This year’s Arnold Clark Cup doesn’t have the big names it did in 2022 but England have been using it as early preparation for this summer’s World Cup, playing similar-level opponents to the ones they are set to face in Australia/New Zealand. And they look on course to retain their crown.
England have won both of their two games so far, beating South Korea 4-0 in Milton Keynes before a 2-1 victory over Italy in Coventry last time out. The Lionesses laboured to their win against Italy but Sarina Wiegman heavily rotated to get a full view of her options, and she may opt for more changes on Wednesday.
The permutations for England are simple, avoid defeat to Belgium and the Arnold Clark Cup will be theirs. But Belgium know their task is pretty straightforward too. Win and they’ll take the crown.
The Red Flames are also perfect in the Arnold Clark Cup with a pair of 2-1 victories, first over Italy and then against South Korea. Now on a three-match winning streak across all competitions, Belgium are on their best run for just over a year when they won seven games in a row (including penalty shootouts). However, it’s worth noting that run was ended by England. Sadly, Belgium will not be at the World Cup this summer, losing to Portugal in the first round of the European qualification play-offs.
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England Women vs Belgium Women match stats
We don’t know what XI Wiegman will go with but whether she starts or comes off the bench, Lauren James is bound to have an impact. The Chelsea star has been thriving this season with seven goals and three assists in 17 appearances for the Blues across all competitions, averaging 0.74 goal involvements per 90 minutes. She also has a goal and an assist in the Arnold Clark Cup, scoring against South Korea before setting up Rachel Daly vs Italy.
England are unbeaten in 28 games under Wiegman and there won’t be many who expect that run to come to an end on Wednesday. However, the Lionesses have shown some weaknesses defensively since winning Euro 2022. Italy exploited them last time out and Belgium have shown themselves to be a team that know how to force a goal, scoring in each of their past five matches.
England Women vs Belgium Women: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: England Women 3-1 Belgium Women
16 June 2022 – England Women 3-0 Belgium Women – Friendly
29 August 2019 – Belgium Women 3-3 England Women – Friendly
20 September 2016 – Belgium Women 0-2 England Women – Euro 2017 qualifying
8 April 2016 – England Women 1-1 Belgium Women – Euro 2017 qualifying
13 March 1994 – England Women 6-0 Belgium Women – Euro 1995 qualifying
England have played Belgium 12 times in total since 1980, and lost the first meeting 2-1 in Ostend. However, the Lionesses are unbeaten in 11 games since, including a 3-0 win under Sarina Wiegman as part of their Euro 2022 preparations last summer.