Kerr and Neville upbeat as Scotland and England drawn together in FIFA Women’s World Cup

Scotland and England will face each other again at a major championships when they go head-to-head in their opening group match in next year’s Women’s World Cup in France.

Former Arsenal star Shelley Kerr, who led her side to their first-ever appearance at the finals after they topped their group, says and she can’t wait for the showdown, despite the Lionesses handing out a 6-0 thrashing in Utrecht when the sides met in the European Championships.

Scotland head coach Kerr said: ”I know everyone will talk about the Euros but we have to focus on the group as a whole. We knew it would be tough but it’s an exciting group as well.”

England coach Phil Neville, whose side are making their fifth appearance at the finals, said: “There are three brilliant games but the first one is obviously the mouth-watering one because it’s against our nearest rivals. Both sets of players know each other inside out.”

After the opener in Nice on June 9, Scotland face Japan, while England are in action against Argentina on June 14 and they swap opponents for the last group game on June 19.

Hosts France, who are holding the tournament for the first time, kick-off against South Korea in Paris

Holders USA begin their defence against Thailand. 

They  have never won the tournament in Europe. Coach Jill Ellis said: “The draw is good for us, it pits us against a couple of teams that we’re not that familiar with, which I like. And then of course Sweden and I like having Sweden as the third game, I think that allows us to settle in to the tournament.

“This is a completely different team playing a completely different style. So it’s not about defending the World Cup, it’s about attacking the World Cup.”

There will now be a rush from British fans to book flights and accommodation for the group games, particularly the mouth-watering opener.

FIFA says it has sold almost 200,000 tickets so far and is hoping to attract a record billion viewers for next year’s tournament.

New Zealand coach Tom Sermanni with high praise for the way the France 2019 Draw unfolded as an event: “This one surpassed all the others by a mile”.

Scotland and England group fixtures

June 9: England v Scotland (Nice)

June 14: England v Argentina (Le Havre); Japan v Scotland (Rennes)

19 June: Scotland v Argentina (Paris); Japan v England (Nice)

The full draw is:

Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria

Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa

Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica

Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan

Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands

Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden