England will be looking to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time but face a tricky path to the final.
The Lionesses’ first game is scheduled to take place on Saturday, when they face Haiti.
They will be without Leah Williamson for the tournament after she ruptured her ACL during Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United back in April. In her absence, Chelsea‘s Millie Bright has been named captain but has barely played a match since undergoing minor knee surgery in March.
While Sarina Wiegman will be without the likes of Williamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby, they will still fancy their chances at this year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand following their Euro 2022 final win against Germany.
Here, Mail Sport breaks down England’s possible path to the final.
England will be aiming to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time but could face either France or Brazil on route to the final
The Lionesses begin their World Cup campaign on Saturday when they face Haiti in Brisbane
England begin their World Cup campaign on Saturday morning when they face Haiti at the Brisbane Stadium – with kick-off at 10.30am.
Ranked 53rd in the world, Haiti will be playing in their first tournament this year after beating Chile in the play-offs.
Their toughest test of the group stage comes in their next game when the Lionesses face Denmark.
Lars Sondergaard’s side are ranked No 13 in the world and are captained by Pernille Harder.
Harder, who is the country’s all-time top scorer, and Real Madrid’s Signe Bruun could cause problems for the Lionesses.
England’s final game in the group will come against China on Tuesday, August 1, in Adelaide.
China, captained by Wang Shanshan, are ranked No 14 in the world standings and are another team who could cause the Lionesses a few issues.
Denmark skipper Pernille Harder could cause England a few problems in the group stage
Round of 16
Should the Lionesses win the group, they will face the runners-up of Group B, which contains Australia, Republic of Ireland, Nigeria and Canada on August 7.
However, if Wiegman’s side finish second in their group, they will then face the winners of Group D.
While the Chelsea forward’s absence is a huge blow to the side, they still have enough quality to finish top.
Therefore, it is likely that the Lionesses will play either Republic of Ireland, Nigeria or Canada.
Ireland are making their World Cup debut after impressing in the qualifying stage by finishing second behind Sweden.
England will be hoping that they can avoid Canada in the round of 16. The side, who are ranked seventh in the world, could prove to be a possible banana skin for the Lionesses.
Nigeria are the team that England would ideally like to face in the next round as they are ranked No 40 in the world. Their highest finish at the tournament came at the 1999 showcase in the US when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.
Sarah Wiegman’s England could face co-hosts Australia if they finish second in Group D
If the Lionesses finish top of their group and progress through to the quarter-finals, they will face the winner of Group H or the runner-up in Group F in Sydney on Saturday, August 12.
A team from either group will await in Brisbane, should England progress to the quarter-finals after finishing second in Group D.
Group F contains France, Jamaica, Panama and Brazil, while Group H includes Germany, Morocco, Colombia and South Korea.
France and Brazil will be major favourites to progress through Group F, while Germany are expected to win their respective group.
France, who were unbeaten in the qualifiers, are favourites to go all the way and win the whole competition. They have reached at least the quarter-finals in the last three World Cups.
After losing to the Lionesses in the final of the Euros last year, Germany will be out for revenge. With that being said, they could face either France or Brazil in what will be a tough Round of 16 match for Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side.
England could face a tough test in France, who are favourites to win it, in the quarter-finals
England will be looking to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the third time in a row – where they are likely to face Denmark.
Should they reach the last four after heading through as group winners, they could face the runner-up of their group or one of Germany, France and Brazil.
If England finish second in Group D, they will still face the same teams in the semi-final.
The Lionesses will be looking to reach the Women’s World Cup final for the first time ever
The Lionesses could face USA in the final – which is due to take place on Sunday, August 20
The Lionesses will be looking to reach the final for the first time ever at this year’s tournament.
Their best achievement came back in 2015 when they finished third in Canada.
It is likely that Wiegman’s side will face USA, who are chasing their fourth World Cup title in a row.
Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands are three teams who are also capable of reaching the final.