England vs Canada: Phil Neville's Best Available Lionesses Lineup for World Cup Warm Up
04 April 2019 02:45
England face Canada in Manchester on Friday night for what will be the first of four World Cup warm up friendlies on the 'Road to France'.
Manager Phil Neville leads a team that is ranked third in the world by FIFA and seen by many as one of a handful of contenders to lift the World Cup this summer.
With Canada a stern and meaningful test, here's a look at the starting XI Neville could pick.
GK - Karen Bardsley: Neville has been rotating his goalkeepers over the last year and has used all four in the current squad. Manchester City's Bardsley and Chelsea's Carly Telford have been the most prominent choices, with the latter featuring in two of the three SheBelieves Cup games.
RB - Rachel Daly: There may be an opportunity for the versatile Daly to start at right-back, with Neville having turned to the Houston Dash forward against the United States in the SheBelieves Cup.
CB - Steph Houghton: Manchester City and England captain Houghton is one of the most experienced heads in the squad, and one of only three players with more than 100 caps to her name. She is also very much a goal threat when it comes to free-kicks.
CB - Millie Bright (spoke to 90min in November, see video): Chelsea defender Bright started all three SheBelieves Cup games in 2018 and would have been involved in the competition this year but for injury.
LB - Alex Greenwood (title image): Greenwood has been enjoying a fine season as captain of the new Manchester United women's team and has remained an England regular despite dropping into the second tier.
CM - Keira Walsh: Manchester City youngster Walsh made her senior international debut in 2017 and has become an important part of the team already, with the 21-year-old starting every game at the SheBelieves Cup.
CM - Lucy Bronze (pictured): A 2018 Ballon d'Or nominee and 2018 BBC Women's Footballer of the Year, Lyon star Bronze is usually an automatic starter at right-back. But she could be tested in midfield, as happened against the USA recently, in light of injuries to Izzy Christiansen and Jordan Nobbs.
AM - Lucy Staniforth: Fran Kirby's withdrawal through injury creates a void in the 'number 10' role and it could be an opportunity for Birmingham's Staniforth to start, having gotten the nod against Japan.
RF - Nikita Parris (pictured): Parris is England's hottest player in 2018/19 after scoring 18 goals for Manchester City in the Women's Super League, coming at a rate of one goal every 84 minutes. That tally would have been a WSL single season record, but for Arsenal's Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema.
CF - Ellen White: In White, Neville knows he has an experienced striker he can trust. Prolific for Birmingham at club level, the 29-year-old has scored 27 senior international goals for England.
LF - Beth Mead: Arsenal forward Mead proved her worth during the SheBelieves Cup by scoring two very fine goals against Brazil and Japan and deserves what would be a relatively rare Lionesses start. The 23-year-old also leads the WSL in assists (10) this season.