Sarina Wiegman has named her squad for the first-ever Women’s Nations League games, with Lotte Wubben-Moy and Alessia Russo both involved.
The England manager has kept faith in the players who ended up as World Cup runners-up.
That’s with the exception of the injured Keira Walsh and Bethany England, who are replaced by the World Cup stand-bys Lucy Staniforth and Maya Le Tissier, as well as Jess Park, who was on the original long list before withdrawing through injury.
Full England squad
Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Laura Coombs (Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa), Jess Park (Manchester City), Lucy Staniforth (Aston Villa), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)
Forwards: Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), Alessia Russo (Arsenal)
What is the Nations League?
The Nations League has replaced the old qualifier format for the Euros and World Cup. It is a yearly tournament with three Leagues A, B, and C with promotion and relegation between those.
This season will see the Nations League Group A act as the Paris 2024 Olympics qualifier. Next season will see all 3 Groups qualify teams for the Switzerland 2025 Euros.
Regarding the Olympic qualification system, England will act as the Team that can qualify on behalf of Team GB. The two teams reaching the Nations League finals will qualify as second and third UEFA teams. Hosts France have automatically qualified.
Scotland and Wales, who are in League A, are not eligible to qualify Team GB. Should they make the Nations League final, the team finishing third would make it to the Olympics.
England have been drawn with Belgium, the Netherlands and Scotland. The group winners qualify for the Nations League semi-finals.
It is a strange situation as Scottish players like Caroline Weir and Erin Cuthbert alongside Welsh players like Sophie Ingle or Angharad James could potentially be eliminating themselves from the Olympics by defeating England.
The same situation happened in 2019 at the WWC in France when England played Scotland in the group stage.
When are England in action?
England will be at home to Scotland on September 22nd and then away to the Netherlands on September 26th. It is certainly strange to play international games before the Women’s Super League has even started.
Why the FA decided to start the WSL in October does make sense though.
With the England players finishing their World Cup on August 20th, having a bit more than a month of preparation with their club is a bare minimum.
At the end of the day, FIFA messed up by organising the WWC so late in the Summer and the knock-on effect on the WSL and the Champions League is there for all to see.