Chelsea Women’s defender Magdalena Eriksson is adamant the Blues will be taking Israel seriously when the two sides meet at the Ha-Moshava Stadium tonight at 5.30pm UK time.
Eriksson and the rest of the Blues squad flew out to Israel on Saturday night to take part in the fixture, which is being sponsored by Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich and the Israeli FA.
It has been a busy couple of days since for the Blues with Chelsea Foundation activities, a trip to Jerusalem, and media activity all taking place as well as the usual gruelling pre-season training regime.
The match will bring the curtain down on pre-season for the Blues, and despite the busy schedule and friendly nature of the match, Eriksson revealed the squad are in a good place to finish their pre-season on a high.
‘The trip has gone really well. It has been nice to be in Tel Aviv, a really nice city, and of course to train in the warm weather,’ said the Swedish international.
‘We are ready for the game, we had a really tough session (on Sunday) and are excited to play. It is our last pre-season game so is very important to finish well.
‘We have also heard there is a lot of people coming to watch, which is really cool to see so we will be ready.
‘I have heard from some of my team-mates about what to expect from Israel and it will be a good game. I have been told they beat Denmark in a qualifier so it will a tough game.
‘You can see they are a country on the rise so it will be interesting to see how they are coming along.'
Eriksson was one of Sweden’s stars at this summer’s Women’s World Cup as the Scandinavians beat England to secure bronze and after a well-earned rest she is hungrier than ever for success in a blue shirt.
‘I was tired (after the World Cup) but after a nice break I have returned with confidence and am ready to take that on with Chelsea.
‘I think the World Cup has had a big impact in England, and we can see that by the crowd the club expects for our first game at Stamford Bridge. It will be a great occasion and we are all looking forward to it.'
The Israeli women’s national team was established in 1997 and the team ranked in 64th place in the FIFA rankings are yet to make an appearance in the Women’s World Cup and the Euros.
More than half of the Israeli women’s squad have gone through the ranks of their academy and the prospect of playing against a number of the best female footballers in the world will be an opportunity the young players will certainly relish tonight.