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England v Austria: Ellen White set for ‘impressive’ 100th cap in Women’s World Cup qualifier

Ellen White celebrates a goal for England
Ellen White scored her first goal for England against Austria in 2010

Ellen White has been on an “amazing journey”, says England boss Sarina Wiegman, as the striker looks set to win her 100th cap against Austria on Saturday.

White, 32, is also just two goals short of equalling Kelly Smith’s record of 46 for England.

“When you play 100 caps that is impressive,” said Wiegman. “We will all be really happy when she gets that record, but it is not the main point to get Ellen the goals. We have to score the goals.”

White has scored five of England’s 32 goals in their four World Cup qualifying games so far.

The Manchester City striker has been Wiegman’s preferred focal point in attack since she took charge in the summer, with White starting every match under the Dutch boss.

“[Ellen] is only focused on the game and it will be a special one,” added Wiegman. “She is only focused on training and the game. Hopefully she will get a great performance for herself and us as a team.”

Millie Bright, who will captain England against Austria at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, agreed with her Lionesses boss that it was not important who scored the goals, and added that White herself “wouldn’t want it any other way”.

“If Ellen is in that goalscoring opportunity then of course you play her in,” Bright said. “But you don’t go into this game approaching it in that manner.

“We set out to win the game, to put in a great performance and to keep developing as a team regardless of the records there are out there to be broken.”

But while White’s record is not the focus, Wiegman said it would be a moment worth celebrating if and when it happened.

“She is really close to having this record, so it will be really nice for her personally,” she said.

“It would be nice for us as a team too because that means we have scored lots of goals.”

England face an Austria team who are second in their group, having won three games before a draw with Northern Ireland last time out. England have a 100% record and are yet to concede a goal.

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