The Lionesses’ World Cup semi-final will be the most watched game in the history of women’s football as they aim to become the first senior England side to reach a major global final since 1966.
A record-breaking 7.6 million people tuned in to BBC One to cheer on England as they beat Norway 3-0 in the quarter finals.
The figures, based on people watching for five minutes or more, surpassed the 6.9m figure for England’s victory over Cameroon and the 6.1m for England’s 2-0 win over Scotland.
But another record is expected to be set when the Lionesses and the United States kick off in Lyon at 8pm.
They face a tough task against the holders and three-time champions. England manager Phil Neville said: “They are the best team in the world, without a shadow of a doubt.
”Their record is phenomenal. The coach’s record is phenomenal. But I’m not worried about anything. I never do. I never worry about the opposition.”
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The game will see two of the world’s best players, England right-back Lucy Bronze and USA winger Megan Rapinoe, go head to head.
England have lost 10, drawn two and won four of their previous 16 meetings with the USA and are yet to score against them at a World Cup.
But the two sides drew 2-2 at this year’s four-team invitational SheBelieves Cup in the US, which England went on to win for the first time.
‘Enjoy the game in the pub’
The British Beer and Pub Association has estimated that the Lionesses could boost beer sales in pubs at home by three million pints if they reach the final.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “It’s great that the Lionesses have reached the World Cup semi-final and have a great chance to go all the way.
“We know many pubs that are making the most of tournament, showing the game and boosting trade. I hope England make it to the final this Sunday and we will all be able to enjoy the game in the Great British Pub.”