Japan vs GB Women preview: Hege Riise's side look to continue perfect start vs Olympics hosts

GB Women top Group E after Ellen White's double in their 2-0 win over Chile on Wednesday, while Japan drew 1-1 with Canada; live updates on SkySports.com and the Sky Sports App on Saturday; kick-off 11.30am BST

GB Women are looking for their second group win at the Olympics
Image: GB Women are looking for their second group win at the Olympics

GB Women face hosts Japan in their second Tokyo 2020 Olympics group match at the Sapporo Dome on Saturday (kick-off 11.30am) looking to continue their perfect start.

GB Women top Group E after Ellen White's double in their 2-0 win over Chile on Wednesday, while Japan drew 1-1 with Canada.

Boss Hege Riise believes Team GB sent out a statement with the opening victory; the side - primarily made up of England players - had played just one warm-up game together and, as a Team GB football squad returned for just their second Olympics, Riise was delighted with their display.

Hege Riise is the coach for Team GB at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Image: Hege Riise says GB Women sent out a statement with their opening victory

She said: "We have been waiting for this game a long time and we were so eager to get started. Get a good start, get a win, keep them away from our goal, score two goals - it's a good statement for the games coming up.

"How we started the game was exceptional. The first 30 minutes were the best we've played and we kept it going. It wasn't pretty for the whole game but we fought and we managed to get the result we wanted.

"I asked for a good start and we had a great one."

The top two sides from each group qualify for the quarter-finals, with the two best third-place sides also qualifying, meaning a win for GB Women would secure their passage to the knockout stages, which begin on July 30.

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Ellen White, centre, celebrates scoring her second goal for Team GB vs Chile
Image: Ellen White (No 9) celebrates scoring her second goal for Team GB vs Chile

    Forward Lauren Hemp says the team are full of confidence going into their second group game against the side sitting 10th in FIFA's Women's world rankings.

    "The team environment and culture is second to none," Hemp told the BBC. "Everyone here is so talented and can bring so much to the team.

    "Obviously, we'll keep improving, keep progressing and hopefully we'll reach the final and win gold in the end.

    "But it's little moments of magic that's going to help us and there was a lot of good play in the game [on Wednesday]. We're hoping to build on that and make it even better."

    How to follow

    Sky Sports' dedicated live blog will be up-and-running from 10.30am on Saturday morning on SkySports.com and the Sky Sports App, ahead of the 11.30am kick-off.

    Team news

    Ellen White of Team Great Britain celebrates with team-mate Leah Williamson after scoring against Chile
    Image: White celebrates with team-mate Leah Williamson

    There is a doubt that Chelsea's Fran Kirby will be available, even for the bench, after sitting out the 18-strong squad for Wednesday's win over Chile with injury.

    Though she was subbed off midway through the second half, Hemp is expected to start again on Saturday, while the captain's armband is likely to be passed from Steph Houghton to one of her fellow skippers, Kim Little or Sophie Ingle.

    Japan have no new injury worries following their 1-1 draw with Canada on Wednesday.

    Saturday's other fixtures

    Group E: Chile vs Canada - Kick-off 8.30am (Sapporo Dome, Sapporo)

    Group E: Japan vs Great Britain - Kick-off 11.30am (Sapporo Dome, Sapporo)

    Group F: China vs Zambia - Kick-off 9am (Miyagi Stadium, Rifu)

    Group F: Netherlands vs Brazil - Kick-off 12pm (Miyagi Stadium, Rifu)

    Group G: Sweden vs Australia - Kick-off 9.30am (Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama)

    Group G: New Zealand vs USA - Kick-off 12.30pm (Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama)

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