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2023 Women's World Cup

How England could win the World Cup

Though England won all three of their group-stage matches, there has been some ambiguity in their performances. So, how can England navigate their way to the final?

Noe Llamas / SPP

England’s pathway to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final so far seems to be a much easier proposition than they had initially anticipated. The form of some of the teams that were considered favorites have dropped considerably, like the United States who failed to top their group and exited at the Round of 16 stages, and both Germany and Brazil who have shockingly exited the competition much earlier than expected. Joining them are other strong competitors like Canada and Italy.

This might represent a slight change in the narrative of who are considered top sides and instead force the examination of new teams in their place looking to make a lasting impression.

Now England face Nigeria in the Round of 16, hoping to advance and take on the winner of Colombia vs. Jamaica. In both ties, England will be considered the favorites on paper, and a chance at a World Cup semi-final is tangibly within reach. However, the ultimate question is how does England navigate their way to the final — are they real contenders for the grand prize, or just a team masking deficiencies?

Part of the reasoning behind England’s downplayed chances of winning the World Cup has been their injuries. The Lionesses lost Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby before the tournament started and are now sweating over the fitness of defensive midfield lynchpin Keira Walsh. The Barcelona midfielder injured her knee against Denmark with what was originally feared to be an ACL injury, but fortunately, those fears have been recently allayed.

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