England Women's World Cup 2023 squad: Who will Wiegman take to Australia & New Zealand?
- Women's World Cup
- Women's football
- M. Earps
- E. Roebuck
- S. MacIver
- A. Greenwood
- M. Bright
- R. Daly
- C. Wubben-Moy
- N. Charles
- E. Morgan
- G. George
- M. Le Tissier
- K. Walsh
- G. Stanway
- E. Toone
- K. Zelem
- J. Park
- N. Parris
- C. Kelly
- A. Russo
- L. James
- E. Salmon
- K. Robinson
- H. Hampton
- L. Bronze
- D. Stokes
- J. Carter
- L. Williamson
- S. Houghton
- J. Nobbs
- F. Kirby
- L. Staniforth
- L. Hemp
- B. England
- L. Coombs
England will be one of the favourites to win this summer's Women's World Cup after triumphing at the European Championship in 2022, beating Germany to lift their first major international title in front of a home crowd at Wembley.
It was a second successive Euros trophy for head coach Sarina Wiegman, who lifted it with her native Netherlands in 2017. Two years after that, she led the country to a World Cup final.
Can she repeat the trick? The Lionesses will certainly believe they can help her to do as much - and even go one further - such is the confidence that Euros victory has given them.
With Ellen White and Jill Scott (now Queen of the Jungle as well as a champion of Europe) retiring after that success, there will be a few changes to the team Wiegman calls upon for this tournament.
But who will make up her 23-player World Cup squad? GOAL takes a look at the options...
Mary Earps is England's No.1 goalkeeper and it is unlikely that will change before this summer's World Cup.
There are only five shot-stoppers really in contention for these three spots, with Manchester City's Ellie Roebuck the most secure in the squad after Earps due to her regular game time at club level.
It's between Sandy MacIver, Hannah Hampton and Emily Ramsey for the third goalkeeper spot, then.
MacIver competes with Roebuck for the starting berth at City, featuring in a couple of league games this season after her summer switch from Everton, as well as being first-choice in the Continental Cup.
Hampton, meanwhile, hasn't been called up for England since being part of the squad that won the Euros last summer.
In September, Wiegman said that "personal issues" were the reason she was missing from her squad. In November, after the Guardian reported Hampton was dropped for "poor behaviour and an attitude problem", Wiegman said she wasn't included for "the same reason as I said in September".
"Nothing’s changed,” she explained. “She still has to do something personal, that I would not like to comment on.”
The Aston Villa star has had injury concerns this season, undergoing minor surgery at the same time questions about her England career emerged, while New Zealand international Anna Leat has offered her serious competition for her place at club level, with the pair almost sharing duties so far.
Amid Hampton's situation, Ramsey, on loan at Everton from Manchester United, has emerged as a late candidate to go to the World Cup, winning just her second senior call-up by being included in England's Arnold Clark Cup squad in February.
Sadly, though the youngster had to withdraw after just one match because of an ankle injury that was sustained in training.
Name Club Mary Earps Manchester United Hannah Hampton Aston Villa Sandy MacIver Manchester City Emily Ramsey Everton, on loan from Manchester United Ellie Roebuck Manchester City
- Getty Images
There are a handful of defenders sure to be on that plane this summer: England captain Leah Williamson, her centre-back partner Millie Bright, Barcelona star Lucy Bronze and the versatile Rachel Daly.
Alex Greenwood feels like she falls into that category, too. Often a back-up in the heart of defence, the Arnold Clark Cup suggested that Wiegman is considering making her the starting left-back, now, a position she used to play in week in, week out.
Competition for places in this squad may well be at its hottest in defence. Maya Le Tissier earned her first senior call-up in November due to her excellent form for Manchester United and her ability to play full-back or centre-back is a real asset.
Lotte Wubben-Moy is another who provides cover at centre-back and can offer an option in holding midfield, too.
It felt like there was an opening for Gabby George, the Everton defender, to break into this team. She has been playing brilliantly at left-back, a position where England lack depth.
Daly started every game there at the Euros but her role may be changing into a more attacking one. Meanwhile, Demi Stokes - a long-time option for England - has struggled for fitness and, thus, game time this season.
Greenwood's appearances on the left in February have altered the picture a little bit, now, though, and made George's chances of breaking into the team more difficult.
Manchester City's Esme Morgan and the Chelsea pair of Niamh Charles and Jess Carter are all capable of moving into the position as well. Morgan and Carter can play anywhere across the back line, while Charles is versatile enough to be a full-back on either side, a winger or an attacking midfielder.
Name Club Millie Bright Chelsea Lucy Bronze Barcelona Jess Carter Chelsea Niamh Charles Chelsea Rachel Daly Aston Villa Gabby George Everton Alex Greenwood Manchester City Maya Le Tissier Manchester United Esme Morgan Manchester City Demi Stokes Manchester City Leah Williamson Arsenal Lotte Wubben-Moy Arsenal
The player pool is not as deep when it comes to midfield.
Keira Walsh and Georgia Stanway have established themselves as first choice at the base, with the former dictating play from deep while Stanway plays more box-to-box.
The third midfielder, often with a freer role but not without defensive responsibility, then tends to alternate between Fran Kirby and Ella Toone.
Katie Zelem missed out on Euro 2022 but is generally a regular in squads, even if her chances on the pitch are limited. Laura Coombs has forced her way into Wiegman's thinking recently, too, called-up in February for the first time since late 2020 thanks to her good form at Man City.
After some injuries, a lack of game time has stopped Jordan Nobbs from staking a claim for a bigger role in Wiegman's side. The midfielder left Arsenal for Aston Villa in January in a bid to rectify that and has been superb since, earning a call-up in February after Kirby picked up an injury.
Lucy Staniforth, too, switched to Villa from Manchester United to get more minutes in January and could yet make a late charge in the race for a spot on the plane.
Of the names below, Kirby, Stanway, Toone and Walsh are the surest bets for a World Cup spot, with Staniforth having more of an outside chance having not featured for her country since October 2021.
Name Club Laura Coombs Manchester City Fran Kirby Chelsea Jordan Nobbs Aston Villa Lucy Staniforth Aston Villa Georgia Stanway Bayern Munich Ella Toone Manchester United Keira Walsh Barcelona Katie Zelem Manchester United
Some of the most interesting decisions Wiegman has to make for England's Women's World Cup squad will concern the forwards, where she has a large variety of different options.
Alessia Russo seems likely to be the Lionesses' first choice centre forward, but how will the coach back her position up?
Beth England, who has hit the ground running after switching from Chelsea to Tottenham for more game time, and Ebony Salmon, who should be coming into peak form as the tournament approaches given she is playing a calendar season in the U.S., are contenders.
When Russo missed England's October camp through injury, though, Wiegman trialled Lauren Hemp as a No.9 and the Manchester City forward shone. With Daly likely to be in the squad as well, she will offer more cover. In fact, the Villa star is staking a claim to be England's starting centre forward at the moment, such is her form.
As for the wide areas, Hemp and her club-mate Chloe Kelly are almost certain to be on the plane, the latter becoming a regular starter in recent camps after Beth Mead's ACL injury. Lauren James is another it's difficult to see missing out, especially after her incredible showing at the Arnold Clark Cup.
There are plenty of others battling it out for a place, too, including Katie Robinson, Brighton's exciting 20-year-old talent who has caught Wiegman's eye, Manchester United's Nikita Parris and Jess Park, who is having a productive loan spell at Everton.
Name Club Beth England Tottenham Hotspur Lauren Hemp Manchester City Lauren James Chelsea Chloe Kelly Manchester City Jess Park Everton (on loan from Manchester City) Nikita Parris Manchester United Katie Robinson Brighton Alessia Russo Manchester United Ebony Salmon Houston Dash
A 4-3-3 system should be what Wiegman sets up this England team in. As for her first choice XI, it is unlikely to be massively different to the one she chose for every single game at last summer's Euros.
Earps will be between the sticks, with Williamson and Bright the centre-back pairing in front of her.
At right-back will be Bronze, with the left-back spot certainly up for grabs. Greenwood appears to be emerging as Wiegman's preferred option there, now.
Walsh and Stanway will feature in midfield, with either Toone or Kirby making up the trio. The latter has been in and out of Chelsea's line-up this season and hasn't always appeared best suited to a more restricted role with England, so there's a real chance Toone could take her place.
It feels like James could secure the starting spot on the right wing, with Kelly, in slightly better form than Hemp at the moment, on the left and Russo through the middle. That could all change, though, yet.
England XI (4-3-3): Earps; Bronze, Williamson, Bright, Greenwood; Walsh, Stanway, Toone; James, Russo, Kelly.
As mentioned, there is likely to be one big absentee for England: Beth Mead.
Player of the tournament and Golden Boot winner at the Euros, the Arsenal star suffered a devastating ACL injury back in November.
With recovery from such a setback usually around nine months, the expectation is that Mead will miss the World Cup but hopefully be ready from the get-go for the 2023-24 season.
At the moment, she is the only player expected to miss the tournament for the Lionesses - although Wiegman has not categorically ruled her out just yet.
Name Club Reason Beth Mead Arsenal Injury