Defending champions USA face Thailand while Germany plays China
The eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off this coming Friday (7 June) in France,with the host country facing South Korea in the opening match in Paris.Defending champion United States plays Thailand in Reims, while Germany takes on China. It is expected that at least one of these squads will be in the final, on 7 July.
First things first
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First up, let’s start with the clash between France and South Korea. After finishing in fourth in 2011 and fifth in 2015, the French squad comes to its third Women’s World Cup with high expectations and knowing that this is their best chance to make their first final. A large crowd is expected at the Parc the Princes and this boost will certainly make a difference.
Also, the performance of players like captain Amadine Henry and defender Wendie Renard will be very important.Both are stars of French club Lyon, the best women’s team in Europe in recent seasons and that recently won the UEFA Women’s Champions League against Barcelona. They will be backed by teammates Eugenie Le Sommer and Sarah Bouaddi.
As for South Korea, their main accomplishment is the title of the U-17 World Cup, in 2010. With more than 100 international caps, midfielder Cho So-Hyun is an anchor to the team– if she is in good shape, the team has a chance of getting one of the Group A spots for the knockout phase.
France comes into this match as the clear favourites to triumph at 1.11, while South Korea appears way far, at 22.91 – a draw would be the least likely outcome and is priced at 7.82, according to Oddsshark.
Germany debuts against China
On the next day, Germany opens group B play against China in Rennes. Led by midfielder DzeniferMaroszan, the team showed an impressive offensive performance, having scored 33 goals in the last 11 matches. Other players to consider are striker Alexandra Popp and goalkeeper AlmuthSchult.
The German squad is the current Olympic champion and the only country to win consecutive Women’s World Cups, in 2003 and 2007. They were also the runner-up in 1995.
China, in stark contrast, brings a rejuvenated roster that seems to be far from the dominant status the country had during the 1990s. Historically, their best result in the competition is the second place in 1999, when they lost to USA.
That being said, it is of no surprise to see that it is Germany who comes into this match as the overwhelming favourite to pick up the victory. You can back the Germans to win at just 1.27, while China is all the way out at 10.52 – a draw is priced in the middle at 5.24.
USA look to win opener against Thailand
And finally, the United States take on Thailand on Monday evening in Reims looking for an encouraging performance as they start their quest for the fourth Women’s World Cup title as part of group F this year.In the seven previous editions, the Americans have never been out of the semi-finals and appeared in four finals – winning in 1991, 1999 and 2015.
The team was defeated only twice in their last 40 matches, to France and Australia. Forward Alex Morgan is expected to excel again – the 29-year-old comes to the competition with impressive 162 appearances, 101 goals and 40 assists with the team. Another player worth mentioning is forward Carli Lloyd, who will play her fourth World Cup. She was a key figure in campaign that led the team to win in 2015.
Thailand will play in the Women’s World Cup for the second consecutive time. KanjaSungngoen, a 32-year-old midfielder, is a vital component of the team and has been a source of goals for the past years.
The only friendly match between USA and Thailand happened in 2016, and the Americans won 9-0.
And it is of no surprise to see that USA comes into this match as the overwhelming favourites to pick up the victory. You can back the world champions to win at just 1.01, while Thailand are at 54.63to record what would be a shocking victory. A draw is priced at 17.61, according to Oddsshark.
Other first round fixtures are Norway-Nigeria (group A); Spain-South Africa (group B); Australia-Italy and Brazil-Jamaica (group C); England-Scotland and Argentina-Japan (Group D); Canada-Cameroon and New Zealand-Netherlands (group E); and Chile-Sweden (group F).
Women’s World Cup group stage first round fixtures:
Friday, 7 June
(1.11) France x South Korea (22.91); draw (7.82)
Saturday, 8 June
(1.27) Germany x China (10.61); draw (5.26)
(1.11) Spain x South Africa (18.25); draw (8.22)
(1.25) Norway x Nigeria (11.23); draw (5.53)
Sunday, 9 June
(1.62) Australia x Italy (5.12); draw (3.88)
(1.06) Brazil x Jamaica (23.03); draw (11.69)
(1.21) England x Scotland (13.49); draw(5.91)
Monday, 10 June
(25.09) Argentina x Japan (1.09); draw (9.12)
(1.13) Canada x Cameroon (19.00); draw (7.15)
Tuesday, 11 June
(9.34) New Zealand x Netherlands (1.29);draw (5.06)
(23.09) Chile x Sweden (1.11); draw (7.61)
(1.01) USA x Thailand (54.63); draw (17.61)