Lauren James, Alessia Russo & five selection dilemmas England boss Sarina Wiegman must solve ahead of the Lionesses' Women's World Cup send-off

Lauren James Sarina Wiegman Alessia Russo England Women compositeGetty/GOAL

England will take on Portugal on Saturday in their 2023 Women’s World Cup send-off friendly, which acts as an alarm for just how close the tournament is now. Twelve months ago, when the Lionesses took on Switzerland in their last match before the 2022 Women’s European Championship, it felt like the starting line-up was quite easy to predict. This time around, things are different.

Some of that is because of injuries to key players, with Beth Mead, Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby all key members of the XI from last summer that will not be heading to Australia. Another reason, though is the emergence of a lot of young talent that has made certain areas of the team more competitive than ever.

Sarina Wiegman has had a few months since the Lionesses’ last games, in April, to think about her line-up for that opening World Cup game versus Haiti, and this weekend’s fixture will be the most telling look yet that those outside of the England camp will get at her plans.

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So, what are the big selection dilemmas the coach has had to ponder? GOAL takes a look…