The latest edition of the annual SheBelieves Cup kicks off in the eastern United States later month and continues into early March, featuring some of the best women's international teams in the world going head to head less than four months before the 2019 World Cup.


Competition History


The SheBelieves Cup was launched in 2016 following the success of the previous year's World Cup as a way for the best international teams to face each other on a more regular basis.


Held annually in February/March in the United States, each of the first three editions of the four-team round robin tournament was contested by the USA, Germany, France and England. The hosts won in 2016 and 2018, with Germany taking the trophy in 2017.

SheBelieves Cup - United States v England

England finished second in the final standings in 2018 after twice placing third in previous years.


Who's Playing?


While France and Germany have typically competed, the two European giants will not be present in 2019. Instead, the United States and England will be joined by Brazil, featuring reigning Best FIFA Women's Player Marta, and 2011 World Cup winners Japan.


As far as they rank, the reigning world champions United States are top of the current FIFA World Rankings. England are fourth, with Japan eighth and Brazil just below in 10th place.

England Women v Australia Women - International Friendly


When and Where Are the Games?


​27th February, 4pm ETEngland vs Brazil​Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, PA​
​27th February, 7pm ET​United States vs Japan​Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, PA
​2nd March, 2pm ET​Brazil vs Japan​Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
​2nd March, 4.30pm ET​United States vs England​Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
​5th March, 5.15pm ET​Japan vs England​Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
​5th March, 8pm ET​United States vs Brazil​Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

All dates and times are local


How Can I Watch?


All three of England's games will be broadcast live on BBC platforms.


Squad News


USA: A vastly experienced United States squad features 10 players from the 2015 World Cup winning squad, with seven of those having played at least 100 times at this level. Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe are the big names, but watch out for 20-year-old Mallory Pugh.

Mallory Pugh,Kirsty Smith

England: The Lionesses have a more international look these days, with clubs from England, Germany, France, Spain and the United States represented in the 23-strong group. There is a good blend of youth and experience, with Fran Kirby and Nikita Parris shining at club level.

Fran Kirby

Japan: There are only three survivors from the 2011 World Cup wining squad in the group named by coach Asako Takakura. Captain and centurion Saki Kumagai remains one of the best defenders in the world, but three players named on The Guardian's Top 100 of 2018 are not in.

Saki Kumagai

Brazil: All eyes will be on Marta when Brazil take to the field. The veteran forward was named best player in the world for the sixth time in her career in 2018, the first since 2010.  A number of the Brazilians play for some of the best clubs in Europe, including 40-year-old legend Formiga.

Marta

Prediction


Ranked number one in the world and playing on home soil, the United States will be strong favourites to win a third SheBelieves Cup out of four.


England lost just twice in 12 games in 2018, though, and will hope to capitalise on any slip ups. One of those defeats was a narrow 1-0 loss to the US in last year's SheBelieves Cup, showing that the gulf between the two national teams is nothing like it was even 5-10 years ago.


England have not played Japan since the dramatic 2015 World Cup semi final but will fancy their chances of revenge, while the Lionesses beat Brazil in a friendly four months ago.

England Women v Brazil Women - International Friendly

Japan won the Asian Games last year but have struggled more often than not against non-Asian opposition over the last 12 months, including a defeat against Brazil last summer.


1st - USA; 2nd - England; 3rd - Brazil; 4th - Japan