England will go through their final preparations on Monday ahead of this week’s Euro 2022 semi-final tie with Sweden.
The Lionesses will be attempting to break their last-four curse on Tuesday having reached the same stage at their last three major tournaments.
Sarina Wiegman’s side will train at their Lensbury base in west London on Monday morning before they head north later in the day.
Boss Wiegman will then face the media at Bramall Lane just over 24 hours prior to kick-off against Sweden where the winner will book a place in Sunday’s final at Wembley.
Monday will be only the third day since the tournament started on July 6 without a game.
After a frantic 12 days through the group stage, July 19 saw some brief respite for the eight teams left in Euro 2022 and Sunday represented another breather following a dramatic quarter-final clash between France and Netherlands on Saturday.
Monday is the last rest day before England and Sweden do battle in Sheffield on Tuesday and it is then the turn of France and Germany in Milton Keynes 24 hours later.
Fran Kirby faced the media on Sunday and referenced the current difficulties people in England are facing at this current time. With fuel prices at an all-time high, the country is in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis and it has not been lost on the Lionesses.
While the Euro 2022 semi-finalists may be in their own bubble, Chelsea star Kirby admitted trying to give supporters something to shout about and an escape for 90 minutes was high up on her own list of priorities.
“As much as we want to win, we want to put a smile on people’s faces. They may be going through a hard time in terms of the fuel costs and the cost of living now, so hopefully we can give people an escape for 90-plus minutes when they turn their TVs on,” the 29-year-old insisted.
“We want them to have something to cheer about, something to watch and they will see how passionately we play for this country. Hopefully it gives them a sense of pride and they can switch off from everything that is going on.”
Even though the majority of the nation’s focus is on Tuesday’s semi-final between England and Sweden, there is an equally mouth-watering clash taking place on Wednesday.
Germany and France go head-to-head in Milton Keynes but those with tickets may now be scrambling around to find a method of transport to Stadium MK.
A national rail strike will take place on Wednesday and it rules out the option of getting the train to the Buckinghamshire town.
“There is a national rail strike on the day of semi-final in Milton Keynes, so travelling to the match by train will not be possible,” a UEFA statement on Sunday read.
“Please plan your journey carefully with plenty of time to spare so that you can enjoy the footie to the max without having to worry about getting to the stadium in time.
“Gates for this match will exceptionally open at 17:30, and with the Station Square Fan Party in full swing as of 12:00, there are plenty of reasons to make your way to Milton Keynes early!”
I don’t want to be another player who loses in a semi-final and doesn’t get to the final of a major tournament with England.Fran Kirby
July 26 – Semi-final: England v Sweden (8pm, Bramall Lane, Sheffield)