England Women wanted 'sensational' World Cup draw against Scotland, says Phil Neville
Lionesses have been drawn to play Scotland, Japan and Argentina in the 2019 Women's World Cup
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 08/12/18 9:03pm
England Women manager Phil Neville says he and his players wanted to be drawn alongside Scotland at the 2019 World Cup.
The Lionesses were drawn alongside Shelly Kerr's Scotland side in Group D and are scheduled to play each other in their opening fixture of the tournament in Nice on June 9.
Neville says he is delighted with draw because of the existing rivalry between the countries and the interest the game can generate within fans and the media.
"I think it's going to be a sensational occasion, I really do," he told Sky Sports News.
"(Scotland) is the game that we actually did want. When you go to a World Cup you want to play in the biggest games at the biggest occasion. This will be big for both sides.
"There is a rivalry there, there is history between both countries. June 9 cannot come quick enough. There is a bigger picture, we have three games in the group, but this is the one that will get the most attention. We're looking forward to it.
"The supporters will have a fantastic time and the media interest in the game will be fantastic as well."
The last time the two nations met at Euro 2017, the Lionesses ran out comfortable 6-0 winners.
Neville insists Kerr's side has improved significantly since then and expects a much tougher contest when they face each other in France next summer.
"Scotland have progressed. They are a completely different team (to our last meeting). They have more quality, more confidence and belief," he said.
"Their manager has done a great job. I have so much respect for her. I spent the last couple of days with her watching a couple of games in Scotland.
"I also see a lot of the Scottish girls play in the WSL and you can see the qualities they have got. They are some of the best players in their teams, they are not just making up the numbers.
Nobbs out of World Cup
Nobbs has been ruled out of the World Cup with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
"My players are under no illusion about the size of the task that is ahead of us. This why we get into football to be involved in occasions like this, in Nice, in the sunshine."
Following the clash of the home nations sides in Nice, England play Argentina in Le Havre on Friday, June 14, while Scotland face 2011 winners Japan in Rennes on the same day.
Five days later Neville's side return to Nice to take on Japan, while Scotland go up against Argentina in Paris.