On Sunday, England will face Spain in an all-European Women’s World Cup final.
The Lionesses clinched their berth in a first-ever global showpiece on Wednesday afternoon, defeating co-hosts Australia in Sydney.
Sarina Wiegman’s team led at halftime thanks to Ella Toone’s spectacular strike, only for Chelsea superstar Sam Kerr to tie the score shortly after the hour mark, much to the joy of a partisan home crowd.
However, reigning European champions England would not be denied, as Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo both scored shortly after to seal a remarkable 3-1 victory against their old rivals.
Spain is also in their first Women’s World Cup final, having defeated Sweden in the first round on Tuesday.
Real Madrid captain Olga Carmona scored a stunning late triumph for Jorge Vilda’s club after Salma Paralluelo’s late goal was cancelled out by Rebecka Blomqvist. Here’s everything you need to know before the big game.
Date: Sunday, August 20, 2023
Time: 3:30 PM IST
Location: Stadium Australia
TV: Sony Ten Network (India)
Live Stream: Sony LIV
Spain predicted starting lineup: Coll – Hernandez, Paredes, Ivana, Batlle – Bonmati, Abelleira, Hermoso – Paralluelo, Caldentey, Gonzalez
England predicted starting lineup: Earps – Carter, Bright, Greenwood – Bronze, Zelem, Stanway, Daly – James – Russo, Hemp
We’ll see what new knocks and ailments both teams have following two grueling semi-final matches this week.
The important news for England is that Lauren James is available for the final after serving a two-game punishment for stamping on Michelle Alozie during England’s last-16 triumph over Nigeria.
The availability of the Chelsea star is a significant boost for the Lionesses, but it also presents Wiegman with a selection quandary after they made it through the previous two rounds without her.
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Spain have done incredibly well to reach their first-ever final and are a massively exciting team full of attacking talent, while they are also no strangers to drama and late goals.
But England have got the big-game experience after their fairytale Euros success on home soil at Wembley last summer and should make that pay off on the biggest stage of all to secure a sublime double inside 12 months, writing their names into football folklore in the process.
England to win, 2-0.
Spain wins: 2
England wins: 6
Spain to lift trophy: 20/23
England to lift trophy: 19/20
Draw (in 90 mins): 19/10