By 90Min
May 29, 2019

England kick off their 2019 Women's World Cup campaign in just over a week's time.

This is everything you need to know about the Lionesses ahead of the tournament...


Squad

England have a diverse squad that draws players from clubs in as many as five different countries, with a handful of individuals plying their domestic trade in France, Germany, Spain and the United States. That can only be good for exposing players to different football cultures.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Man City), Carly Telford (Chelsea), Mary Earps (Wolfsburg)

Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Alex Greenwood (Man United), Steph Houghton (Man City), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Demi Stokes (Man City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Abbie McManus (Man City*), Rachel Daley (Houston Dash)

Midfielders: Keira Walsh (Man City), Jill Scott (Man City), Jade Moore (Reading), Georgia Stanway (Man City), Karen Carney (Chelsea), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham)

Forwards: Nikita Parris (Man City*), Jodie Taylor (Reign FC), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Barcelona), Ellen White (Birmingham*), Beth Mead (Arsenal)

*Abbie McManus, Nikita Parris and Ellen White have all agreed post-World Cup transfers and will be joining Manchester United, Lyon and Manchester City respectively after the tournament.


Manager

Phil Neville got the job in early 2018, despite having minimal managerial experience and never having worked in women's football, but has had a generally positive impact.

He has brought a fresh approach at a time when it was needed for England to reach the next level and his years working in a tremendously competitive and winning environment at Manchester United are no doubt a great asset in terms of focusing the mentality of his players.

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

"It has been really good having him in. He tries to build relationships with the players, understand how we are feeling and how he can help us," Jodie Taylor told Sky Sports in April.


Recent Form

England have played six times in 2019, winning four, drawing once and losing once.

27 February 2019 England 2-1 Brazil Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
2 March 2019 USA 2-2 England Nashville, Tennessee, USA
5 March 2019 Japan 0-3 England Tampa, Florida, USA
5 April 2019 England 0-1 Canada Manchester, England
9 April 2019 England 2-1 Spain Swindon, England
25 May 2019 England 2-0 Denmark Walsall, England
Michael Steele/GettyImages

Strengths

England can boast excellent strength in depth, particularly in attacking areas. Beyond Nikita Parris, who scored 19 Women's Super League goals this season, there is Toni Duggan, a Champions League finalist with Barcelona, Jodie Taylor, the Golden Boot winner at Euro 2017, and Ellen White (below), a favourite of Phil Neville's who will always chip in with goals.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

On top of that, Chelsea star Fran Kirby is an elite creator, while Arsenal forward Beth Mead has an eye for the spectacular and led the WSL in assists in 2018/19.

In midfield, influential pair Jordan Nobbs and Izzy Christiansen missed out due to injury, but that has allowed the equally talented Keira Walsh, 22, and Georgia Stanway, 20, to come to the fore.


Weaknesses

Recent results alone perhaps don't tell the whole story. England did win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time in March, a prestigious honour, but the United States and Japan both put out experimental sides - as did England - and both should be better this summer.

A laboured England aide was beaten by a defensively strong Canada in April, while subsequent friendly wins over Spain and Denmark weren't as polished as Neville would have hoped.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Dealing with the pressure of expectation is something that England, who have only ever been underdogs flying under the radar at past World Cups, have to learn.


Group D Opponents

England are drawn in Group D alongside Scotland, Argentina and Japan.

For Scotland, this is a first ever World Cup and only a second major international tournament after qualifying for Euro 2017. As it happens, England also played Scotland in their opening fixture in that competition and thrashed their local rivals 6-0.

The lowest FIFA-ranked team in the group, Argentina are at their first World Cup for 12 years and have never previously won a World Cup game, losing all six they've played. England thrashed them 6-1 in 2007, a week after La Albiceleste had lost 11-0 to Germany.

WILLIAM WEST/GettyImages

2011 winners Japan are the biggest threat in Group D and a dark horse for the trophy. It is a relatively young Japanese squad, but one that is led by experience at the back in the shape of Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima and Rumi Utsugi, and technically excellent.

9 June 2019 England vs Scotland Allianz Riviera, Nice
14 June 2019 England vs Argentina Stade Oceane, Le Havre
19 June 2019 Japan vs England Allianz Riviera, Nice

Route to the Final

Top spot for England would mean a winnable last 16 pairing with the third place team from groups B, E or F - potentially China, Spain, New Zealand, Cameroon or Chile.

There would be a quarter final against the runner up from groups A or C - maybe Norway, South Korea, Brazil or Italy. The semi final would be a likely meeting with the United States or France, with Germany expected to reach the final from the other side of the knockout bracket.

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