Women's World Cup Best XI features three England stars 5 months ago

Women's World Cup Best XI features three England stars

Four Americans make the cut and there is room for one special, French talent.

We are up to our oxters in the 2019 Women's World Cup and only three countries remain.

USA reached the final by defeating England 2-1 and will face another European heavyweight, in the shape of a ruthless Netherlands, in Sunday's showpiece.

After three weeks, 50 games and some absorbing match-ups, we are starting to get a handle on the true talents of this tournament. Looking on the tournament as a whole, we have selected our Best XI to date and we expect a hale debate to ensue.

Our team is made up of the following:

  • 4 USA
  • 3 England
  • 2 Netherlands
  • 1 Sweden
  • 1 France

The only player to make it from a team that did not reach the last four is France midfielder Amandine Henry, who was a class act for the hosts. Wendie Renard, her compatriot, was close to the XI but the defender's goalscoring prowess did not prevent her from being edged out.

We also thought hard over the line-up - and tinkered with different formations - before cutting the likes of Hanna Glas (Sweden), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands), Janine Beckie (Canada), Jill Scott (England) and Sam Kerr (Australia).

The USA are reigning champions and look to be the team to beat in France. In Rose Lavelle, they have a composed and unflappable centre midfielder and in Alyssa Naeher they have a rock-steady goalkeeper. Megan Rapinoe (although she missed the semis with a hamstring strain) and Alex Morgan have been impossible to shackle when at their very best.

England were unlucky to be on the USA's side of the draw and looked impressive all the way up to their semi-final heartache. Full-back Lucy Bronze is a star, Steph Houghton was pure ice at the back and Ellen White (six goals and counting) is a mix of goal-poacher and cold-blooded finisher.

The rest of our XI is made up of representatives from the remaining nations. Lieke Martens has been a livewire for the Dutch and has popped up with two crucial goals, while compatriot Stefanie van der Gragt has been the carrot and the stick in their defence.

Chelsea's Magdalena Eriksson is a dynamo for the Swedes, up and down the left flank, and is part of a defensive unit that has conceded just four goals in five games [keeping three clean sheets].

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP BEST XI

Alyssa Naeher (USA)

Magdalena Eriksson (Sweden)
Lucy Bronze (England)
Stefanie van der Gragt (Netherlands)
Steph Houghton (England)

Rose Lavelle (USA)
Amandine Henry (France)
Lieke Martens (Netherlands)
Megan Rapinoe (USA)

Ellen White (England)
Alex Morgan (USA)

Best XI Women

We may yet may a tweak or two by the time the World Cup trophy is held aloft, but this is our Best XI so far.

You can watch that final at Dublin's Tramline bar, on Sunday from 2:45pm, in the company of Irish internationals Louise Quinn, Megan Campbell, Aine O'Gorman and PlayXPlay host Jenny Murphy:

Watch the World Cup final with a cracking line-up for PlayXPlay's first live show

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