Match preview for England Lionesses’ friendly clash against USA at Wembley Stadium, London on Friday 7 October.
This blockbuster encounter pitches the reigning European champions against the reigning world champions, as England and USA both prepare for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup where they’re both favourites for the title.
England will be without captain, Leah Williamson after she withdrew from the squad with an ankle injury suffered during training.
Her Arsenal teammate, Lotte Wubben-Moy has consequently been recalled after initially being snubbed in the original squad announcement, as was Nikita Parris who has now replaced Alessia Russo following Russo’s withdrawal due to a knock.
Lucy Parker who had received her maiden call-up has also withdrawn with a knock suffered on club duty for West Ham last weekend.
Jess Park will be looking for her first senior England cap as she prepares to potentially make her debut, whilst Chloe Kelly and Fran Kirby both return after missing last month’s World Cup Qualifiers through injury.
USA will be without striker, Mallory Pugh after she withdrew from the squad due to family commitments.
Taylor Kornieck misses out with an ankle injury and has been replaced by Jaelin Howell.
How To Watch
For UK-based fans without a ticket to attend the match at Wembley Stadium, ITV will televise the match live with coverage commencing at 7:30pm BST ahead of a 8pm BST kick-off.
US fans can watch coverage live from 2:30pm Eastern Time, with the match getting underway at 3pm ET.
- England are winless in five of six previous friendly meetings against USA – excluding invitational tournaments (W1, L5), during which they have scored just three goal and conceded 22 goals.
- USA have won just one of two previous friendlies against England on English soil (W1, L1), losing 2-1 in April 2011 then won 1-0 in February 2015.
- England Lionesses have won four of eight matches to be played at Wembley in all competitions since 1980 (W4, L4), with two of their four victories coming in their last two games at Wembley.
- USA have conceded just two goals in their last 14 matches in all competitions (W13, D1).
- England manager, Sarina Wiegman has failed to beat USA in three previous meetings – albeit all came when she was in charge of Netherlands (D1, L2).
Having enjoyed two ruthlessly clinical victories over Austria and Luxembourg in their final World Cup qualifiers last month, England now must raise their game even further to prove that they’re amongst the world’s best and ready to challenge USA for world titles.
Wiegman’s Lionesses though can take heart from how they dug deep to beat Spain and Germany either side of a clinical attacking effort to beat Sweden during this summer’s Euros, because it is those experiences that will psychologically serve them well tactically in this game.
Williamson’s leadership skills and Russo’s quality though will be huge losses for England but represent a chance for Wiegman to assess her squad’s quality, especially when forced to play without key players which could be a crucial lesson ahead of World Cup in terms of adaption and versatility.
USA meanwhile are in fearsome form with 52 goals scored and just two goals conceded in all competitions throughout 2022, so I do expect them to come here and look to attack but if England can dig deep defensively and frustrate them, then this could be their hardest test in a long time.
Either way, this clash feels like it is going to be a cracker because I can see both teams just going for it but the first goal will be key, particularly because if USA get ahead then I can’t see the Lionesses getting a positive result.
Prediction: England 1-2 USA
Result: England 2-1 USA