Here we go, another year another World Cup… wait that’s not how this usually goes. Well, the women’s World Cup is played the year after the men’s one so here we are about a month away from the cup’s start in June 7th. Anyway, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna do this because Mexico didn’t qualify but welp, let’s give this a try
Group A: France, Korea, Norway, Nigeria
Quite a though group for the hosts, in particular Norway. Even though Norway will miss their best player: Ada Hegerberg. Winner of the first women’s Ballon D’Or and arguably the best women player in the world, Ada has not played for Norway since 2017 in protest of the disparity in treatment between the men’s and women’s teams
France and Norway should be the picks here, with France having a great chance of going all the way specially given they’re the hosts. Maybe they can replicate what the men did last year
Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa
Germany are one of the favorites to take the whole thing but have another tough group, China has been a fixture of the women’s world cup since its inauguration (and where the team that lost on that iconic Chastain celebration) and Spain did great in the European qualifiers (better than Germany even). South Africa I don’t really know much
My picks would be Germany and China, but Spain could also make it.
Group C: Australia, Brazil, Italy, Jamaica
This group has two strong teams on Brazil and Australia. Australia has proven to be a great team reaching the quarter finals thrice but not advancing any further. Italy are not strong on the women’s side and Jamaica is one of the newcomers (in which should be Mexico’s spot if they didn’t mess it up). And Brazil are Brazil and hey their iconic 10, Marta is still playing.
Brazil and Australia should qualify without much inconvenience, with the only unknown being who is first in the group.
Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan
Oh boy, this should be fun. I mean, if you’re not a fan of any of these teams as this is a really tricky group. Both the Lionesses and the Nadeshiko are two of the stronger teams in the competition (rank 4 and 8 if you trust FIFA). England starts their cup against newcomers Scotland, and welp, my understanding is that both Brexit and the Scottish referendum are in play, I mean given the current circumstances this would be a better way to solve it. Argentina has not have good luck on their previous showings, getting stuck in the group stage. Japan are not only pure heart but also really talented and have been part of some really exciting matches (including the 2015 semifinal against England)
England and Japan should qualify, but not without some scratches
Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands
An slightly tricky group with Canada and Netherlands being the favorites. Canada has always fielded strong teams and this time shouldn’t be an exception. Netherlands have been getting better since their WC debut in 2015, winning the EURO in 2017. New Zealand has had historically decent teams but haven’t been able to get out of the group stage and Cameroon, well they’ll try their best but I believe their best asset is their nickname: The Indomitable Lionesses
Canada and Netherlands should be able to qualify, with the match between them being the deciding factor on their position
Group F: USA, Thailand, Chile, Sweden
Both the US and Sweden should not have many problems in this stage with newcomers Chile and second timers Thailand being two of the weakest teams in the competition. The US, as usual, had no issues qualifying in CONCACAF and are, as usual, the big favorites. Sweden are another strong team and one that has not missed a WC and hey they even defeated the US in the Olympics. Chile and Thailand are here for the ride
US and Sweden are a lock here.
And that’s pretty much it for now. Depending on the need I might do either a weekly post or maybe one per round during the World Cup. Everyone, place your bets and may the best team win