Neville ready for Argentina as England reprise 'great' rivalry

Le Havre (France) (AFP) –


England manager Phil Neville said his team would be prepared to "handle" a difficult encounter as they face "great" football rivals Argentina in the Women's World Cup on Friday.

Neville's side saw off Scotland 2-1 in their Group C opener, while Argentina held 2011 champions Japan to a goalless draw to secure their maiden World Cup point.

"When we looked at this group we saw the rivalries with Scotland and Argentina," said former England full-back Neville in Le Havre.

"That's what we've got to handle tomorrow.

"When you see their reaction after the game against Japan you see how much it means. This is a country where kids were off school to watch the game."

Former Manchester United defender Neville pointed to famous former World Cup clashes between the two nations' men's teams, including England's exits in 1986, when Diego Maradona scored his infamous 'Hand of God' goal, and 1998.

"There is great history between both countries, 1986, the (Michael) Owen goal in 1998, the (David) Beckham goal in 2002... They knocked us out in 1998 too," added the 42-year-old Neville.

"But I haven't really mentioned the Owen goal, the Beckham sending off (to the team), because we don't have much history with them on our side.

"But I will tell them that this is a great football nation."

Argentina sat deep against Japan, who also reached the 2015 final, defending in numbers to claim a draw despite only managing one shot on target in a poor game at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Monday.

"We're planning to play against a team that will probably sit back and defend a bit more than Scotland did," said Neville.

"Our attackers know that there won't just be one player marking them, but maybe two or three."

England have never reached the Women's World Cup final, with their previous best effort their third-place finish four years ago.