Join us on this journey as we dish out the inside scoop on each squad's strengths, weaknesses, players to keep an eye on and what a pass mark might be for each nation.
Next up, we look at the European Champions England who will arrive in Australia with its sights set on another trophy.
FIFA Women's World Cup Appearances: 5 (1995, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019)
Best performance at a FIFA Women's World Cup: Third (2015, 2019)
Players to watch
Beth Mead and Fran Kirby may be out of contention through injury, but England still have some stars in the squad.
Alessia Russo was sensational as a super sub in the Euro’s, and has carried that form as a regular starter in Manchester United’s title chasing squad. Lucy Bronze remains one of the world’s best right backs and Rachel Daly has transformed into an elite striker for Aston Villa.
Bayern Munich midfielder Georgia Stanway is dominant on her best day, while Chloe Kelly is deadly out wide or close to goal.
Prior to their loss to Australia in April, England had embarked on a 30-game unbeaten run. England won the Euro’s at home with a perfect record and belted Luxembourg 10-0 in UEFA qualifiers before beating Brazil on penalties.
England has looked unbeatable at times, but more importantly they have looked consistent. The Lionesses have multiple sources of goals and have added Lauren James to the squad following their Euro’s triumph. The Chelsea winger is direct, unpredictable, and tricky. She is still not quite the finished article. However, she will be able to make an impact at the World Cup and is just another threat that Sarina Wiegman has at her disposal.
The loss to Australia has been received well by the players. In some respects, it feels like the loss that England had to have. After a full year of flying high, a small reset and reassessment may not the worst thing for this England side’s preparation.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths: Wiegman has become known for changing as little of her starting line-up as possible. This has resulted in enviable consistency and a club like environment for the national team. Each player has known their role and almost perfected it. Russo came off the bench during the Euro’s, knew her role, and executed it effectively.
Weaknesses: This has drawbacks. When key players are injured, others have not really been tested. England will be without Leah Williamson and possibly Millie Bright. The midfield and defence will look very different than the one that defeated Germany, and the loss to Australia shows that England is vulnerable.
England should get through the group even with defensive frailties, but there is little time left to replace stalwarts of the side. There will be an element of the unknown to match the excitement when they arrive in Australia.
The Lionesses are the European Champions, and boast some of the best players in the world, but the losses will have an impact. If Wiegman can replace them, or change tactics, it will be an impressive achievement. Whether there is time enough to accomplish that is another matter.
Tactically, England is an attacking side. The team have generally dominated sides, but it does leave them open to counter attacks. Lucy Bronze tends to cut inside instead of overlapping the wingers, and Charli Grant’s long run and goal showed that space can be exploited.
The Lionesses will score goals, that's a given. They were unlucky against The Matildas and found Mackenzie Arnold in inspired form, but their defence will be tested at the World Cup.
England will be aiming to win this tournament, after consecutive semi-finals, a debut in the decider will be the pass mark.