Lionesses' manager, Sarina Wiegman

Lionesses’ manager, Sarina Wiegman, at a press conference in Brisbane (Image: Getty)

England can achieve their dream and win the Women’s World Cup, manager Sarina Wiegman and fans insisted yesterday.

The European champions go into their first game against outsiders Haiti this morning as second favourites to win the tournament after world champions the US.

Wiegman admitted there would be pressure on her side ‘every time we play’ – just because they are England. But she believes the Lionesses are ready to make history again after their 2-1 victory over old foes Germany in the Euro finals last summer.

Millions of fans at home in the UK, many of them schoolchildren, are being urged to “have football for breakfast”.

The Lionesses will line up in Brisbane for a 10.30am UK time kick-off today.

They are “raring to go”, according to captain Millie Bright.

Manager Wiegman said: “We are here and we have a dream – and of course, there is always a chance to win the World Cup. We will give our everything.”

She joked: “I have decided on my starting 11, but I am not going to tell you.”

The Dutch coach is sure her players have put talks over bonus payments at the tournament behind them.

Bright, 29, said the Lionesses were “itching for the tournament to officially begin”.

“We are fully focused,” she told a pre-match press conference. “Everyone is ready.

“The girls were all watching the opening games, excitement levels are really high. We are counting down the hours.”

Ex-England keeper, Karen Bardsley

Ex-England keeper, Karen Bardsley (Image: Getty)

Ex-England keeper Karen Bardsley turned up as the team had a final look around the 52,500-seater Brisbane stadium where today’s showdown takes place.

She waved at players who came over to hug her as she wished them good luck.

In a new social media film, the Football Association urged supporters back home to follow the team.

They can watch the action at venues including Boxpark in Shoreditch, London, the Ledward Centre in Brighton, Saltbox in Nottingham and Women in Football, Manchester.

Meanwhile, England fans flew into Brisbane ahead of the game to join an expat army of supporters.

Andy Milne, 60, became a cult figure with Three Lions fans in Qatar when he was seen at World Cup games with a replica Jules Rimet trophy.

Alex Greenwood kicks a ball during practice

Alex Greenwood kicks a ball during practice at Brisbane (Image: Getty)

Nicknamed “World Cup Guy”, he has come to Australia from his home in Thailand and has tickets to watch the game with his daughter Laila, 27, who is on a working holiday.

As he enjoyed a pre-match event in the Charming Squire pub in Brisbane, he said: “It’s going to be incredible to watch England. I hope football is coming home.

“They have lost players but they are definitely one of the favourites. I would come back for the final – I cannot miss that.”

Laila, an executive assistant, added: “I do believe England will do it and I will go to the final. I am very patriotic, just like my dad.

“I feel like crying when they win.”

Christopher Goodall, 52, a fire technician, from Birmingham has been living in Australia for the last 12 years.

His fiance, Emma Day, 45, is a visual merchandiser, who was born in Cambridge but grew up in Australia, and they live in Brisbane.

The couple have tickets to England’s opening game against Haiti, for the quarterfinal and third place matches.

Chris said: “We have to believe in the Lionesses and believe they can win it. If you don’t believe in your own team what chance have they got.

“I get up in the early hours to watch my home team, Birmingham City, even though people say “they’re going to let you down”.

“The Lionesses have got a proper shot at this so we’ll be watching them and cheering on all their games.”

Saffron Morrow, 22, a hairdresser from Wakefield, W. Yorks., travelling around Australia since February, said: “I’m not normally a football fan but I’m enjoying watching the games and obviously it’s great to watch women do so well at football.

“It has become such a good thing.

“There is something about the World Cup that just sweeps you up into the excitement even if you’re not a football fan like me.

“If it’s coming home it’s coming home and I believe the girls can go all the way.”

WillIam Morris, 26, from Ceredigion, Wales, has also been Down Under since February.

“I’ve got to give it to the girls,” he said.

“They’ve done really well, and have come a long way.

“It’s such a great time for women’s football, let’s see what they can do.”

England's Jordan Nobbs in a training session

England’s Jordan Nobbs in a training session ahead of the World Cup (Image: Getty)

His pal Alex Windsor, 25, of Carmarthen, added: “There is a lot of attention on the Lionesses from across the world after the Euro 2022. I believe they could win it.

“The typical rivalries between England fans and Wales fans have been put to one side for the Women’s World Cup.

‘Otherwise we wouldn’t be here. The Lionesses and Dragons are side by side.”

England fan Claire McCain, 28, has tickets for both our opening games.

She travels to New Zealand to see the US before she returns home to Dallas, Texas.

Wearing an Arsenal shirt in Brisbane’s Pig and Whistle bar, she said: “I am an Arsenal fan, I love the US team but I am following England too.

“I started watching them during the European Championships last year and have tickets for their opening two games.

“I am going to Sydney for England’s game against Denmark, then to New Zealand to see the US before I fly home.”

She will return in the first week of August having spent around £4,600 on her World Cup trip, around £1300 on flights alone.