There will be a new name on the Women’s World Cup after Spain and England reached the final of the ninth edition of the tournament, both their first time getting to this point.
Both sides have been impressive at times throughout the tournament but have also been difficult to beat.
Here we pick out the five players to watch in this year’s final.
|What||England Women v Spain Women - Women’s World Cup Final|
|Where||Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia|
|When||06:00, Sunday August 20th|
|How to watch||Fox|
|Odds||England Women +175, Draw +200, England Women +180|
Spain have been the top scorers at this year’s Women’s World Cup and much of their strong attacking performances have come through Jennifer Hermoso.
The Spanish all-time top scorer has been at the top of her game, scoring three and assisting two across this year’s tournament.
Hermoso scored twice against Zambia and netted against Switzerland whilst providing the crucial assist in her country’s 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
Sweden managed to keep the 33-year-old quiet in the semifinal, she did not have a shot on goal, and England will have to replicate that if they are to have success against La Roja.
Hermoso, +260 to score anytime, can play on the left wing or through the middle and her flexibility is key to this Spanish team.
If their star striker is on form, the Spaniards will be hard to beat.
The cherry on the cake in England’s 3-1 semifinal win over Australia was Lauren Hemp’s assist for Alessia Russo’s goal which wrapped up the victory for the Lionesses.
After a mazy run through midfield, Hemp played a through ball which Russo lashed home to send the England fans wild.
That is typical of Hemp’s style of play and she is crucial to any success the England team will have in the final.
The Manchester City forward scored in her country’s 6-1 win over China before netting crucial goals in both the quarterfinal win over Colombia and the semifinal win over Australia, and she is listed at +350 to get on the scoresheet again.
After six assists and seven goals in the WSL this season it is clear that Hemp is one of the top attackers in English football and will be hoping she can rise to the occasion once more in this final.
Spain have a number of extremely talented players and Aitana Bonmati has been a standout for them at this tournament.
The 25-year-old has scored nine times and registered 10 assists in the Liga F this season and has carried that form over to her national team in this World Cup with three goals and two assists.
Having started every game, Bonmati is clearly a major player in her coach’s plans and is likely to line up in midfield once again in the final.
Spain have had the highest possession percentage of any team at this tournament, 70, and Bonmati’s ability to keep the ball is integral to that.
With England also comfortable in possession, the battle for the midfield will be very important in deciding who wins the game.
England have been one of the most impressive teams in the tournament going forward in this tournament but, perhaps more importantly, they have been very difficult to beat, conceding just three goals all tournament.
A massive part of that has been goalkeeper Mary Earps, who has made 13 saves from 16 shots on target faced,
The Manchester United keeper made a number of crucial saves in both the win over Colombia and Australia in the last round and has also dealt with deep crosses impressively, something other shot stoppers have struggled with.
Earps faces her toughest test against this Spain forward line but she has risen to the occasion throughout the tournament.
Lauren James has had a rollercoaster of a tournament so far, she was England’s best player in the group stages with three goals and three assists.
However the 21-year-old was sent off in the Lionesses' penalty shootout win over Nigeria for stamping on her opponent and will only be returning from suspension in this match.
Whether she will start or not has yet to be seen but Sarina Wiegman will be grateful to have a player of her ability to use at all after missing her in the previous games.