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Dealing with emotions ‘will be crucial’ as Team GB prepare for Olympics opener

Team GB in training
Team GB start their Tokyo 2020 campaign against Christiane Endler’s Chile
Venue: Sapporo Dome Date: 21 July Time: 08:30 BST
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Sport website & iPlayer from 08:15

Team GB’s women’s football boss Hege Riise says dealing with emotions “will be crucial” at the Tokyo Olympics.

Her team get their Tokyo 2020 campaign under way against Chile at 08:15 BST on Wednesday.

Riise won gold as a player with Norway at Sydney 2000.

“The emotions of being in an Olympics are quite big and the games come so quickly so you don’t have the time to be too overwhelmed or happy. You just need to get going,” said Riise.

“How we deal with that individually and as a team will be crucial.

“You need to have confidence that you are well prepared but also know not every game will be a great game, you might win on a day which isn’t great.

“You can prepare for something and it doesn’t happen so you need to be adaptable to whatever comes. We have to be prepared for that.”

This will be the second time Team GB have entered a women’s team at an Olympics, going out in the quarter-finals at London 2012.

Their opener against Chile will be followed by games against hosts Japan and then Canada, with the top two from each group going through to the knockout stage along with the two best-placed teams 7in third from the three groups.

The squad for Tokyo is made up mostly of English players, some of whom will have experienced losing three consecutive major tournament semi-finals in the 2019 World Cup, 2017 European Championship and 2015 World Cup.

Chile will be making their Olympic debut after finishing runners-up in the 2018 Copa America and overcoming Cameroon in Olympic play-offs in April.

Despite being 31 places lower than England in Fifa’s world rankings, they do possess one of the most highly rated keepers in the world in Lyon’s Christiane Endler.

“We’ve been working really well the last few days, we’re getting more confident in being able to play higher up the pitch and take more risks. That’s what we’ve been focusing on and I’m really happy with the team,” said defender Carla Guerrero.

Carla Guerrero of Chile
Chile played Germany in an Olympic warm-up game that ended in a goalless draw

The temperatures in Sapporo on Wednesday are expected to be 28C around kick-off and the Japanese humidity has been a consideration for Team GB.

“It’s really hot. I would say that in Yokohama it was more humid than in Sapporo, but for us players we’ve got such a good team behind the team that have helped us to prepare as well as we possibly can,” said Steph Houghton, one of Team GB’s three captains.

“I feel as though we’ve adapted quite quick and got used to the weather and the fact that you’re losing a lot of fluid and you’re getting a bit more dehydrated, but we have got everything in place to combat that so we can play the game we want to play.”

Here’s the Team GB starting XI chosen by you

We asked you who Riise should pick to start against Chile and here’s your starting XI that includes Fran Kirby, Lucy Bronze and Leah Williamson.

You can still select your team below, but it will not count towards the result.

Your starting XI to face Chile
Your starting XI to face Chile

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