England In Need Of At Least A Point Against China To Progress Into The Knockout Stages Of The 2023 Women’s World Cup
Group D comes to a close at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup as England face China at the Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.
Both these sides will be aiming to book their places in the last 16 of the tournament with a positive result. England are currently top of the group and only need a point to finish there whilst China may need to collect all three points to progress depending on the result in the Denmark v Haiti game.
Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses go into the final round of fixtures with a 100% record at the tournament as a 1-0 victory over Haiti in their opener courtesy of a Georgia Stanway penalty was followed up with a triumph over Denmark with the same scoreline.
A screamer from Chelsea winger Lauren James gave England the win but the success was soured by an injury to key midfielder Kiera Walsh, whose tournament is now in doubt.
The Denmark match provided England with much-needed work ahead of the fixture with China as momentum was lost in the second-half and the side were a little fortunate to escape with maximum points after Amalie Vangsgaard’s header struck Mary Earps’ post.
Against China, the Lionesses will aim to reproduce the terrific football of the opening 25 minutes when the Danes were camped in their own half.
England only need a point from the fixture to top the group and face Nigeria on Tuesday, a loss however and Denmark may be able to knock them out with a convincing victory over Haiti.
Meanwhile, China are hoping to maintain their great record of reaching the knockout stages in each of their seven World Cup appearances.
They face an uphill battle to do so, however, after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Denmark in their opener was followed by a massive success by the same scoreline against Haiti via a second-half penalty from Wang Shuang.
The Asian Cup Champions will look to use the momentum from that victory and go all out for back-to-back group stage wins against England.
China head into the fixture in third place but are level with second-placed Denmark on points, goal difference and goals scored. A point could be enough to see them through but they would need Haiti to beat Denmark so a victory is likely to be needed.
Laura Combes is likely to replace the injured Walsh at the heart of England’s midfielder whilst James, who marked her first start at the tournament with a goal, is expected to retain her place in the XI. Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly may well start at left-back once again, allowing Chloe Kelly and Alessia Russo to partner James in the front three.
China are without the suspended Zhang Rui after she was sent off against Haiti so Zhang Xin is likely to play alongside Lingwei Yao and Lina Yang in the midfield.
Shuang Wang could be rewarded for a match-winning performance last time out with a start upfront against England.