Lionesses train ahead of Women's World Cup Final against Spain

Lionesses put on their boots for training session as they get ready for the biggest game of their lives in just two days – when they face off against Spain in World Cup Final

  • England will take on Spain on Sunday in Sydney for the Women’s World Cup Final
  • Sarina Wiegman’s team have been trying to impress the boss ahead of the game 

England’s Lionesses held a training session today ahead of Sunday’s World Cup Final against Spain. 

Sarina Wiegman put the squad through their paces as the players had the opportunity to impress the manager and find a place among the 11 destined to line out on Sunday. 

England enter the match as favourites to win a first Fifa World Cup since Alf Ramsey’s men beat West Germany at Wembley Stadium in 1966. 

This is the first time the English senior women’s team has reached a World Cup final, although many of the squad were part of the UEFA European Women’s Championship winning team in Wembley Stadium in July 2022. 

However, while preparations on the field have been going well, in England there has been controversy as Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, will not be travelling to Sydney this weekend. 

England manager Sarina Wiegman, top left, gives tactical advice to a group of players during a training session at the Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia, ahead of Sunday’s World Cup Final match against Spain

England’s goalkeepers Mary Earps and Ellie Roebuck bump fists during the training session 

The Lionesses knocked out co-hosts Australia 3-1 in the last four, while Spain booked their spot in the showpiece by edging out Sweden 2-1.

Both teams are playing in their first final, with England having lost back-to-back semis in 2015 and 2019 and Spain having only won one World Cup match before this year.

The Lionesses are unbeaten in the tournament having topped Group D, while Spain were runners-up in Group C following a 4-0 loss to Japan.

Spain are only the second team in World Cup history to reach the final having lost a game by four or more goals, after Norway bounced back from an opening 4-0 defeat against China to finish as runners-up in 1991.

Laura Coombs takes on Lauren James as the Lionesses prepare for the biggest match of their careers. James was sent off in England’s last group game against Nigeria but could return to the pitch on Sunday, having already hit the back of the net three times and provided three assists

Hannah Hampton, practices her ball skills during today’s training session in Gosford

Regardless of the result, Europe is guaranteed to end its 16-year World Cup drought, with Germany most recently winning in 2007, while it is 20 years since the last final to feature two European nations (Germany v Sweden in 2003).

As reigning continental champions, England are seeking to emulate the aforementioned German side by completing a historic double, having already matched Sarina Wiegman’s 2019 Netherlands team by reaching the final as Euros winners.

READ MORE: Sexism row over Sunday’s Women’s World Cup Final 

Netherlands’ defeat against the United States in the 2019 final remains Wiegman’s solitary loss across 25 matches at major international tournaments.

That remarkable record has been built on consistency in selection.

Having started with the same 11 in every match of Euro 2022, England have used just 17 players at the World Cup so far, the joint-fewest of any team to reach the knockout stages.

Spain – in contrast – have called on all but one of their 23-strong squad, with only third-choice goalkeeper Enith Salon yet to feature.

Wiegman has also barely used her bench compared to Jorge Vilda – her Spanish counterpart – with England having made 17 substitutions to Spain’s 29.

Statistically, Spain have outperformed England in most departments at this year’s World Cup.

They have scored 17 goals to the Lionesses’ 13, having attempted considerably more shots (143 to 81), passes (4,137 to 3,605), crosses (214 to 129) and ball progressions (181 to 99) than their final opponents.

Wiegman’s side have only occasionally found the form that carried them to the Euro 2022 title – when they scored 22 goals in six matches – and have instead relied on their defensive resilience to progress.

Manchester City midfielder Esme Morgan has five senior caps and was called to join the England squad in a training camp in September 2020

Niamh Charles of Chelsea passes the ball during today’s training session. 

England have conceded only three times from 64 efforts on Mary Earps’ goal, while Spain have proved more susceptible having shipped seven goals from just 36 shots faced.

Both teams will be braced for a tight battle following their most recent meeting in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals.

The Lionesses emerged as 2-1 victors on that occasion, but only after a late fightback.

Esther Gonzalez fired Spain into a deserved lead before Ella Toone equalised in the 84th minute and Georgia Stanway scored an extra-time winner.

Spain dominated for large periods, ending with 56 per cent of possession and firing 17 shots to the Lionesses’ nine.

It remains the only tournament match under Wiegman in which England saw their opponents enjoy the majority of the ball.

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