Women's Team

City stars set to lock horns as England and Norway go head-to-head

City fans will have a keen interest in Monday night’s Women’s Euros fixture between England and Norway.

With a potential eight Blues in action, all eyes will be on Brighton and Hove Albion's AMEX Stadium, as the two sides lock horns on Matchday Two in Group A, having both opened their tournaments on winning notes.

The Lionesses kicked-off the competition in front of a record crowd at Old Trafford, edging out Austria by a solitary goal, while Julie Blakstad was on the scoresheet as Norway thrashed Northern Ireland 4-1.

With the two sides going head-to-head this evening, there will be an intriguing subplot as Club teammates face-off in the toughest game of the group.

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A January signing, Blakstad has had plenty of time to spy on her England counterparts – as have they on her!

In an interview with City Studios, the 20-year-old admitted it will be strange to come up against her Club teammates, adding her side are ready to give the Lionesses a real battle.

“There are a lot of England players at City,” she said. “Obviously, going there and playing England will be incredible, especially in front of a lot of English people going crazy!

“I’m really looking forward to that game. I hope we can give them a good fight. They are not so scared but we are going to give them a tough game.

“Of course, it is a little bit strange but in the game, I won’t think about it much. I’ve played against friends before and when you are in the game, you are facing each other, competing and then you are friends again after that.”

Having swapped her native Norway for the Women’s Super League, Blakstad has gained six months of experience playing in England and has already collected her first trophy in the Continental Cup.

Her drive and desire to better herself inspired her move to Manchester with Gareth Taylor stating the versatile youngster has adapted quicker than anticipated.

Reflecting on her first months, Blakstad outlined the differences between the English and Norwegian games and hopes that knowledge will serve her well for both Club and country.

“One of the main, biggest differences is that the tempo is so much higher here,” she added.

“Every player is quick. Even teams who are not in the top four or five have good players who can do things by themselves.

“In Norway, you can get away with being strong or running a lot but here, it’s not enough – you need technique.

“You also need to be quick because people will come up to you and take the ball off you if you’re not quick enough. You have to be quick in your head and your feet.”

City and England stars Lauren Hemp, Keira Walsh, Alex Greenwood and Ellie Roebuck were full of praise for Blakstad and the positive impact she has made at the Club, hailing her a “top quality young player” and “lovely girl” who has settled in seamlessly.

“I know what to get from Julie – she's a top young player. If I have to come up against her, I’ll be in here ear a little bit as well!” Greenwood laughed.

“I'm really excited for her as a young player to be able to go to this tournament as well,” Roebuck declared.

“Congrats to her on being selected. Obviously with your teammates, you want them to do well... but not too well against us, that’s for sure!”

Watch City’s European stars in action at the Academy Stadium next season. Find out more.

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