Women's World Cup 2023: England vs Spain in final - all you need to know

The Lionesses will look to claim the Women's World Cup title for the first time during England vs Spain at Stadium Australia.

Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
New Update

The Lionesses will look to claim the Women's World Cup title for the first time during England vs Spain, as well as become the first England team since 1966 to win a senior final on the world stage.

Standing in their way is a Spain side also playing in their maiden final, with some 75,000 fans expected at Stadium Australia.

The winners will become the fifth different nation to be crowned world champions in the ninth edition of the tournament.

The United States (four times), Germany (two times), Norway and Japan are the only other winners.

"Everyone's talking about 1966, so let's be at our best on Sunday and try and be successful," said England manager Sarina Wiegman.

"Making a final is special but with this team and the challenges we had, how we find a way all the time to solve problems has been amazing - very special being in a final but now we want to win it too."

The Lionesses, who will be wearing their blue kit, are going for world glory 13 months after defeating Germany at Wembley to win the European Championship for the first time.

England vs Spain: Will Lionesses clear final hurdle?

While England's path to the Euro 2022 crown was fairly serene, their journey to the World Cup final has been anything but.

They lost three stars of that triumph to knee injuries prior to this tournament - Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby - while they have also been tested in Australia, losing key players Keira Walsh and Lauren James to injury and suspension respectively and coming through a penalty shootout against Nigeria.

But Wiegman's side have been calm under pressure and they have been behind for just seven minutes - against Colombia in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Walsh only missed one game after her injury was not as bad as first feared and James is available for the final after serving her two-match ban for stamping on Nigeria's Michelle Alozie.

Wiegman will have to decide whether to stick with the line-up which performed so impressively in the 3-1 semi-final win over Australia in Women's World Cup, or bring back James, who was England's best player at the tournament before her red card.

Captain Millie Bright, who was given the armband for the Women's World Cup after the injury to Williamson, said: "It's a dream come true to be in the World Cup final. Leading the girls out is a special feeling.

"We have got a game plan that we have to go out and execute. Everyone knows how big this is. We know how passionate our nation is back home and how much they want us to win."

La Roja put controversy to one side

Against a backdrop of unrest, disharmony, and a 4-0 defeat by Japan in the group stage, it is remarkable that Spain, who are ranked sixth in the world - two places below England - have managed to reach the final.

Reports of a rift between boss Jorge Vilda and his players have followed La Roja all the way in this tournament.

La Roja, appearing in just their third World Cup, have impressed since that heavy defeat by Japan, knocking out Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Centre-back Irene Paredes said: "Spain has always been a football loving country but it was not our space, or at least that's how they made us feel.

"We want to play football and pushed so they invested more in women's football. We have the opportunity to play in a final of a Women's World Cup. It is the time to enjoy it."

The majority of their squad is made up of players from Champions League winners Barcelona, including 2021 and 2022 Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas.

However it is 19-year-old forward Salma Paralluelo who has stolen the headlines, following up her winning goal in the quarter-final against the Netherlands by scoring against Sweden in the semi-finals, both times after coming on a substitute.

Women's World Cup: Battle of the bosses - Wiegman v Vilda

Jorge Vilda and Sarina Wiegman during Euro 2022 | SPortz Point

Sarina Wiegman came out on top when she last came up against Jorge Vilda at Euro 2022 (Image- Getty Images)

While England boss Wiegman has rightly won widespread plaudits for uniting her squad and taking them to the next level, Spain head coach Vilda has been surrounded by controversy since a player revolt last September.

The Dutchwoman has reached a fourth major tournament final in a row, having won back-to-back Euros with the Netherlands and England, either side of a World Cup final defeat with her native country at the 2019 World Cup.

The only defeat of Wiegman's 38-game reign with the Lionesses so far came in a friendly against Australia at Brentford in April - and she has won 18 out of 19 matches at major tournaments as a manager.

Vilda, meanwhile, has been involved in a feud with 15 of his players amid reports of concern over training methods and inadequate game preparation.

A stand-off ensued and only three of those players were included in his World Cup squad, meaning some world-class talent such as Champions League winners Patri Guijarro, Mapi Leon and Claudia Pina were left at home.

England vs Spain: Head-to-head

England's Ella Toone celebrates scoring against Spain at Euro 2022 | Women's World Cup | Sportz Point

Ella Toone scores an 84th-minute equaliser as England come from behind to beat Spain 2-1 on their way to lifting the Euro 2022 trophy (Image- Getty Images)

England and Spain have never faced each other at a World Cup, while the Lionesses have only lost two of their past 13 games in all competitions against La Roja (winning seven and drawing the other four).

Their most recent meeting came in the quarter-finals at Euro 2022, when England needed a late equaliser from Ella Toone and an extra-time winner from Georgia Stanway to squeeze into the semi-finals.

"It was a game that we know we were on top, but the result is what counts," said Vilda. " will be a tactical match and it's a final that we're going to fight with everything."

Royalty in attendance World Cup journey from 1995 to present day

The final, which is a 75,784 sell-out, kicks-off at 20:00 local time in Australia, which is nine hours ahead of England.

England flags and bunting hung across the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south London, in support of the Lionesses before the World Cuo final | Sportz Point

England flags and bunting hung across the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south London, in support of the Lionesses before the World Cup final (Image- Getty Images)

During England vs Spain, La Roja will be cheered on in Sydney by royalty, with Spain's Queen Letizia attending the final.

Football Association President Prince William has wished the England women's national team good luck and said he is "sorry" for not attending the game in person in a video message.

Football fan zones in London have already sold out in anticipation of the Lionesses' match.

If England do win, the government has said there are "no plans" for an extra bank holiday.

Fifa Womens World Cup 2023 England Spain