The Arnold Clark Cup is back with three new teams looking to challenge England for the trophy. The February international break is one for friendly tournaments in women’s football and in previous years England have taken part in the SheBelieves Cup in the United States.
But last year they hosted the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup, a round robin format with the four teams playing each other once. After two draws and a win, England took the Arnold Clark Cup on goal difference, finishing level on points with Spain.
That was the first real test of Sarina Wiegman as England manager, up against better opponents, and she built on the tournament to make the Lionesses European Champions come July. Things were a bit rocky at the end of the 2022, with two draws from their final three matches, but England remain unbeaten in 26 matches under Wiegman.
This year’s Arnold Clark Cup sees Italy, Belgium and South Korea travel to England, teams probably picked with the World Cup in mind. Thursday’s opponents South Korea finished as runners-up in last year’s Asian Cup, losing to China in the final and have an interesting group at the World Cup.
South Korea go into this game unbeaten in five matches, including a draw against China and win vs Chinese Taipai to secure third in the summer E-1 Football Championship. In the November international break there was a pair of fixtures against New Zealand, with a 1-0 win for South Korea followed by a 1-1 draw.
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England Women vs South Korea Women match stats
England have blown teams away during the Wiegman era but with the exception of the 10-0 win over Luxembourg they have been struggling more for goals post-Euros. One of the reasons for that is the retirement of Ellen White who, even when not scoring, was running defences ragged to tire them out late on. There is also the injury of Beth Mead, who has been directly involved in more goals than any other England player under Wiegman – by some distance.
Wiegman has a wealth of attacking options from which to choose on Thursday but the most in-form one right now is Chloe Kelly. The Manchester City winger has goals in three of her past four matches, including the second in a 2-1 WSL win over Arsenal.
England Women vs South Korea Women: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: England Women 2-0 South Korea Women
7:45 pm Thursday February 16
England Women 2-0 South Korea WomenArnold Clark Cup