The Lionesses’ squad has been revealed for this summer’s tournament in France, where England will look to improve on 2015’s third-placed finish
England women’s national team coach Phil Neville has announced his 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad, with just less than a month until the big kick off in France.
The Lionesses, who finished third in 2015 after a 1-0 win over Germany, will face Scotland, Argentina and Japan in Group D this summer, the latter having knocked them out in the semi-finals four years ago.
Revealed via a number of celebrities on Twitter, here are the 23 players who will look to go one further this time around.
It was a four-way battle for the three goalkeeping spots, with Chelsea’s Carly Telford Manchester City’s Karen Bardsley and Wolfsburg’s Mary Earps getting the final nod.
Bardsley is expected to be Neville’s first choice stopper, though Telford impressed in two of England’s three SheBelieves Cup fixtures earlier this year – a title that the Lionesses’ won.
Earps completes the trio, despite being a back-up at her club, Wolfsburg, and having not played for England since a 3-0 win over Austria in November of last year.
Captain Steph Houghton was the first name announced on the plane, the Lionesses’ captain having enjoyed another stellar season wearing the armband for Man City.
She is joined by team-mates Abbie McManus and Demi Stokes , all of whom have lifted the FA Women’s Cup and the FA Continental Tyres League Cup this season – and secured Champions League football for next year.
Alex Greenwood represents the red side of Manchester, the full-back having enjoyed a promotion season with Casey Stoney’s Manchester United, while Lucy Bronze , Leah Williamson and Rachel Daly add versatility.
Bronze, who has won the French league and cup with Olympique Lyonnais this season and is in the Champions League final, has played in midfield for the Lionesses under Neville – and he has hinted that could be a tactic deployed in France.
Daly, meanwhile, can play as a full-back, a winger or even as a centre-forward – the latter being her regular role for Houston Dash – and Neville regularly jokes that Arsenal’s Williamson “can play in every position bar goalkeeper.”
Chelsea’s Millie Bright completes the defenders, having returned to full fitness after missing the SheBelieves Cup.
Man City duo Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh will be two of the young players to watch this summer, heading to their first World Cup finals at 20-years-old and 22-years-old respectively.
Both midfielders netted in last week’s FA Cup final win and the latter was recently named PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year.
Chelsea’s Karen Carney and Birmingham City’s Lucy Staniforth provide creativity, while Reading’s Jade Moore and Man City’s Jill Scott add steel to the midfield.
Barcelona striker Toni Duggan netted four times in seven games in qualifying for this tournament and it is no surprise to see the Champions League finalist, who will come up against Bronze’s Lyon this month, included.
Both Fran Kirby and Ellen White have suffered with injuries this term, but their places on the plane never looked in doubt.
White’s tireless work rate means she has long been a favourite in the England set-up, while Kirby is one of the squad’s most technically gifted and creative assets.
The Chelsea star has nine goals from eight starts in this season’s Super League – as well as five Champions League strikes.
The Super League’s all-time top-scorer, Nikita Parris , will look to be a nuisance in France, and she goes there in some form having scored 19 league goals in 19 games for Man City this season.
Completing Neville’s attacking options are Jodie Taylor and Beth Mead . The former, currently playing in the USA with Reign FC, top-scored in the 2017 Euros, while Arsenal’s Mead has three England goals from five games in 2019.
Jordan Nobbs is the most notable name missing for England, but her absence has been long-known after the Arsenal midfielder suffered a serious knee injury back in November.
Ellie Roebuck is the most unfortunate to miss out, especially with the goalkeeper having displaced Bardsley as Manchester City’s first choice this season.
The 19-year-old has been in superb form and earned her first full cap against Spain last month as a result, having made her senior debut as a substitute against Austria last November.
Injuries have cost Isobel Christiansen ‘s a place on the plane, and in turn handed one to Staniforth.
The absence of the Lyon midfielder is a big blow for England, albeit they have plenty of creative talent to soften that.
At the back, Gemma Bonner has been pipped to a place by Man City team-mate McManus, with both back-up options for Neville and therefore only one making the cut.
Finally, Chioma Ubogagu has struggled to make the desired impact since switching allegiances to England from the USA, making the Orlando Pride star’s absence no massive surprise despite her inclusion in Neville’s most recent squad.
Goalkeepers: Carly Telford (Chelsea), Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Mary Earps (Wolfsburg).
Defenders: Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester United), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Abbie McManus (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Jade Moore (Reading), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Karen Carney (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City).
Forwards: Toni Duggan (Barcelona), Ellen White (Birmingham City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Nikita Parris (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Jodie Taylor (Reign FC).
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