Phil Neville: England women boss 'certain' Lionesses will return to Wembley next year

England women's head coach Phil Neville gives instructions to Nikita Parris on the sidelines
Phil Neville will take charge of England women for the first time at home against Wales

England women head coach Phil Neville says he is "almost certain" his side will play at Wembley next year for the first time since 2014.

The Lionesses host Wales in a World Cup qualifier at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton on Friday.

England's first and only game at the new Wembley was a friendly defeat by Germany in November 2014.

"There will be another game at Wembley, that's something both the Football Association and I want," said Neville.

"We will have games at Wembley next year, I'm almost certain of it, it's exciting."

A crowd of more than 25,000 is expected at St Mary's for Neville's first match in England since taking over in January.

The top tier of English women's football will be only for full-time professional clubs from 2018-19.

"It shows where the women's game is going, that we're now filling Premier League stadiums," said former Manchester United and Everton player Neville.

"The outlook for the next season in terms of fixtures for the national team, the people in charge of that are now looking at bigger venues, better stadiums against the top opposition in the world."

Neville said England have become "the team that people want to play" after moving up to second in the Fifa world rankings, their best position and the highest by an England team.

They finished second in the SheBelieves Cup in the United States in March - Neville's first three games in charge.

"This is the one I was looking forward to, on home soil," the 41-year-old added.

"I want the Lionesses to be playing in the best stadiums in the world because when you're the second-best team in the world you need to be in the best stadiums as well."

Wales are top of Group 1, with England one point behind with a game in hand.

"This is like a derby game," added Neville.

"We have to make sure that at the end of play on Friday we are on top of the group, where we believe we should be."

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