Why is Leah Williamson not playing for England at the World Cup?
England will play their first game at the World Cup this weekend but will be without captain Leah Williamson (pictured above) for the tournament. The Arsenal defender has enjoyed a remarkable year with England. Williamson was part of the side that won the Euros last year when they defeated Germany in the final at Wembley. The 26-year-old also captained the Lionesses to victory in the Women’s Finalissima earlier this year. In her absence, Chelsea’s Millie Bright has been named captain for the tournament but has barely played a match since undergoing minor knee surgery in March. But why is Leah Williamson not playing at the World Cup? Who are England playing? Mail Sport provides the answers below.
Williamson will miss this summer’s World Cup after she ruptured her ACL during Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United back in April. She appeared to get her foot caught in the turf before twisting her knee and immediately signaled she was in pain, before being helped off the pitch by the club’s medical staff. Arsenal has not put a timeframe on Williamson’s recovery, but likely, she won’t be back until around the end of the year. Beth Mead and Fran Kirby are two other big names who will not feature at the tournament this year. The defender confirmed that she will head to the tournament to support her fellow teammates.
“I’m a believer, so I’ll hold onto that,” the defender told Sky Sports News. “The girls have got as good a chance as anyone. I can’t wait to watch them, and I’m so proud of them already. I’ll be out there with my brother, so it’s a nice opportunity to soak it up and do it on the other side of the fence for a little bit.” Williamson also spoke on her recovery ahead of the new season: “It is going well. Really well, actually. It’s an annoying injury because it’s so slow, but I’m doing really well.”
England will play their opening game of the tournament against Haiti on Saturday morning. The Lionesses, who were drawn in Group D, will also face Denmark and China. England’s group stage fixtures for this year’s World Cup are as follows: Group D – England vs. Haiti (Brisbane Stadium) at 10:30 am Group D – England vs. Denmark (Sydney Football Stadium) at 9:30 am Group D – China PR vs. England (Hindmarsh Stadium) at 12:00 pm
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