England made two wins out of two Italy Arnold Clark in the Cup and will try to defend their title lioness He will face Belgium on Wednesday.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key questions facing the UK and the manager. Sarina WiegmanFive months before World Cup campaigns kick off in Australia.
Rachel Daly is England’s new number nine?
Wiegman admitted he faced a selection headache as he tried to anoint the striker’s successor. allen whiteRetiring after Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory.
Daly has been used at left-back throughout the European Championship, but has most recently proven his prowess at the forefront in a local rivalry with Aston Villa in the Women’s Super League (WSL), with 10 goals good enough to share the league’s joint top scorer honor with Manchester City’s Khadija Shaw.
Facing competition from Manchester United’s Alessia Russo, the 31-year-old insisted she would play for her country anywhere, while fans and experts alike did not hide their enthusiasm when Wiegman gave her a tryout for number nine against Italy. Both goals in the 2-1 win paid off when Daly came from the headers.
Can England play with two strikers?
Wiegman made no secret that he used the Arnold Clark Cup as a testing ground ahead of the World Cup, with the generally consistent boss making nine changes between Sunday’s match and the South Korean opening.
Some wondered whether running both Daly and Russo up front would strengthen Wiegman’s side, but it was a combination the England boss almost completely rejected, preferring to stick with his successful system.
He said at a press conference: “I think they’re both very good forwards and we all know Rachel is versatile so she can play in different positions on our team – and that’s very good for our team.
“What we wanted to see this week is what kind of options we have and just try it out so that[against Italy]is what you see.
“We played some scenarios where we put two centre-backs, but for now, no matter how we play, we wouldn’t start with two right now because I think the way we’re playing right now is going really well. ”
Are Lionesses ready to overcome setbacks?
World fourth-ranked England conceded only two goals while conceding 22 goals during the European title fight. They were undefeated in 28 games and took a 2-1 win against world number one side USA in the October friendly match at Wembley.
While the string of successes certainly bodes well for the Lionesses’ hopes to lift their first World Cup in August, there have been little tests of England’s true prowess when things went wrong.
After Barbara Bonansea appeared to cross the line with the ball in preparation, a rare opportunity arose against Italy, who arguably tied with Sofia Cantore. Some English players even argued that the equalizer itself does not cross the goal line because there is no VAR or goal line technology available.
Feelings ran high soon after, but the Lionesses were hopefully reunited, sticking to the plan and soon succeeding in closing the contest through Daly.
How many years can England rule?
The Lionesses won their first major trophy when they became European champions and have solidified themselves among the World Cup favourites, this summer.
Both of Daly’s goals against Italy were marked by young talent: Katie Robinson, 20, who made her debut, passed for the opening, and Lauren James, 21, finished second after scoring her own goal against South Korea.
Of the 26 England players in the Arnold Clark Cup, 18 – including captain Leah Williamson – are 25 or under and 10 are no older than 23, suggesting that last summer’s success could be the start of a heraldic future for the Lionesses.