’t overly concerned: "The first thing is she can weight-bear on her foot so that’s a really good sign, so fingers crossed… I’m not majorly concerned at this stage. She’s not off to get an X-ray or anything like that, so fingers crossed that she’ll be fine for England."
- Finishing woes finished?: Canada found the back of the net three times vs. Wales, rectifying a lack of final-third prowess noted following the SheBelieves Cup. These finishes were quite impressive, too, with Rose smashing home a wonderful pass from Quinn, Viens relying on a nifty touch near-post, and Fleming who gave Canada one of its more visually appealing goals in quite some time. That clinical finishing could be needed vs. England and particularly for Paris FC striker Viens, who could find minutes at centre-forward if Canada is without Sinclair – whether her or Jordyn Huitema starts up top is another question.
- True test for defence: Not all against Wales went according to plan for the Canadians, who looked on the ropes near the end of the first half, particularly. Nervy moments never amounted to many scoring chances but the Welsh press and determined play in attack left defenders looking shaken at times. England will prove a bigger test for the backline and a greater litmus test with Tokyo in mind.
- England edges head-to-head: Canada is 6-0-7 against England all-time with their first tilt coming at the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup opening group stage tilt in Sweden, where they lost 3-2. Famously, their last defeat to the English came at the 2015 World Cup, which Canada hosted, where they were knocked out at the quarter-finals in Vancouver. England went on to finish third in 2015 and fourth in the 2019 World Cup in France. It’s also worth noting four Canada players ply their trades in England’s top flight: Rylee Foster (Liverpool), Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham Hotspur), Jessie Fleming (Chelsea), and Janine Beckie (Manchester City) – who will face off against 10 of her Man City teammates on the England squad.