Women's World Cup: Scotland taking 'pointers' from Argentina

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Scots can compete with the best - Little
Women's World Cup: Japan v Scotland
Venue: Roazhon Park, Rennes Date: Friday, 14 June Kick-off: 14:00 BST
Coverage: Watch on BBC One Scotland & BBC Alba, listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app.

Kim Little says Scotland can take inspiration from Argentina's approach as they look to upset Japan in the Women's World Cup on Friday.

Argentina held the 2011 tournament winners and 2015 finalists to a surprising goalless draw in Paris.

The Arsenal midfielder says Scotland should take heart from the way the South Americans stifled Japan.

"We can take a few pointers from that into our game against them," said the 28-year-old.

Little added: "They stopped Japan doing what they're good at in and around the final third. They performed very well."

Japan are ranked seventh in the world and present another tough challenge for Scotland who lost 2-1 to England in their opening Group D game.

"Japan are a great team and have been for many years, they were in the last final and won it the previous time, so we have to respect their style of football," Little said.

"It's very hard to play against their quick passing and precise play.

"We are extremely respectful of what they are capable of, but we're also aware that with our capabilities we can try and break them down with a good performance of our own."

Aberdeen-born Little made her international debut as a second-half substitute the last time Scotland faced Japan, a 2-0 defeat in Cyprus back in 2007, playing alongside current head coach Shelley Kerr.

Little will face them again, 133 caps later, in what will likely be a battle for group runners-up.

"It was a long time ago and we've not really played Japan much, but we've obviously watched them a lot and I played with a couple of the Japan players at Seattle," Little said.

"I know how good they are, how focused and well drilled they are, so it will be a good but tough game."

Scotland
Kim Little (right) is determined to help Scotland bounce back from opening loss to England

For Scotland the disappointment of losing their France 2019 opener to England appears to have been shaken off and Little insists the defeat will not alter their approach.

"I don't think it changes our mindset too much going into the next games against Japan and Argentina, get two results and two wins if we can. It does mean it's in our hands more if we want to finish second.

"Being the underdog can give you the advantage," said the former BBC women's footballer of the year.

"We have to be aware that coming off the back of a draw that they expected to win, they're going to be in a position where they need to get a result as well so it's a recipe for a great game."

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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