Friday, September 29, 2023

Lionesses face ‘tough task’ at World Cup as young talent steps up but Arsenal and Chelsea players tipped to be key

The wait is finally over for England as they begin their 2023 Women’s World Cup campaign. The Lionesses will face Haiti in their opening fixture, followed by matches against Denmark and China in the group stage. Fans can listen to live coverage of the games on talkSPORT.

England, the reigning European champions, have high expectations as they aim to win their first World Cup title. However, they will be missing key players due to injuries, particularly Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries. This leaves the team with a lack of experienced stars, making their performance uncertain.

The Lionesses will face tough competition from teams like the United States, France, Germany, and hosts Australia, who recently ended England’s 30-game unbeaten run. Despite the challenges, England’s chances cannot be underestimated.

Beth Mead, who won Euro 2022 with England, believes that Keira Walsh is an underrated player who will be pivotal for the team. Fara Williams and Jill Scott also highlight Walsh’s importance. However, other players like Millie Bright, Lauren James, and Rachel Daly are also expected to make an impact.

There are potential stumbling blocks for England, including the absence of key players like Mead, Leah Williamson, and Fran Kirby due to injury. Some former players express concerns about the team’s defense, particularly if Bright is not available. However, others believe that the younger players have the talent to step up and fill the gaps.

In terms of England’s chances, opinions vary. Some believe that the pressure and expectations will make it difficult for the team to go all the way, predicting a quarter-final exit. Others have faith in the team’s ability to handle the pressure and believe they can have a successful tournament.

Ultimately, the new faces in the squad and the depth of talent in the team give hope for a strong performance. Despite the challenges, the Lionesses have the opportunity to make their mark and showcase their skills on the world stage.

Fans can follow live commentary of the 2023 Women’s World Cup on the talkSPORT network, starting with the England vs Haiti match on talkSPORT at 10.30am.
It is widely recognized that success for the England Lionesses in this summer’s World Cup is by no means a foregone conclusion. Phil Neville’s team face perhaps their most daunting challenge yet following a series of losses in friendlies as they seek to retain the title they won in 2015.

Despite recent frustrations, there is still a feeling of optimism around the squad. This is largely due to the emergence of some of the up and coming young talent, which is expected to play a key role in the team’s chances in France.

Abbie McManus, Rachel Daly, Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Leah Williamson have risen to become established first-teamers. They have all previously tasted international action as part of the Under-20 and Under-19 squads, where they first made their mark.

This is being bolstered further by the use of younger players in friendlies leading up to the tournament. Players such as Lauren Hemp, Hannah Godfrey and Lauren Pickett have made big impressions and will hope to transfer that form to the World Cup.

Alongside that, the experienced players from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City will no doubt be crucial to England’s chances. These three teams provide core members of the 23-woman squad.

Jill Scott, who has been capped 144 times, is one of just two members of the 2015 squad to remain heading into this edition. Former Arsenal players Jordan Nobbs and Karen Carney could use their vast combined 273 caps to lead the team to glory.

Both of these players have been hampered by injuries since then, but are expected to be fit and ready to go come the tournament.

The problem for Neville is blending this young and inexperienced talent with the older, more experienced players, but the limited friendlies have served their purpose in terms of preparation.

The Lionesses will face a tough task at the World Cup, but given the potential of the young players coupled with the experience and potential of the Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City players, England has the potential to surprise many this summer.

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