Trivia corner: Jenny Beattie will line up in the heart of Scotland’s defence tonight, at a stadium where her father, John Beattie, once scored a try against France. You can see it around the 40-second mark in the YouTube clip posted below.
Shelley Kerr speaks: “We need a defensive midfielder to allow Kim [Little] and and Erin [Cuthbert] to link up further up the pitch,” says Scotland’s manager of her decision to include Leanne Crichton, in an interview with the BBC.
“In tournament football you need a freshness,” she says, when asked why Claire Emslie is in. “Claire has been rested and hopefully she’ll be fresh enough to play tonight. In fact I know she will be. We’ve gone for an attacking line-up.”
Before the game, Sir Alex Ferguson got in touch with Scotland’s manager. “It’s amazing to get a personal message from a legend,” says Kerr. “His advice on tonight’s game is to go and enjoy it.”
Meet today’s referee …
Ri Hyang-ok is a 38-year-old former football international from North Korea. Let’s hear her tell us a little about herself …
Scotland v Argentina line-ups …
Scotland (4-3-3): Alexander, Smith, Corsie, Beattie, Docherty, Little, Weir, Crichton, Cuthbert, Emslie, Evans.
Argentina (4-4-2): Correa, Bravo, Barroso, Cometti, Stabile, Larroquette, Santana, Benitez, Bonsegundo, Banini, Jaimes.
Referee: Ri Hyang-ok (North Korea)
Scotland manager Shelley Kerr makes three changes to the team that started against Japan. Full-back Lizzie Arnot, midfielder Hayley Lauder and striker Jane Ross make way for Nicola Docherty, Leanne Crichton and Claire Emslie.
Caroline Weir speaks
Asked by Fifa.com for her thoughts on today’s opponents, Scotland and Manchester City midfielder Caroline Weir suggested her side will not be underestimating their opponents. “They look aggressive, they look fast, they look physical, it’s going to be another difficult game and one that we won’t take lightly at all,” she said. “It’s going to be tough. We have nothing to lose, we have to go for it and it makes it exciting for us as players. It’s very clear what we have to do: we have to get three points. Sometimes it’s easier going into a game like that, knowing that it’s a must win.”
Shelley Kerr v Hope Solo
Everybody loves a good row and one has been simmering between the former USA goalkeeper-turned-pundit, Hope Solo and Scotland manager Shelley Kerr. Solo was less than complimentary about Kerr when Scotland went in at the break 2-0 down against Japan in their last game, following defeat in their opener against England. Following an improved second-half performance they went on to lose 2-1 for the second time in as many games.
“This is what I was hoping Shelley Kerr would have fixed from the first game on Sunday,” said Solo. “Unfortunately the verdict is out if she is a great tactician and right now I have my doubts. It goes back to the first game that Scotland played against England. These are the differences between a win and a loss and this is what I wanted Shelley Kerr to affect. She said she was going to go back and watch the footage, break down the video, and she still has not made these changes.”
Kerr was withering in her response when told about Solo’s criticism of her work, insisting the American has not earned the right to criticise her. “Listen, I’ve no problem with stick, I’ll take it all day long – just maybe off someone who comes from coaching stock,” she said. “Tactically I thought we got things right against Japan. We made some errors in the first half but I thought our game plan was working really well. Japan’s movement is incredible. They maybe don’t have great pace but the way they move off the ball makes up for that. Combating these things is always easier said than done.”
Solo had accused Scotland’s players of dropping too deep and giving their Japanese opponents too much time on the ball. “Japan, right now, are doing what they want to do on the ball because of the amount of space on the field,” she said. “I’m not seeing a lot of movement in the entire Scottish team, there’s no dynamic runs and everyone’s just kind of waiting for the ball.”
Group D: Scotland v Argentina
Parc des Princes is the venue where Scotland play Argentina for the very first time in one of two remaining matches in Group D. At the same time in Nice, England and Nice will go toe to toe, with both sides having already qualified for the last 16. Having lost their opening two games, Scotland must win tonight to have any chance of progressing as one of the best third placed sides on goal difference.
While they are still in the hunt for second place in the group, a win for Argentina would guarantee their progress to the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams at least. Kick-off is at 8pm BST but stay tuned for team news and build-up in the meantime.