Can Wiegman’s Lionesses Conquer The World?

We are just over a month away from the start of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and Sarina Wiegman’s England is looking to make it back-to-back successes, after lifting the European Championship at Wembley last summer.

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It was the nation’s first taste of success at the senior level since 1966, and it has changed perceptions of women’s football in the country and has encouraged more females to take up the sport. The Final also witnessed a record for the biggest crowd at a Women’s Euros Final, 87,192.

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“We said we want to inspire the nation and that is absolutely what we did. You can see little boys and girls with the names of our players on their shirts and they can see that they too can become a professional player and coach.” 

Sarina Wiegman: England Football

Arsenal’s Beth Meed was the Golden Boot winner with six goals and five assists. She has accumulated just three goals and four assists in seven games for Arsenal this season, However, The Lionesses will be without the Gunners’ striker for this tournament due to an ACL tear. This is perhaps the biggest issue for England, given how good her performances in major tournaments have been.

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Meanwhile, Chloe Kelly, who scored the winning goal in last year’s Final against Germany has nine goals and five assists for Manchester City this season and has been included in Wiegman’s final 23.

With experienced centre-back Leah Williamson also out with an ACL injury, it is most likely that Millie Bright will lead the line of defence as well as the team.

Bright also captains Chelsea in the WSL.

However, there is a concern about her fitness, as she missed training having just returned from a knee operation.

Hence the four stand-by options are Jess Park (Manchester City), Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), and Emily Ramsey (Manchester United).

The squad for the World Cup is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps(Manchester United), Ellie Roebuck(Manchester City), Hannah Hampton(Aston Villa),

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea) (Captain), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City),  Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal),

Midfielders: Laura Coombs (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

Forwards:  Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Bethany England (Tottenham Hotspur), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Alessia Russo (Manchester United)

One To Watch: Rachel Daley

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Aston Villa’s Daley has been one of the standout players in this season’s WSL(Woman’s Super League). A total of 21 goals from 21 games is quite outstanding and she quite frankly deserves to be the player of the season.

This record also makes her the highest English goalscorer in a WSL season.

Villa finished the season in 5th place and reached the FA Cup Final; she had a big part to play in it.

Daley also said that the players were ok to meet up on the 19th of June, despite having just three weeks off.

 “We’ve had enough time to have a rest and have a holiday, completely switch off mentally and physically. “It’s scientifically proven; it’s not just picking a date and all of us joining up. This date has been planned since the Euros, I’m sure, by the backroom staff in regards to the physical side of things. I feel like we’re in a great spot.”

Daley: The Guardian

It will be intriguing to see who Wiegmann selects as her number 9, as Lauren James and gamechanger Chloe Kelly will also be in the mix for that role.

Following Ellen White’s retirement from international football Wiegmann was reluctant to play the 31-year-old as a striker for the first few games. Still, Daley’s superior form in the WSL persuaded the manager to try it out, even though she wasn’t at all fussed with that decision.

She was also the main striker for the Arnold Clark Cup campaign, where she scored a brace in the final against Italy.

Can she continue to impress in front of goal in Australia?

Niamh Charles

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Another player looking to make an impression in this year’s tournament is the 23-year-old defender from Chelsea. After missing out on selection for last summer’s European Championships, the Blues defender has stepped up her game and has shown Wiegmann why she deserves to be on the plane to Australia and New Zealand.

Charles made her senior debut in a friendly against France coming on as a substitute to replace Alex Greenwood. She also was selected for England’s Euro 2022 provisional squad but did not make the cut for the final 23.

Despite also being in Team GB’s squad for Tokyo 2020, Charles did not feature in any of the matches.

However, scoring two goals and making three assists in the last seven WSL matches, earns her a seat on the plane down under.

Can she prove why she deserves a chance at the International level?

Wiegman All At Ease With Farewell Friendly

Another thing that concerns the Lioness’s Boss, is the possibility of having a farewell-friendly match before the squad flies off to Australia on July 5th.

“Of course, that’s frustrating because we have all our plans and we thought we were all set and then like a month ago, all of a sudden, things change – we didn’t expect that, it is so late. I do understand, it’s about the calendar. It’s really hard. It’s about players having rest, after the tournament players need to have rest.

“We already had this plan from November last year. We have our principles, we have the knowledge, we have the expertise and the experience, so we made the plan, starting on the 19th [of June], we spoke about that with the captains group, and then we spoke about it with the players.

Wiegmann: Telegraph

England’s 2022 European Championship victory made Wiegman the only manager to win two successive European Championships with two different teams, after winning the 2017 edition with Netherlands.

Wiegmann also took the Dutch to the Final of the 2019 World Cup, where they lost 2-0 to four-time winners USA.


The Lionesses will feature in Group D along with Haiti, Denmark, and China.

Here are the dates of their matches.

22nd July: England VS Haiti 10:30 am

28th July: England VS Denmark 09:30 am

1st August: China VS England at 12:00 pm.

China may prove to be the tougher game of that group. Despite reaching the final in 1999, they have always been consistent in terms of reaching the latter stages of tournaments.

Should England win their group, they will face the runner-up of Group B, which includes Australia, Canada, Nigeria, and the Republic of Ireland in the Round of 16. Second place would mean that they would play the winner of that Group.


This will also be England’s sixth appearance at the Women’s World Cup. The Lionesses reached the semi-finals of the last two tournaments, where they finished in third place in the 2015 edition under former England, United, and Everton Defender Phil Neville.

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Ellen White was the tournament’s joint top goal-scorer with six goals, along with USA’s Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.

Besides 2015, England have reached the quarter-finals on two occasions in 1995 and 2011.

Another thing that was impressive about their 2022 triumph, is that they only conceded three goals throughout the tournament. This proves that however free-flowing you want to be in terms of attacking, it is important to have a solid base in terms of defensive structure, which enables you to have the freedom to attack, and the fewer goals you concede, the better your chances are at winning, especially if you are ruthless in front of goal, which the Lionesses showed last summer.

And this is the way they should play if they want to be successful in this tournament, be solid at the back when out of possession of the ball, but make better use of it in possession.

What do you think, can England make it back-to-back success as they head off to Australia and New Zealand?

Send us your thoughts on World in Sport.

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