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England women v Belgium women preview: England have one hand on Arnold Clark Cup

England Women will look to win the Arnold Clark Cup for the second time when they play host to Belgium Women at Ashton Gate on Wednesday night.

Sarina Wiegman's side won the inaugural event last year and another victory would be the perfect build-up for this year's World Cup, which gets underway in July in Australia and New Zealand.

Both England and Belgium have won their opening two Arnold Clark Cup contests and it promises to be an intriguing battle in Bristol.

WhatEngland Women v Belgium Women
WhereAshton Gate, Bristol
When19:45, Wednesday 22nd February
How to watchITV4
OddsEngland 2/9, Draw 17/4, Belgium 17/2

Signs look good for England

Wednesday's game will be a straight shootout between England and Belgium, who are tied on six points at the top of the table.

A draw will be enough for England to retain their title, while Belgium have it all to do, as they have to win to get their hands on the trophy.

England, 11/2 to win the match 2-0, continue to go from strength to strength under Wiegman and they have already set the standard in the competition so far.

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The Lionesses opened the tournament with a 4-0 win over South Korea before they had to work much harder to beat Italy on Sunday.

Rachel Daly scored twice to help England secure a 2-1 win and, while they were not at their best, Wiegman's troops proved they can handle the pressure in front of their own supporters.

England are now unbeaten in all 28 games under Wiegman and they know they have what it takes to overcome Wednesday's opponents. England are 2/11 to score the first goal against Belgium.

Wiegman's side ran out 3-0 winners when the two sides met in a friendly last June and, with a trophy on the line, England should once again step up to the plate and get the job done.

Belgium should buckle under pressure

Belgium are the only country competing in this year's invitational tournament that failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup.

Ives Serneels' side may have let themselves down in the past but they have shown they mean business after two successive wins.

The Belgian Red Flames beat Italy 2-1 in their opening game thanks to Tessa Wullaert’s 90th-minute winner.

Wullaert was on the scoresheet on Sunday when she netted the equalising goal against South Korea before Tine de Caigny's 68th-minute strike secured Belgium another 2-1 win.

Belgium have now won four of their last five internationals and they have scored 19 goals during that time.

Portugal's 2-1 win is the only blot on their copybook but Belgium's task looks a little out of reach. If they needed a draw to lift the trophy, an argument could be made but, considering England's form under Wiegman, Belgium may have to wait for their chance to win the Arnold Clark Cup.

Wiegman may experiment ahead of the World Cup

Wiegman used Sunday's game against Italy as a chance to experiment with her starting XI and she is likely to do the same on Wednesday.

Daly, who played at left-back during Euro 2022, has played further forward for England of late thanks to her recent club form for Aston Villa, and she will be hoping to start at Ashton Gate.

Keira Walsh returned from injury last time out and will be eager to get as many minutes under her belt as possible. Still, Wiegman has confirmed she has no injury concerns and everyone is available for selection.

Speaking in her pre-match press conference, Wiegman said: "We want to win the tournament, and we also want to manage the load a little bit.

"We do not really know our strongest XI at this moment and we do not have to know yet. But it shows me our team is really good and it is hard to make decisions."

Even if Wiegman makes wholesale changes, she has plenty of strength in depth, and her options are far greater than the ones at Serneels' disposal.

With the World Cup on the horizon, England will want to win another trophy on home soil before preparing for the tournament Down Under, which they are 4/1 to win.

The USA are the holders and favourites at 7/2, but a successful defence of their Arnold Clark Cup can only put England in a better place.

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