How England should line up vs Spain in the Women's World Cup final: Let Ella Toone keep her place and use returning Lauren James as a supersub

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Lionesses head coach Sarina Wiegman has a huge selection dilemma ahead of the final as one of the team's brightest stars returns from suspension

England will play in a first ever Women's World Cup final on Sunday, taking on Spain in Sydney. It's going to be an extremely difficult task, and a different challenge altogether against a team that will have more of the ball, and head coach Sarina Wiegman has a huge selection dilemma for it, too.

After being sent off in the last 16, Lauren James is available again. The Chelsea star was the most impressive performer in the group stages but has missed the Lionesses' last two games after deliberately stepping on Nigeria defender Michelle Alozie. Will she return to the starting XI, then?

The logical answer may seem obvious: Yes. Why not? She's been outstanding and has incredible match-winning qualities. But Ella Toone scored a fantastic goal against Australia in the semi-finals and put in her best performance of the tournament at the same time. Does she deserve to keep her place? And would James then be a great impact sub for later in the game?

It's a huge decision that Wiegman has to make. As she ponders it, let GOAL have its say on how England should line up against Spain...

  1. GK: Mary Earps
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    GK: Mary Earps

    An easy one. Mary Earps has been England's No.1 goalkeeper throughout the whole tournament and that isn't going to change for the final. A bit of a blunder for Colombia's goal in the quarter-finals aside, the Manchester United shot-stopper has been excellent.

  2. CB: Jess Carter

    CB: Jess Carter

    A strong performer throughout the tournament, Jess Carter has grown and grown with each game that has passed on England's run to the final. Her positioning and one-v-one defending are absolutely fantastic, and have allowed her to deal with any threats she's come up against.

  3. CB: Millie Bright

    CB: Millie Bright

    After a rusty start to the tournament, Millie Bright has been absolutely brilliant for England. As well as being great on the ball, her ability to deal with anything that a team can throw at her has been fantastic.

  4. CB: Alex Greenwood

    CB: Alex Greenwood

    One of England's best players at this tournament, Alex Greenwood has played three different roles and has been superb in all of them. Operating on the left-hand side of a back three has brought the very best out of her, though, especially in terms of her ability on the ball.

  5. RWB: Lucy Bronze

    RWB: Lucy Bronze

    Lucy Bronze more than played her part in keeping Australia's lively left-hand side quiet in the semi-finals and she'll have her work cut out for her again in the final, especially with Salma Paralluelo likely to come onto that wing in the second half. She's got plenty of experience and quality to deal with the threat, though.

  6. CM: Keira Walsh

    CM: Keira Walsh

    Keira Walsh looked better in the 3-5-2 system against Australia, having struggled to have much influence in previous outings, but will have an interesting challenge on Sunday as it's likely that Spain will dominate the game. The onus will be on players like Walsh, then, to ensure England make their spells on the ball count.

  7. CM: Georgia Stanway
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    CM: Georgia Stanway

    A very consistent and impressive performer throughout this whole World Cup, Georgia Stanway is an excellent footballer but she will also do plenty of the dirty work. That will be needed against Spain, a side that she knocked out of the Euros last year with one of the goals of the tournament.

  8. CM: Ella Toone
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    CM: Ella Toone

    Toone should get the nod to start the final despite James' return from suspension. After struggling for form and falling out of the starting line-up, Toone scored a wonderful goal against Australia in the semi-finals that will have done her confidence the world of good.

    Her desire to get stuck in will be helpful for England in midfield for this game, too, with the Lionesses unlikely to have the lion's share of possession. James can then be relied upon to make a big impact off the bench as things start to get stretched and the match opens up.

  9. LWB: Rachel Daly

    LWB: Rachel Daly

    With England lacking a natural left-back, the 3-5-2 system masks this weakness well and Rachel Daly has done a strong job at left wing-back since the switch. She'll have a serious challenge against Spain, though.

    La Roja clearly targeted the striker-turned-defender in their quarter-final at the Euros last year and it'd be a surprise if they didn't do so again, especially with Alba Redondo in great form. Daly will need to be on it.

  10. ST: Alessia Russo

    ST: Alessia Russo

    It took Alessia Russo time to grow into this World Cup but she's certainly done that now, scoring and performing brilliantly in both the quarter-final win over Colombia and the semi-final triumph against Australia. She and Lauren Hemp will need to make the most of their opportunities again on Sunday, as there might not be too many.

  11. ST: Lauren Hemp

    ST: Lauren Hemp

    If there's one thing Spain's defence lacks, it is pace. If there's one thing that Lauren Hemp has, it is pace. The England forward has also got better and better as the World Cup has progressed and fans of the Lionesses will hope that continues going into this final. She's in great form and has all the attributes needed to expose the flaws in La Roja's back-line.