Phil Neville's England squad for the 2019 Women's World Cup has the perfect blend of experienced internationals and young exciting players. Neville's squads have had a familiarity to them since he picked his first back in February 2018 which included 15 of those 23 heading to France this summer.
Womens World Cup 2019 Outright Win Odds
|To Win Womens WC 2019||Odds as of 13/06/2019 - Subject to change|
For Jill Scott and Karen Carney this will be a fourth World Cup with England equalling a record set by Sir Bobby. Eight players will be going to their first major tournament of any sort with Neville gradually introducing a new generation including Arsenal's Leah Williamson and Manchester City duo Kiera Walsh and PFA Young Player of the Year Georgia Stanwyck. Three further players Nikita Paris, Millie Bry and Rachel Daley who were all part of Mark Samson's Euro 2017 squad are heading to their first World Cup – Neville certainly has plenty of experience to call upon with seven of his players over the age of 33 of them Centurions including captain Stef Horton who received her 100th cap at the end of 2018 in a friendly match against Sweden.
It's not yet clear who will be chosen in goal. Manchester City's Karen Barnsley has held the position at the last few major tournaments and sits on 75 caps but Chelsea's Carli Telford despite having not played a single minute at any major tournament has recently been in favour.
England Women World Cup Team Squad
Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Mary Earps (Wolfsburg), Carly Telford (Chelsea)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester United), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Abbie McManus (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Karen Carney (Chelsea), Jade Moore (Reading), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Birmingham City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Keira Walsh (Manchester City)
Forwards: Toni Duggan (Barcelona), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Manchester City), Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign), Ellen White (Birmingham City)
Mary Earps the Wolfsburg goalkeeper will travel as a third choice in defence Neville's first choice back 4 will be familiar from the sampson era even though injuries have as yet prevented him from fielding Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Millie Bright and Demi Stokes together. Bronze whose just won her second Champions League in a row with Lyon is considered the best player in the world by Neville. She should certainly be regarded as one of the finest fullbacks at the World Cup. Her influence on the right has been evident for many years now having been prominent in the last World Cup scoring goals against Norway and Canada in the 2015 knockout rounds. The energy Lucy Bronze brings to her role has even tempted Neville to try her in the centre of midfield but as the recent champions league final showed her ability to get a forward at a rapid pace and deliver dangerous balls into the box from wide areas makes her vital in a more natural position. Captain Houghton and Chelsea's Bright have consistently been England's first choice centre back pairing when fit.
Stokes returned from a lengthy spell with a hip injury at the end of last year and will fight for the left path position with Manchester United captain Alex Greenwood. She is everything England could want in a captain on and off the pitch, comfortable on the ball but also equipped with old-fashioned ruggedness. She's the ideal hybrid centre-half dependable in the air and one-on-one but also able to start attacks from the back with short and long range passes.
Houghton is also a highly competent set-piece taker and has scored several free kicks for Manchester City and England most recently bending home brilliantly against USA.
Jade Moore who was recently impressive against Spain has recovered from injury at a crucial time. The veteran Jill Scott will be fundamental to England's chances though a tall strong box-to-box player her influence has steadily grown under Neville. She's also a goal threat given license to make late runs into the penalty box and her looping header against Wales back in August helped to confirm England's qualification.
Neville has also selected Birmingham's Lucy Staniforth and recent FA Cup final goalscorers Keira Walsh and Georgia Stanway from Manchester City.
Walsh just 22 came of age in England's recent game and she believes a World Cup win is possible whilst Stanway offers a threat as either the number 10 or a second striker with her powerful shot and long-range goals quickly becoming her trademark in attack.
Neville will likely start Ellen White as his number 9. White who will be moving from Birmingham to Manchester City after the tournament has maintained an excellent goal scoring record over the past two domestic seasons. Her ability to hold up the ball and make runs behind defenses will provide essential attacking variation. She'll also be complimented by Fran Kirby who has been used predominantly in a number 10 role and is also her country's most obvious creative threat.
Kirby's ability to run with the ball and attack opposition defenders was highly evident recently. She was fundamental in overturning a 1 nil deficit against Brazil in the opening game. Superb Lee assisted Nikita Paris's goal against the United States and has also shown some good recent scoring form registering goals against Brazil and Australia in friendlies at the end of 2018.
Should either of those two players falter Neville also has Nikita Parris the top English scoring player in the most recent FA WSL season. Barcelona's Toni Duggan offers further options and can play both as a left winger and forward. Arsenal's Beth Mead is in excellent form and Jody Taylor who won the Golden Boot at Euro 17 is also in the squad after two successive quarter final defeats in 2007 and 2011 the third-place finish in Canada in 2015 was a new high for English women's football.
A very strong French side are rightly considered favourites for their home tournament and perennial powerhouses Germany and the USA will be extremely competitive. Phil Neville's side will be a threat and hopefully their mix of experience and youth married with the growing professionalism of the game in the UK will enable them to upset the odds. The England team's campaign for World Cup glory began against Scotland on the 9th of June who they beat 2-1.