England women will play their first match under new manager Sarina Wiegman in a World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia at St. Mary’s in Southampton on Friday 17 September.
Wiegman was appointed successor to Phil Neville last September but remained in charge of Netherlands until the end of her contract after this summer’s Olympics.
The 51-year-old Dutch coach now takes over from caretaker Hege Riise in her new job, with eight 2023 World Cup qualifiers to play over the next eight months before full attention then turns to Euro 2022 on home soil next summer.
The clash with North Macedonia is only England’s fourth game since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020 and will be a first in five months since a 2-0 defeat to Canada in April.
Further World Cup qualifiers in the remainder of 2021 will see the Lionesses face Luxembourg, Northern Ireland, Latvia (twice) and Austria. There are games scheduled against North Macedonia and Northern Ireland next April and the qualifying campaign will conclude in September 2022.
Wiegman arrives as England boss with a big reputation. She guided Netherlands to a first ever major international trophy at Euro 2017 on home soil and later led her team to the 2019 World Cup final. Her last tournament in charge ended in a penalty shootout quarter-final exit at the Olympics.
England have reached semi-finals at their last three tournaments since 2015 – two World Cups and one European Championship – while a Great Britain side predominantly made up of English players got to the quarter-finals at this summer’s Olympics in Japan.