England boss Sarina Wiegman drops Lauren James hint ahead of Colombia Women's World Cup showdown

England Lauren James Colombia Womens World Cup

England boss Sarina Wiegman has opened up ahead of Colombia Women's World Cup clash

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 11/08/2023

- 10:09

Updated: 11/08/2023

- 10:22

The Lionesses will be looking to make the semi-finals of the competition

England boss Sarina Wiegman has hinted she knows how to replace Lauren James ahead of her side's Women's World Cup showdown with Colombia on Saturday.

James will be missing for the quarter-final showdown after being sent off against Nigeria on Monday.

The Chelsea star received her marching orders after she stood on the back of her opponent Michelle Alozie.

On Thursday, it emerged that James would be given a two-match ban instead of three. That's because her actions were deemed as 'serious foul play', instead of 'violent conduct'.

Lauren James England

England will have to cope without Lauren James in Colombia Women's World Cup clash


And Wiegman, speaking ahead of the showdown, has now hinted she has a plan to cope without James.

"That is the decision that was made, of course that is not up to me," said the England boss.

"It'll be two games so that's tough for us but we respect that punishment.

"We take it from here and we'll just hope we get through. We have a squad of 23, we are again facing a game without a player.

"We know how we want to fill that position. It is a team effort and we support each other and we'll have to fill the positions that become free."

England goalkeeper Mary Earps was also asked about James prior to the showdown in Australia.

And the Manchester United shot-stopper said the team will rally round the 21-year-old following her dismissal and suspension.

"Lauren is doing fine," said the 30-year-old.

"What she did was wrong, she knows it was wrong and apologised for it publicly.

"Now she faces the consequences but as a team we stick together and stand behind in that.

"She'll support the team while she serves that ban. To be honest (James' ban) is not something we've spoken a lot about a lot because we are so focused on the game tomorrow.

"Naturally we want everyone to be available, but the situation is what it is.

"And we're a very together and cohesive unit. Our focus is only on that game tomorrow."

Colombia will pose a tough test for England as the Lionesses look to secure World Cup glory this summer.

They finished as Copa America runners-up last year, losing out to Brazil in the final.

They're also expected to have the backing of supporters inside the Stadium Australia, too.

But Wiegman insists England can cope, adding: "We look at both strengths and weaknesses of a team.

"We are prepared. We also see there is a big crowd from Colombia, but we are prepared for that."

England have enjoyed a positive tournament so far, winning all four of their matches.

They beat Haiti in their opening match, with Georgia Stanway netting the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.


Lauren James England

Lauren James has been training with England ahead of Colombia Women's World Cup clash


England were then able to edge past Denmark, with James netting the winner in the sixth minute of that contest.

The Chelsea star was at the double as the Lionesses steamrolled China 6-1, with Alessia Russo, Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly also on the scoresheet.

And, on Monday, England booked their place in the last eight after overcoming Nigeria on penalties - with Chloe Kelly scoring the winning spot-kick.

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