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Scotland boss expects ‘tough test’ against Japan

Arsenal trio Kim Little, Lisa Evans and Jen Beattie will all be hoping to help Scotland beat Japan in the Women's World Cup

14 June, 2019 — By Catherine Etoe in France

Arsenal captain Kim Little training ahead of Scotland’s game against Japan

SCOTLAND boss Shelley Kerr will lead her team out against Japan in Rennes this afternoon (Friday), and the ex-Arsenal manager expects another stern test for her history-making players at the Women’s World Cup.

Competition debutants Scotland have taken the positives from their second half performance in an opening 2-1 loss to England but they are not counting their chickens against today’s opponents Japan even though the former champions only drew 0-0 to underdogs Argentina in their opening match.

“It probably makes our job a little bit more difficult because the dynamic changes for Japan,” the 49-year-old told the press on Thursday. “We know how good Japan are, just because they only drew against a lower ranked team, we are still in for a tough, tough game. They have some exceptional players and we have to be mindful of that.”

Scotland have some talents of their own of course, and they include three Arsenal players, captain Kim Little, winger Lisa Evans and defender Jen Beattie, who is set to return to the club for a second season after spells with Montpellier and Manchester City.

Scotland skipper Rachel Corsie revealed on Thursday how the squad’s secluded hotel location on the outskirts of Rennes has proved key in their attempt to regroup following Sunday’s loss to England in Nice and both manager and skipper say the team are raring to go today.

“We have our own space, we’ve regrouped, we’ve been able to be around one another, to help those who perhaps needed lifted up and just come together and spend a lot of time as a group,” Corsie said.

“I think we feel really focused and we’ve had a great two days on the training pitch and I think the players have felt it’s been good to get back on the ball, play a bit more freely in training and feel we can express ourselves [today] a little bit more.”

England, meanwhile, are set for a tricky encounter against Argentina in Le Havre in the 8pm kick off knowing that a victory would see them into the Round of 16.

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