Our football expert shares betting tips for the 2023 Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand, as the USA, Spain and England lead the charge for glory.
Australia and New Zealand co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, officially recognized by FIFA in 1991, the tournament is the pinnacle of women’s soccer. Entering its ninth rendition, only four nations have won the quadrennial, 32-team tournament. The tournament has only been held in six different countries in previous editions, with China hosting the first. The inaugural tournament was won by the USA, and since then the states have triumphed on three more occasions – 1999, 2015 and 2019. Germany follow with two wins, in 2003 and 2007. While Norway lifted the trophy in 1995 and Japan in 2011. The only team to host and win concurrently is the USA, which they did in 1999.
Each nation’s squad of twenty-three players will be well prepared following scheduled pre-tournament friendlies. As a tradition, the hosts will be playing in the first day’s matches – New Zealand vs Norway at Eden Park, Auckland and then later in the day Australia vs the Republic of Ireland at the Stadium Australia, Sydney. The perennial competition provides an opportunity to see some of the sport’s best teams, with some of the biggest stars battling it out. In this preview, we’ll provide information on the favourite teams to win as well as a rundown of the different groups.
Group A – New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland
New Zealand spearheads their campaign in a group that provides an excellent opportunity to progress into the last sixteen. The Phillippines will be keen to perform, with this being their first World Cup. Norway stand out as the group’s forerunners to win the tournament, indeed they will be keen to emulate their foremother’s success almost thirty years prior. However, performances over the last year have been varied, the 8-0 humbling England gave them a year prior will be still fresh in their memory. Switzerland also has a good chance of breaking out of the group, with Aston Villa forward Alisha Lehmann being a player to watch.
Group B – Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland
2020 Tokyo Olympic champions Canada are most likely to come out of the group on top, with Australia likely second. Though they will need to work for it as they have a rougher draw than their co-hosts. Upsetting the pipped top two will be tough, but Nigeria and Ireland will not be walkovers. Chelsea’s defender Kadeisha Buchanan leads the group’s run of stars, with 131 caps for Canada. She’ll be hungry to add another trophy to her name this year after winning the English FA Cup.
Group C – Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, Zambia
Two sides anticipating an easy ride into the group stages will be Spain and Japan. The Iberian side proved themselves lately, having won six of their last matches, scoring a whopping twenty-eight goals and only conceding two. To no surprise, Spain is also touted as one of the favourites to win the tournament. Costa Rica and Zambia, making a second and first appearance respectively, are unlikely to trouble Spain or Japan. However, if Saudi Arabia’s unexpected humbling of Argentina in the Men’s variant last year is anything to go by, nothing can be discounted. Mina Tanaka leads the attacking potential of the group. Twenty-four international goals make her the nation’s highest scorer, domestically this is complemented by finishing top scorer of the Japanese league four times.
Group D – China, Denmark, England, Haiti
England start their campaign in a relatively opportune position with all initial opposition unlikely to pose a serious threat. The Lionesses’ most brazen challenge will come in their prospective last sixteen clash against either Australia or Canada, who are anticipated to meet them. Barcelonas Keira Walsh and Lucy Bronze will be prominent throughout, fresh off the back of a Champions League win. However, they will miss Euro 2022 player of the tournament Beth Mead, who is absent with injury. The above considered, we can expect a close-fought battle for runner-up, especially between 15th world-ranked China and 18th Denmark. Midfielder Pernille Harder will be one to watch for the Scandinavians. Haiti attends their first World Cup following a historic win over Chile last February.
Group E – Netherlands, Portugal, United States, Vietnam
The 2019 World Cup final was between the USA and the Netherlands, making this rematch especially poignant. The Dutch will be eager to finally overcome the USA on stage and on the 20th of July we’ll see one of the biggest games of the group stages. One player that could make the difference is former UEFA Women’s Player of the Year winger Lieke Martens. Although favourites to lift the trophy once more, American captain Alex Morgan is under no illusion of the battle ahead – “There are some teams that have done incredibly well over the last four years, have made a name for themselves to compete for this trophy,” This will be her fourth World Cup and potentially her third one in a row. Portugal and Vietnam have a mountain to climb.
Group F – Brazil, France, Jamaica, Panama
Brazil and France are to no surprise the obvious favourites here. The French gave a strong performance at the Euros, reaching the semi-finals. 2022 third-ranked player in the world Wendie Renard will be keen to lead her side to even greater heights this year. Brazilian captain Marta, six-time winner of the Best Fifa Women’s Player award, leads Brazil in her sixth and final World Cup. She holds the record for most goals scored in World Cups with seventeen, and will ever threaten in the opposing half. Jamaica makes their second appearance in the tournament, while underdogs Panama complete the quartet with their first appearance.
Group G – Argentina, Italy, South Africa, Sweden
The favourite here stands as Sweden, with a great amount of talent in the squad. FC Rosengård’s Caroline Seger attends her fifth world cup and Arsenals Stina Blackstenius provides a potent attacking force. Finishing bottom of their group last year at the Euros with one point and two goals, Italy have a real point to prove. However, a new year provides a fresh opportunity, though even finishing second in this table would likely pit them against the USA or Netherlands. South Africa and Argentina will be only looking to improve on the performance given in the 2019 World Cup, with no wins at all between them. It’s all to play for!
Group H – Colombia, Germany, Morocco, South Korea
Undisputed in everyone’s minds to thrive in this group is Germany. Runners up to England last year at the Euros, the Central European team are ranked third in the world for a reason. Young Player of the tournament Lena Oberdorf, will be at the forerun of proceedings. However, a question mark resides over the side following a 3-2 friendly to Zambia earlier in the month. The prospective challenger for second comes from South Korea, who are regular attendees since 2015. Morocco, another World Cup debutant, will be endeavouring to make their mark. While Columbia will be keen to get into the thick of it after failing to qualify in 2019.
The stage is set for an electric World Cup down under.
FIFA – Women’s World Cup Winners Odds
USA – 3.17
England – 5.43
Spain – 5.48
Germany – 8.98
France – 10.99
Australia – 12.80
Netherlands – 21.02
Sweden – 21.02
Brazil – 26.02
Japan – 26.02
Canada – 30.95
Denmark, Norway – 51.32
Italy, Portugal – 103.62
Columbia – 206.24
China – 218.69
Switzerland – 251.49
Argentina, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Korea – 257.52
Nigeria – 411.43
Zambia – 502.96
Haiti, Jamaica – 514.09
South Africa – 770.57
Costa Rica, Morocco, Vietnam – 1055.68
Panama – 2109.12
Philippines – 2189.72
**Odds are subject to change. Odds accurate as of 09:00 UTC Wednesday 19th July**
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