England Women v Kazakhstan preview: Lionesses targeting third straight qualifying victory

Steph Houghton scored twice against Bosnia
Image: Steph Houghton scored twice against Bosnia

Interim boss Mo Marley's initial spell in charge concludes as England Women face Kazakhstan in World Cup 2019 qualifying at Colchester United's Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off 7.05pm)

England continued their 100 per cent start to qualifying In front of a sold-out Banks's Stadium in Walsall on Friday evening and will look to do so again in front of a capacity crowd in Essex on Tuesday night.

Karen Carney and Demi Stokes will not travel with the squad having withdrawn with an ankle injury and a hip injury, respectively. Liverpool's Alex Greenwood should continue at left-back in the latter's absence.

Mo Marley
Image: The fixture is the last of Mo Marley's temporary spell at the Lionesses helm

Jade Moore (ankle) will miss out, while Gabby George, Leah Williamson and Keira Walsh are still awaiting their senior international bows.

Steph Houghton netted a brace to help Marley's side to a 4-0 victory in her first competitive game in charge, after the 41-year-old replaced Mark Sampson in late September.

Despite the squad having scored ten unanswered goals so far in qualifying, the skipper has called upon her team-mates to seek further improvement and convert more of the chances they create.

Qualifying standings as of 27 November

Played Won Drawn Lost Points
Wales 3 2 1 0 7
England 2 2 0 0 6
Bosnia 2 1 0 1 3
Russia 2 0 1 1 1
Kazakhstan 3 0 0 3 0

"Against these sorts of teams, they're not really interested in keeping possession of the ball," she told TheFA.com. "They just want to bank up and try and make it difficult for us to score.

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"It's important to control what we can control. We need to focus on our performance and make sure we improve every single game. We need to make sure we improve on [Friday night] going into [the] Kazakhstan [game], aiming for more goals and being more clinical as well.

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Demi Stokes of England Women during a Training Session at St Georges Park on October 17, 2017 in Burton-upon-Trent
Image: Demi Stokes was forced to withdraw from the squad with a hip injury on Sunday

And, addressing the prospect of another sold-out fixture, the 29-year-old said it would only spur on the Lionesses even further.

She added: "To play in two sold-out stadiums in a row means so much to the team and shows what fantastic supporters we have.

"The fact that 20,000 people will come and watch us play over a weekend shows just how far the women's game has come. We've always said we want to inspire the next generation - whether that's to play or watch football.

"We're determined to make it three wins out of three and put on a good performance for everyone on Tuesday."

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