The Lionesses could well break the record for the most-attended women’s game in the United Kingdom this weekend as tickets for their game against Germany at Wembley are completely sold out.
If the 90,000 capacity stadium is filled then it would beat the current record of 80,302 for a ladies game, which was the attendance for the 2012 Olympic final between USA and Japan.
In England’s last appearance against Germany at Wembley in 2014, 45,619 watched them as they lost 3-0 but nearly 10,000 fans did not turn up after 55k tickets were sold ahead of kick-off.
The Lionesses will be hoping that a repeat of that does not happen this time around as the interest in women’s football has grown significantly after the 2019 World Cup.
As in the men’s game, England and Germany are historical rivals on the field, albeit a little one-sided.
It took England a staggering 21 attempts to beat their rivals in a run of games that lasted for 31 years. The Lionesses finally beat the Germans for the first time in the third-place play-off at the 2015 World Cup and to this day that remains England’s only success in 25 matches.
That means that if England can send the majority of those fans home happy, they will have recorded their first-ever win over Germany on home soil. However, since reaching the World Cup semi-final Phil Neville’s side have been on a stinking run of form, losing four of their last five games.
Having said that they beat Portugal narrowly last time out and will be hoping to use the record attendance to their advantage in a game that will see where they are at ahead of the 2021 European Championships, which will take place in England.
A successful build-up to that tournament could lead to more attendances like this and the Lionesses would be wise to get used to playing under such pressure if they are to end their wait for a major international trophy.
If they are to be contenders on home soil in two years time they will have likely have to beat the Germans who have been Europe’s top dogs for the majority of the 21st century. They won six European titles in a row from 1995 before they were beaten by Denmark in 2017.
This will be more than just a litmus test for Neville’s women. It will be a chance to set the record straight in front of a record-breaking crowd.