Six of Aston Villa Women’s players are playing at the Women’s World Cup this summer, and here’s how you can keep up with how they’re doing.

Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy


The 2023 iteration of the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has begun, and so have the festivities often associated around a summer festival of football. Kicking off yesterday morning, 32 teams will battle to be crowned the best women’s international team in the world.

The United States, four-time winners of the competition are favourites once again, while Spain and England are also favoured to have strong tournaments.

Aston Villa Women finished their domestic season hitting the heights of their highest ever finish, and as a result of their continued growth have six representatives at this summer’s tournament across five teams vying to be crowned as victors.

We’ve prepped a handy guide on how to follow the Villans in Australia and New Zealand this summer. Read on for more.

Which Aston Villa players are at the Women’s World Cup?

Aston Villa Women goalkeeper Anna Leat poses with midfielder Kenza Dali.
Anna Leat and Kenza Dali will be playing at the Women’s World Cup this summer.


New Zealand – Anna Leat

Aston Villa goalkeeper Anna Leat was on the bench for the opening game of the tournament, as the hosts stunned Norway in an emotional 1-0 win for their first ever victory at a Women’s World Cup in front of a record crowd.

Although Rangers goalkeeper Victoria Esson kept a clean sheet, her performance was relatively nervy and could see Leat get a chance in the net at some point in this group stage.

New Zealand play against World Cup debutants Philippines on Tuesday 25th, before finishing off the groups by facing Alisha Lehmann’s Switzerland.

The co-hosts will be looking to surpass the group stage for the first time in this tournament, and an opening day victory could see them achieve their goal if they can win against their next opponents.

Remaining group stage fixtures:

  • Philippines (Tuesday 25th July)
  • Switzerland (Sunday 30th July)

Switzerland – Alisha Lehmann

Social media superstar Alisha Lehmann‘s Switzerland side put themselves at the summit of their group this morning as they walked away 2-0 victors against the Philippines. The 24-year-old was subbed on for goalscorer Ramona Bachmann in the 70th minute, giving the Villan a 20-minute run out at her first game of the tournament.

In the same group as Anna Leat’s New Zealand side, Switzerland were and will remain one of the favourites to progress, but will still need to beat Norway to ensure that they do.

They face a hopeful Norway on Tuesday 25th, before rounding out the group by facing New Zealand on Sunday 30th.

Remaining group stage fixtures:

  • Norway (Tuesday 25th July)
  • Philippines (Sunday 30th July)
WSL Player of the Season Rachel Daly could start up top for England this tournament.

England – Rachel Daly and Jordan Nobbs

Aston Villa’s English duo start in Rachel Daly and Jordan Nobbs start their tournament tomorrow (July 22nd) and face Haiti in the opening tie.

Daly, fresh from breaking goal scoring records and winning the WSL Player of the Season award, could be Weigman’s first choice to lead the line at this tournament. The striker previously played in every game across The Lionesses’ EURO 2022 win at left back and has previously said she’d “play wherever she is needed”.

The 31-year-old forward will be desperate to hit the ground running if she does start, with Arsenal’s Alessia Russo and Tottenham Hotspur’s Beth England ready to step in.

Jordan Nobbs will also be looking to impress at the tournament after missing the 2019 World Cup through injury, and Women’s Euros with a knee ligament strain. With four goals and three assists for Aston Villa Women in 11 appearances last season after joining in January, Nobbs has a point to prove in England’s midfield this summer.

The English Villans will face Denmark and China in the group stage following their opening game, and as one of the tournament’s favourites, should top the group.

Remaining group stage fixtures:

  • Haiti (Saturday 22nd July)
  • Denmark (Friday 28th July)
  • China (Tuesday 1st August)

Netherlands – Daphne van Domselaar

Aston Villa Women fans likely won’t have seen much of new signing Daphne van Domselaar at her previous club FC Twente, but may remember her star-player performances during the Women’s Euros as the Netherlands made it to the Quarter Finals.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper is the most capped ‘keeper in the Netherlands squad so is likely to start between the sticks for the Oranje. Keep an eye out for their games in a tough group consisting of tournament favourites USA.

van Domselaar is supposedly a player full of “pedigree and potential” and was linked with joining Manchester City late last year. Can she show her level on the World’s biggest stage?

Remaining group stage fixtures:

  • Portugal (Sunday 23rd July)
  • USA (Thursday 27th July)
  • Vietnam (Tuesday 1st August)
France’s Kenza Dali will hope they can get past off-the-pitch drama.

France – Kenza Dali

Midfielder Kenza Dali extended her contract at Aston Villa Women a month ago after an excellent season under manager Carla Ward, and is looking to have a strong world cup with France.

Les Bleues are a side that could do very well at the tournament – but off-the-pitch drama and an injury-plagued squad may derail their hopes for the Women’s World Cup this year.

The side have set themselves the goal of reaching the Semi-Finals, an achievable feat, but they have been placed in a tough group against Brazil, Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz and Panama.

Remaining group stage fixtures:

  • Jamaica (Sunday 23rd July)
  • Brazil (Saturday 29th July)
  • Panama (Wednesday 2nd August)

Which Villan is most likely to lift the trophy?

Out of all of Aston Villa’s players, Rachel Daly and Jordan Nobbs are the most likely to get their hands on the elusive Women’s World Cup trophy – but Kenza Dali and Daphne van Domselaar are likely to reach the closing stages of the tournament with France and the Netherlands respectively.

England are second favourites behind the United States of America, while Spain and Germany are also considered strong contenders for the trophy.

Stories to look out for at the Women’s World Cup

There are a number of stories to look out for as they play out on our television screens this summer, just as there was at the men’s World Cup.

Swan songs

The USA’s Megan Rapinoe (38) is looking to pick up a hat-trick of World Cup titles before her retirement, while Brazil’s six-time World Player of the Year winner Marta (37) is playing at her sixth World Cup and is trying, much like Lionel Messi, to pick up a World Cup before she bows out of the game.

Debut chances

There are eight debutants at this tournament in the form of Zambia, Haiti, Portugal, Morocco, Ireland, Vietnam, Panama and the Philippines thanks to an expansion of the tournament – and the chances are that one of these sides could shock viewers and reach the final stages.

Missing stars

There are a number of the world’s leading female footballers missing this tournament due to ACL injuries – sparking debate on player workloads and creating calls for further research into the injury-type in female athletes.

Some of the biggest names missing are:

  • Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands, Arsenal)
  • Beth Mead (England, Arsenal)
  • Leah Williamson (England, Arsenal)
  • Katie Rood (New Zealand, Hearts)
  • Janine Beckie (Canada, Portland Thorns)
  • Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France, Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Delphine Cascarino (France, Olympique Lyon Feminin)
  • Giuilia Gwinn (Germany, FC Bayern Frauen)

Where can you watch the Women’s World Cup?

Every game at the 2023 Women’s World Cup will be able to viewed on either the BBC or ITV live channels, as well as through their mobile apps BBC iPlayer and ITVX.

The vast majority of games will be available to watch during the morning UK time – providing viewers with the perfect start to their day.

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