The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 winners, England, have unveiled their squad ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Austria & New Zealand. Head Coach Sarina Wiegman revealed the 23 names making the journey at a media event held at the home of grassroots club Boldmere St. Michaels FC, Sutton Coldfield.
Here's England's squad in full for the Women's World Cup 🦁📝
Do you agree with Sarina Wiegman's selection? 🤔
If not, what changes would you make? 👀
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 31, 2023
Much of the build-up to this announcement had been dominated by the potential availability of several key players suffering from injury. Let’s take a look at who will be boarding the plane:
- 1 Goalkeepers
- 2 Defenders
- 3 Midfielders
- 4 Attackers
- 5 Key Players
- 6 Notable Absentees
- 7 Form
- 8 World Cup Fixtures
- 9 World Cup Odds
- Mary Earps – Manchester United – Caps: 33 – Clean Sheets: 21
- Hannah Hampton – Aston Villa – Caps: 2 – Clean Sheets: 2
- Ellie Roebuck – Manchester City – Caps: 11 – Clean Sheets: 6
There are no real shocks in the goalkeeping department. Mary Earps is the undisputed number one in this role and has become one of the top number one’s in the game. This was the trio of goalies present in the Euro 22 squad last year, and there is no real reason to change after each had an excellent season at their respective clubs. Emile Ramsey is on the standby list in case any of the three have to pull out.
- Millie Bright – Chelsea – Caps: 66 – Goals: 5
- Lucy Bronze – Barcelona – Caps: 104 – Goals: 12
- Jess Carter – Chelsea – Caps: 17 – Goals: 1
- Niamh Charles – Chelsea – Caps: 6 – Goals: 0
- Alex Greenwood – Manchester City – Caps: 74 – Goals: 5
- Esme Morgan – Manchester City – Caps: 4 – Goals: 0
- Lotte Wubben-Moy – Arsenal – Caps: 10 – Goals: 0
The skipper for England 🏴👊
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 31, 2023
Millie Bright has been one of the first names under Wiegman, but she has been injured since March. As a result, her participation in this showpiece event was doubtful. Her club manager, Emma Hayes, was adamant she would be fit in time, and the call has been made for her to play her part. With Leah Williamson missing, having Bright available is crucial to England’s overall prospects. Wiegman has confirmed she will serve as captain in the absence of Williamson. Lucy Bronze had been another injury worry after having knee surgery as recently as April after being injured in a recent UEFA Champions League clash against Chelsea. She has been a virtual ever-present at right back whenever fit for many years now, and her experience will be a vital asset both on and off the pitch. Maya Le Tissier is on the standby list for England's Women's World Cup Squad.
- Laura Coombs – Manchester City – Caps: 4 – Goals: 0
- Jordan Nobbs – Aston Villa – Caps: 71 – Goals: 7
- Georgia Stanway – Bayern Munich – Caps: 49 – Goals: 15
- Ella Toone – Manchester United – Caps: 31 – Goals: 16
- Keira Walsh – Barcelona – Caps: 58 – Goals: 0
- Katie Zelem – Manchester United – Caps: 7 – Goals: 0
There had been some debate over the possible involvements of Laura Coombs, Jordan Nobbs and Katie Zelem, but Wiegman has elected to bring all three. Each has enjoyed fine campaigns at the club level, with Nobbs successfully winning back her place in the squad after electing to leave her beloved Arsenal for Aston Villa earlier this year. That was in search of more playing opportunities, and she has been rewarded for that. Zelem has become a vital cog in the wheel with Manchester United, and her creativity and assuredness on the ball make her perfect for international football. Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Ella Toone are certain starters in England's Women's World Cup squad.
- Rachel Daly – Aston Villa – Caps: 68 – Goals: 13
- Bethany England – Tottenham Hotspur – Caps: 21 – Goals: 11
- Lauren Hemp – Manchester City – Caps: 37 – Goals: 10
- Lauren James – Chelsea – Caps: 10 – Goals: 1
- Chloe Kelly – Manchester City – Caps: 25 – Goals: 6
- Katie Robinson – Brighton & Hove Albion – Caps: 4 – Goals: 0
- Alessia Russo – Manchester United – Caps: 21 – Goals: 11
Huge congratulations to Lauren James, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles and Millie Bright on their selection in the England squad for the Women’s World Cup!
Very well deserved, and will be great to see Chelsea represented in Australia and NZ. pic.twitter.com/sWIISOsN0u
— Tom Overend (@tovers98) May 31, 2023
Like Jordan Nobbs, Bethany England decided to leave one of the elite clubs in the Women’s Super League (WSL), Chelsea, in search of more regular football. Her January move to Tottenham Hotspur has allowed her to get back on the pitch regularly, and she hasn’t wasted the opportunity to show Wiegman what she can do after netting 12 goals since switching London clubs. Rachel Daly won the WSL Golden Boot and has excelled in a centre-forward role at Aston Villa, but has regularly appeared as left back under Wiegman for England, but the Head Coach has confirmed she will now be considered as a striker for international duty. Katie Robinson only made her England debut in March, but Wiegman sees the 20-year-old as one for the future, although she could get some opportunities off the bench this summer. Jess Park is on standby in case of any withdrawals.
The importance of Walsh cannot be underestimated, and she is a certain starter when available. She has impressed as the midfield anchor in Wiegman’s midfield three, whilst her passing range is impressive. England would not have won Euro 2022 without her, and her success in that tournament resulted in an eventual move to Barcelona. She won the Player of the Match Award in the final victory over Germany and secured a spot in the Team of the Tournament.
Like most of this England Women's World Cup Squad, her game went to another level at the last European Championships, and her inventive back-heel goal against Sweden propelled her name all across the globe. The 24-year-old is primed to lead the line for England for several years to come. Whilst her ability to score goals is to be admired, her work out of possession makes her a crucial part of the England starting eleven.
Leah Williamson – Caps: 43 – Goals: 4
The 26-year-old has been a mainstay in the England defence under Wiegman and captained her nation in their victorious Euro 2022 campaign. Her ability to play not only in central defence but also in central midfield makes her a valuable asset in tournament football. She suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury playing for Arsenal last month, ruling her out of the tournament.
Beth Mead – Caps: 50 – Goals: 29
"We would've had to take so many risks to try to get her to the World Cup."
England Manager Sarina Wiegman explains why Beth Mead missed out on the Women's World Cup squad.https://t.co/PAiZ4D1jU3
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/d0e6jfBn82
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 31, 2023
Mead was another Arsenal player who suffered from an anterior cruciate ligament injury this season, and whilst there were hopes she could recover in time, the tournament came too soon for her to be involved. The 2022 Women’s Super League Player of the Year suffered the injury back in November and hasn’t played since, meaning it would have been a risk to include her. The fact she won the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament award at Euro 2022 is all you need to know about her importance to this team.
Fran Kirby – Caps: 65 – Goals: 17
The Chelsea attacker has been unavailable since February after sustaining a knee injury, which has since required surgery, whilst in action for her club. She has been a vital member of the squad since winning a call-up to the 2015 World Cup and started every game on route to winning Euro 2022. The emergence of Ella Toone slightly dampens the absence of Kirby, but the number 10 role in the squad lacks depth. Kirby would have been a certainty in this squad and is highly rated by Wiegman.
World Cup qualifying standings
- England – 30pts
- Austria – 22
- Northern Ireland – 19
- Luxembourg – 9
- North Macedonia – 6
- Latvia – 3
2023 Arnold Clark Cup
16th February 2023 – England 4-0 South Korea
Stanway 40, Kelly 46, Russo 50, James 78
19th February 2023 – England 2-1 Italy
Daly 32, 71 – Cantore 62
22nd February 2023 – England 6-1 Belgium
Kelly 12, 50, Williamson 42, 90+3, Biesmans OG 78, Bronze 89 – Dhont 90+1
England claimed their second Arnold Clark Cup title after finishing top of the round-robin league table. They did so in style after claiming three wins out of three. This was an expected triumph based on the FIFA rankings of the nations involved, with England sitting 4th, whereas Italy, South Korea and Belgium were then positioned 15th, 17th and 20th, respectively.
UEFA-CONMEBOL Women’s Finalissima
6th April 2023 – England 1-1 Brazil (England win 4-2 on penalties)
Toone 23 – Andressa 90+3
The inaugural Women’s Finalissima was a dramatic affair at a sold-out Wembley Stadium, with England emerging victorious on penalties after a dramatic 1-1 draw in normal time. The Lionesses were deservedly ahead at half-time after Manchester United playmaker Ella Toone finished off a neat passing move. The second half saw Brazil apply big pressure on the England goal, and that pressure finally told deep into added time when Andressa hammered home from close range. Manchester City winger Chloe Kelly powerfully fired home the winning penalty to make it two trophies in two years for Sarina Wiegman’s side.
11th April 2023 – England 0-2 Australia
Kerr 32, Grant 67
At the 31st time of asking, England suffered their first loss under the management of Sarina Wiegman when falling to a 2-0 defeat versus Australia. With the game coming only a few days after their high-octane penalty success over Brazil, it potentially was a game too far in a short time. Wiegman still maintains an unbeaten record in competitive matches.
World Cup Fixtures
22nd July 2023 – England v Haiti – Lang Park, Brisbane – 10:30 am (UK time)
28th July 2023 – England v Denmark – Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney – 09:30 am
1st August 2023 – China v England – Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide – 12:00 pm
World Cup Odds
USA – 11/4
England are currently rated as second-favourites to claim their first-ever World Cup crown. The 2015 World Cup in Canada remains their best finish at the showpiece event when securing a third-place finish and bronze medal. USA would be the champion on that occasion and the following 2019 World Cup in France, making them obvious and understandable favourites. England remains on a high following their Euro 2022 success on home soil last year, and travel with the expectation of competing for the top prize.