FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup France Preview
France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria
Tough group fo sho. Some parties are saying its an easy group for France and some saying its the Group of Death. It is am amazing stat that each team is ranked in the FIFA top 15 world rankings. Furthermore, Nigeria is three-time defending champion of the Africa Women Cup of Nations. In regards to Norway, well it is very unfortunate that Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg’s will be in absence in protest against the inequalities by the Federation. Her absence will also make France's chances of finishing top of the group even more clear. Although its tough to even doubt their dominance. South Korea won't be much of a threat other than to Nigeria I believe. They have a stand-out player who plays for Chelsea FC, Ji So-yun, who is one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. However, I predict South Korea making 3rd place.
The easiest group overall might just be the one the U.S. is in, though Thailand appears to have improved in the last four years since its World Cup debut in 2015. England and Scotland drawing the same group is intriguing, and the most balanced group overall might be the one with Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Germany, China, Spain, South Africa
This group is interesting. Germany is currently ranked second in the world and also the 2016 Rio Olympic Gold Medalists. However, they were eliminated in the quarter-finals at Euro 2017 and finished last at the prestigious SheBelieves Cup in the US in the spring of 2018. Players to look out for? Alexandra Popp (who Ive played against), Dzenifer Marozsan (Lyon) is the best playmaker in the world and Lea Schüller is in the eye as an up and coming attacking figure.
China is coming back out as they have been quite sh, especially with the help of Asian Women’s 2018 Player of the Year Wang Shuang, who now plays in France for PSG. China is always a dangerous team to play against. Although they lost 2-1 against France in their last friendly, its a close call against the world #4. As for Spain is in a momentum with the successful build up and investment of La Liga. Spain recently played Germany in November this year and tied 0-0. They also tied against Canada and Japan last week so I believe they will be heading into the World Cup at a good rhythm for competition. Look out for Atletico Madrid's Jenni Hermoso who was La Liga's top scorer this year. South Africa's outlook doesn't look as promising. Their captain and former Houston Dash player Janine Van Wyk Is the leading role with the addition of T Kgatlana who was African Footballer of the year last year. Their last friendly was against Norway in which they lost a whopping 7-2. Ouch.
Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica
I think this is one of the most interesting groups. The Matildas are at the top of this list with goal specialist Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord. Kerr has scored 12 goals for Australia since the start of 2018, and 79 goals in her last 83 club matches. Their attack is fire when they are in sync. But they’ve also conceded eight goals to the USA and Netherlands in their last two matches. Their last friendly was against the Netherlands in which they lost 3-0. Australia will come out flying but hopefully their defense won't get caught off guard too quick.
Italy haven’t reached the World Cup since 1999. In 2018 they had victory over Sweden to draw on, as well as a 1-1 draw with France. They have won their last two friendly matches, 2-1 to Ireland and 3-1 to Switzerland. They play an attacking style of play usually in a 4-4-2 so I'm pumped to see them tested.
Brazil a full potential national team that has lack of support from their federation. They have astonishingly lost 9 games in a row this y