England vs Sweden: Can Lionesses cement World Cup legacy?
Follow England's third-place play-off at the Women's World Cup against Sweden from 3pm on the Sky Sports app and SkySports.com; Kick-off at 4pm
Last Updated: 06/07/19 3:13pm
Phil Neville has stressed the importance of England's third place play-off at the Women's World Cup and vowed to play his "strongest team".
The Lionesses take on Sweden at Nice's Allianz Riviera on Saturday looking to secure the bronze medal and cement a lasting legacy for the women's game after the most successful World Cup to date.
"I want to send a message to my players that this game is important," Neville said. "We do have certain positions that we will need to freshen up in, but my players know, they are no illusions - this game is one we want to win.
"We want to go away from this World Cup with something to show for the hard work we have put in. Also, six wins, one defeat sounds better than five wins and two defeats.
"I want to be laying on a sunbed next week happy that we have finished the tournament well and not finish on two defeats. So we're picking the strongest team to win, the players I feel will have enough to beat the Swedish team."
Whatever the outcome of Saturday's match, England leave France having contributed to a World Cup which has contributed significantly to the growth of the women's game both at home and abroad.
Speaking to the Women's World Cup podcast, former England striker Kelly Smith believes the Lionesses have progressed as a squad and left a legacy that will trickle through the game at home.
"They have progressed, especially going forward," Smith said. "They create so many chances around the box. They're hard to beat and have an attacking threat with six or seven players that can be rotated to come in and do a fantastic job. The talent is there now.
"They've definitely left a legacy. What they've achieved by coming so close has changed perceptions back home. Men and young boys have been speaking about the game. These players have become household names - people know their stories.
"Young girls will be inspired to be Steph Houghton, Frank Kirby, whoever. I just hope these young girls and boys will have more opportunities to play in schools.
"Hopefully teachers will see that football can inspire these young players and if that school doesn't have a team, then they set one up. The grassroot level is where the drop off is."
Team news: Carney's farewell
Karen Carney's glittering career will come to an end after England's World Cup play-off on Saturday after the 31-year-old revealed her plans to retire at the end of the tournament.
Neville has confirmed Carney, a winner of 143 England caps, will feature at some point against Sweden before paying tribute to "a true legend of the game".
Carney to retire from football
Karen Carney to retire from football after England's World Cup game against Sweden
"Karen deserves all the plaudits that will come her way," he added. "It's been a privilege to work with her over the past 18 months but even more special has been the chance to get to know someone who is an incredible person and a special team-mate.
"While she will not want a fuss, Karen is someone who deserves total recognition and respect as a true legend of the game."
Defender Millie Bright is suspended after her red card against the USA in the semi-finals, while Sweden will be boosted by the return of forward Fridolina Rolfo after her suspension.
- This will be the first match between England and Sweden at the Women's World Cup. Sweden have lost just two of their last 17 meetings with England in all competitions (W11 D4 L2).
- Sweden have won both of their previous third-place play-off games at the Women's World Cup, beating Germany in 1991 and France in 2011.
- England finished third at the 2015 Women's World Cup, beating Germany after extra-time in the third-place play-off. The last team to finish third in consecutive tournaments were USA in 2003 and 2007.
- Sweden's Kosovare Asllani (18) has been fouled more times than any other player at the 2019 Women's World Cup, including drawing seven fouls last time out versus Netherlands.
- England's Ellen White could become only the second player in Women's World Cup history to score in six consecutive appearances, after USA's Carli Lloyd who achieved it earlier this tournament; she would be the first player to score in six matches at a single Women's World Cup tournament.