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Women's World Cup 2023: full preview by group | Women's World Cup 2023

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Group A – New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland

Hosts New Zealand will be delighted. When Olympic champions (Canada), 2019 World Cup runners-up (Netherlands) and 2011 World Cup winners (Japan) were featured in Pot 2, it didn’t make much sense for them to be in Pot 1 as their home country. Instead, Norway beat Switzerland 8-0 in the group stage in Europe, losing to England. Switzerland and Norway will be the progress favourites, but New Zealand has a real shot at making it to the last 16.

Group B – Australia, Republic of Ireland, Nigeria, Canada

Canada and the Republic of Ireland have a bad walk to and from Perth sandwiched between east coast games. If New Zealand is lucky in the draw, then host Australia is not. Matildas have struggled lately and Canada could easily be England, beating them easily, forming a tough tie with the Group D winners. It will be difficult to upset Australia and Canada by any means, but Nigeria and Ireland will not go unnoticed.

Canada aims to top Group B after becoming 2019 Olympic Champions in Tokyo. Photo: DPPI/Photo Kishimoto/LiveMedia/Shutterstock

Group C – Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia, Japan

Spain and Japan will go to the quarter-finals very smoothly. Spain’s pre-World Cup situation was complicated by many of their top players at odds with the federation and coach Jorge Vilda, but their backup showed they could beat the best with an unexpected victory against the injured USA in a recent friendly match. . Making their second and first appearances respectively, Costa Rica and Zambia seem unlikely to offend either Spain or Japan, no matter who is on the pitch. A guaranteed deep run with the winner and runner-up of Group A is an exciting prospect.

Group D – England, playoff winner B, Denmark, China

The draw was kind to England, with Denmark, China and the playoff B winner (Chile, Senegal or Haiti). They also avoided the dreaded cross-country trip to Perth that the other two confirmed sides had to make for the opening. The challenge comes in the last 16, with Australia or Canada potentially lurking. The fight for second place is where Juice ranks 15th in the world with China, 18th against Denmark and is built around Pernille Harder.

Danish Pernille Harder.
England need to be wary of Denmark and Pernille Harder. Photo: Simon Dael/Shutterstock

Group E – United States, Vietnam, Netherlands, playoff A winner

The rematch of the 2019 final between the USA and the Netherlands is a delicious prospect. Presumably, the Group E winners will hope to lead the group to avoid a draw with Sweden and the Netherlands in the last 16, and the Netherlands will finally be eager to beat the USA on a big stage. Someone from Portugal, Cameroon or Thailand will round out the group, and the playoff winner and Vietnam are unlikely to upset the apple cart.

Group F – France, Jamaica, Brazil, playoff C winner

France can be very successful in 2023 if they act together. The off-court drama where manager Corinne Diacre fell out with Eugénie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry did surprisingly little to spoil a strong Euro performance. Instead, it was an injury that caused Marie-Antoinette Katoto to stutter. Katoto is racing against the clock to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament injury for next summer, but it’s possible. Brazil will compete in the World Cup without effective midfielder Formiga for only the second time in the history of the tournament. They have lost three, three draws and won twice against European opposition this year, including a 2-1 loss to France. Jamaica appeared for the second time and one from Chinese Taipei, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea and Panama rounded out the group.

Group G – Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Argentina

Sweden will be the favorite to clinch the group with its pedigree. Italy had a very disappointing summer and finished last in Group D in Euro Euro with one point and just two points, after France, Belgium and Iceland. If the Italians finish second, the winner of Group E awaits, which will likely be the USA or the Netherlands. South Africa and Argentina will be aiming for improvement in the 2019 edition after the first lost all their matches and the second drew twice and lost once in the group stage.

Group H – Germany, Morocco, Colombia, South Korea

Germany placed at the top of Group H. The euro impressed the UK in runner-up and ranks third in the world after the US and Sweden. They play the second of Group F, which will be a safe victory and possibly France or Brazil, and then a possible Euro final rematch with England is in the cards. Morocco is making its World Cup debut, while Colombia made it to the last 16 in 2015, failing to qualify in 2019. South Korea present Germany’s biggest challenge, but this is their fourth World Cup and they have qualified from the group stage once in 2015.

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