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England v France: Lionesses have target on back, says Beth Mead

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Forward Beth Mead said European champions England “have a target on our back” as they look to turn their Euro 2025 qualifying campaign around.

The Lionesses, who are hoping to defend their European title in Switzerland next year, have had a mixed start in their qualifiers and currently sit third in their group behind France and Sweden.

So far Sarina Wiegman’s side have drawn with Sweden, beaten the Republic of Ireland and lost to France, who they play again on Tuesday for the second time in four days.

“You’ve got to beat the best to be the best, and we have a target on our back since winning the Euros,” Arsenal’s Mead said.

“But we have enough quality in this team to be able to play against any team and beat them. It’s a tough group and some would say it’s the group of death but you have to beat the best to be the best.”

Mead put England 1-0 up at St James’ Park on Friday, before the Lionesses conceded from two poorly defended corners as they lost 2-1.

But the 29-year-old is confident England have what it takes to win in Saint-Etienne.

“When we look at the game it’s small margins,” she said. “We let in two set pieces, which we pride ourselves massively, on and it’s very frustrating.

“If we bring the game we know we can play then we have no reason not to be able to beat this French team.”

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