2023 FIFA women's World Cup draw: Group picks, predictions

The america and England — the reigning world and European champions — are heading in the right direction to fulfill in subsequent yr’s women’s World Cup closing in Sydney after being saved aside inside the draw for the 2023 match, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

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Vlatko Andonovski’s USWNT are aiming to level out into the predominant workforce in both the lads’s or women’s sport to win three successive World Cups, having emerged as champions in 2015 and 2019, however they face a battle to prime Group E having been paired with Netherlands in a repeat of the closing in Lyon, France, 4 years in the past.

England, who beat Germany inside the closing of Euro 2022 at Wembley, may face co-hosts Australia inside the spherical of sixteen in the event that they prime Group D as anticipated, after being paired with China, Denmark and the winners of the Chile/Senegal/Haiti playoff path.

2023 women’s World Cup full bracket and fixtures schedule

New Zealand will face 1995 world champions Norway inside the opening sport of the match at Eden Park, Auckland, on July 20, with Australia kicking off their advertising and marketing campaign in opposition to Republic of ireland on the Sydney soccer Stadium later the identical day.

In fully different stand-out pairings, France will meet Brazil in Group F, with Sweden and Italy pitched collectively in Group G.

How will all of it play out? ESPN’s Marissa Lordanic (teams A, B), Mark Ogden (teams C, D), Sophie Lawson (teams E, F) and Becky Thompson (teams G, H) have assessed every group to foretell the massive video games and the teams who will advance.

soar to: Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H


GROUP A

New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland

If ever there was a time for mannequin new Zealand to nab their first-ever women’s World Cup win, 2023 is unquestionably it.

The perks of internet hosting are such that the soccer Ferns may by no means have a better probability at making a little bit little bit of Kiwi historic previous. Standing of their strategy, nonetheless, are Norway, Switzerland and the Philippines.

Norway’s Euro 2022 advertising and marketing campaign was nothing wanting a disaster so redemption will possible be entrance of thoughts for Hege Riise’s facet. Switzerland, in the meantime, will possible be having fun with their return to the world stage for the predominant time since 2015 however will possible be simply as upset at their group stage exit from this yr’s continental match. The Philippines are one among rather pretty a little bit of nations who will mannequin World Cup soccer for the predominant time. Alen Stajcic has massive-match expertise, after his stint with Australia, however can he impart that knowledge into his facet and get a historic first win as effectively?

should-see match: New Zealand vs. Norway

Is it a little bit little bit of a cop out to place the opening sport as a consequence of the should-watch one? maybe so. however opening matches actually are one factor particular.

In international places like Australia and New Zealand, who do not get to expertise moments like these in soccer pretty usually, if ever, the keenness of a residence crowd will possible be effectively worth the worth of admission.

X concern: Can Hegerberg do it on a chilly night in Auckland?

Ada Hegerberg had prolonged been the asterisk when it obtained here to Norway’s possibilities at massive tournaments, however her return to the nationwide workforce truly did not go to plan in England for the Euros. In what goes to possible be her first women’s World Cup since 2015, Hegerberg will as quickly as as quickly as extra be the predominant goal of a Norwegian workforce which has an excellent deal of massive-identify gamers however has but to place in a large-workforce efficiency on the world stage.

Predicted finish: Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Philippines


GROUP B

Australia, Republic of ireland, Nigeria, Canada

Australia’s hopes of a biggest-ever consequence at a women’s World Cup will possible be counting on how Tony Gustavsson’s workforce navigates Canada, Republic of ireland and Nigeria.

Canada’s gold medal on the Olympics signified progress from Bev Priestman’s facet, although the workforce will undoubtedly be upset that they may not biggest the usa inside the CONCACAF W Championship closing this yr.

Republic of ireland’s historic run will see them take part in a women’s World Cup for the very first time, whereas Nigeria are a perennial presence on the most important match in women’s soccer. nonetheless, Nigeria will enter this match and by no means using a WAFCON title behind them, failing to win the opponents for decrease than the third time.

should-see match: Canada vs. Australia

This conflict, the closing one among Group B, may effectively decide who finishes prime and who finishes second. The teams have a historic previous at predominant tournaments, most not too prolonged in the past on the 2016 Olympics, as effectively as to in friendlies, with Canada incomes two wins on Australian shores inside the September window. solely six places separate the two sides on the planet rankings and this closeness is replicated on the pitch. With Sam Kerr vs. Christine Sinclair, it is sure to be a knockout contest.

X concern: How will Sinclair’s (assumed) swan track play out?

An undisputed GOAT in world soccer, the all-time main worldwide purpose scorer, Sinclair’s legacy is already secured. The Canadian gold medal in Tokyo ensured that Sinclair would always finish her profession with some stage of worldwide success, however a World Cup is a distinct beast. A fourth-positioned finish is Canada’s biggest-ever consequence however there may even be not a doubt they may want to ship Sinclair out a little bit larger than that.

Predicted finish: Canada, Australia, Nigeria, Republic of ireland


GROUP C

Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia, Japan

Spain had been tipped to win Euro 2022 earlier than shedding to hosts England inside the quarterfinals, however with 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas liable to be again in movement after lacking the Euros with a cruciate knee ligament damage, they are going to be amongst the diversified favourites on the World Cup.

however an ongoing dispute between a quantity of gamers and the Spanish soccer Federation (RFEF) over the administration mannequin of coach Jorge Vilda — the RFEF claimed 15 gamers acknowledged they’d refuse to play for the workforce final month besides Vilda was eliminated — stays unresolved and will but have an effect on Spain’s prospects.

however with Japan the one possible risk to say the very biggest spot in Group C — Costa Rica and World Cup debutants Zambia full the group — Spain ought to progress comfortably, regardless of their factors.

With a second-spherical conflict in opposition to the winners of Group E — liable to be the U.S. — ready for the runners-up, the important factor for Spain and Japan will possible be to maintain away from that by topping the group for a extra beneficial route by way of the latter phases.

should-see match: Japan vs. Spain

it is all about Japan vs. Spain inside the closing group sport on July 31.

If this group goes to sort, the two teams are liable to fulfill on the Wellington Regional Stadium with prime spot up for grabs and the should preserve away from a attainable meeting in opposition to the USA.

whereas each Japan and Spain are ready to testing the world champions, it is a tie that neither would choose, so the stakes will possible be extreme as quickly as they meet in New Zealand.

Japan, ranked eleventh inside the FIFA World rating, will possible be outsiders in opposition to Spain, however may reap the advantages of factors all by way of the Spanish camp to win this sport.

X concern: How will the group’s minnows carry out?

The group lacks the unpredictability and stress that we’re liable to see in Group B, F and G, however with the World Cup rising proper into a 32-workforce match, the predominant goal will possible be on how the likes of Costa Rica and Zambia sort up in opposition to two heavyweights in Spain and Japan.

all by way of their first World Cup in 2015, Costa Rica claimed shock attracts in opposition to South Korea and Spain inside the group stage and had been solely denied a spot inside the second spherical by a slender defeat in opposition to Brazil.

Measuring Costa Rica’s progress on the massive stage will possible be fascinating, whereas Zambia are making their debut inside the match after ending third inside the Africa Cup of nations this yr.

however having suffered a ten-three defeat in opposition to Netherlands in 2021, the World Cup may very effectively be a steep studying curve for Zambia.

Predicted finish: Japan, Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia


GROUP D

England, Group B playoff, Denmark, China

whereas this group seems to be a routine part for European champions England, the Lionesses will possible be cautious of the power of China, regardless of their comparatively low world rating of 15 going into the match.

The chinese language are seasoned performers on the World Cup, ending as runners-up in 1999, and may possible be aiming to qualify for the knockout phases for the eighth successive match.

With Denmark ending a sixteen-yr absence from the World Cup subsequent yr and the closing spot inside the group to be taken by the winners of the Chile vs. Senegal/Haiti playoff, this part should be an straightforward path for every England and China.

however with the group winners and runners-up going by way of the teams who finish first and second in Group B, there may even be not a clear benefit to topping the part with a possible encounter in opposition to both co-hosts Australia or extremely rated Canada inside the spherical of sixteen.

should-see match: China vs. England

England’s conflict with China at Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium on Aug. 1 should be the fixture which decides the winners of the group.

the two nations have met simply 4 occasions beforehand, with China worthwhile 2-1 of their most latest encounter in 2015.

Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses will possible be favourites to prime the group and beat China, particularly after ending England’s prolonged look forward to predominant match success at Euro 2022.

however China, nicknamed the metallic Roses, are a effectively-established power inside the women’s sport and will pull off a shock win if England aren’t completely focused.

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Mark Ogden feels Group D may be the most good situation for England to go all of the strategy whereby inside the 2023 FIFA women’s World Cup and the strategy they may very effectively be the workforce to beat the usa.

X concern: Can England stay as a lot as a consequence of the hype?

Having gained Euro 2022, England have established themselves as one among many discipline office teams inside the women’s sport and are arguably the most important risk to the USA’s hopes of reaching a World Cup “three-peat.” So all eyes will possible be on how the Lionesses deal with the strain of being one among many favourites to win the match.

however they handed a large confirm of their new standing by beating the U.S. at Wembley in October, and Sarina Wiegman’s workforce will want to assemble on that all by way of the early phases of the World Cup.

With world-class talents comparable to Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Lauren Hemp, and rising kids comparable to Alessia Russo, every sport they play inside the match will entice massive consideration.

Predicted finish: England, China, Denmark, playoff winners


GROUP E

america, Vietnam, Netherlands, Group A playoff

Containing each the winners and the runners-up from the final women’s World Cup, Group E has the scales firmly tipped in favour of the seeded teams; 4-time winners, the U.S. are up to now forward of the relaxation by the use of rating and women’s soccer enchancment.

For Vietnam, who will play their first-ever World Cup match in opposition to the U.S. in Auckland on July 23, there have been truly kinder attracts on the market for a workforce ranked thirty fourth on the planet.

Even in opposition to the winners from playoff A (Cameroon, Portugal or Thailand), Vietnam may want a mountain to climb — as do the Netherlands, who discover themselves in a single other interval of transition having solely simply launched in a mannequin new coach, and can be proper to be afraid of a Cameroon or Portugal workforce who may make it by way of the playoffs.

should-see match: america vs. Netherlands

it is the plain one, with the very biggest two seeds clashing midway by way of the group stage in Wellington on July 27.

These two teams did not simply meet on the planet Cup closing in Lyon again in 2019, in addition they performed out a memorable quarterfinal tie on the 2020 Olympics. With each teams struggling to place their biggest soccer on the pitch, something may happen as quickly as they meet in New Zealand subsequent summer season.

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Sophie Lawson believes USA’s key match may very effectively be in opposition to the Netherlands and expands on the potential of Group E inside the 2023 women’s World Cup.

X concern: Which U.S. will flip up?

The again-to-again champions, who’re going for a “three-peat,” have been faraway from convincing recently and when many anticipated them to change into match mode on the Olympics, they did simply the fully different, wanting a shadow of themselves. With the burden of expectation on their shoulders, the U.S. may effectively sink reasonably than swim; but in a gaggle that should be navigable, there may even be nonetheless the hazard to tread water.

Predicted finish: U.S., Netherlands, playoff winners, Vietnam


GROUP F

France, Jamaica, Brazil, Group C playoff

it is very straightforward to name Group F on paper, however if you truly get to a match, issues do not always go to plan — as Jamaica may allow you to know, with the Reggae Girlz being with out key participant Bunny Shaw for his or her debut 4 years in the past.

France, who’ve a historic previous of peaking too early at predominant tournaments, will like their possibilities of getting a sturdy group stage, wrapping up with a match in opposition to one among chinese language Taipei, Panama, Papa New Guinea or Paraguay — all 4 nations potential debutantes.

however Brazil are to not be taken frivolously by anyone, the ever-presents with a glut of youthful expertise coming by way of.

should-see match: France vs. Brazil

it is the plain one, the conflict of the very biggest two seeds in Brisbane on July 29, and it should be a litmus confirm for the place each nations are at and simply how possible both are to go the prolonged yards on the World Cup.

nonetheless it is worth noting that ought to a workforce comparable to Panama qualify for the World Cup by way of the playoffs, the conflict with Jamaica may very effectively be one to look at for sheer gratifying on the pitch.

X concern: Will the true France please get up?

we now have prolonged talked about France as a darkish horse and even one among many favourites to win predominant silverware. but, for a large quantity of causes, it has but to happen. Les Bleues started so effectively on the Euros and there was a rising notion that it was lastly their time to shine, nonetheless the workforce appeared much less assured with every passing match.

Even and by no means using a banana-peel draw, it is laborious to know simply which France will flip up and whereas they’ve the rating to biggest anyone they face inside the group stage, there are pitfalls all by way of the place for a workforce which have traditionally proven a psychological fragility.

Predicted finish: Brazil, France, Jamaica, playoff winners


GROUP G

Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Argentina

Sweden have performed in every version of the match and have made the semifinals on 4 occasions. The Olympic silver medallists will possible be laborious to match on this group with their expertise in predominant competitions.

Sweden’s biggest problem will undoubtedly be in fellow European nation Italy, who’re having fun with of their third World Cup and have been constructing momentum recently. The Italians topped their group in 2019 and may possible be in search of to repeat that success.

South Africa are having fun with in solely their second World Cup, whereas Argentina have performed in three — and neither have registered a win. They face what seems to be a simply about insurmountable exercise in opposition to Sweden and Italy to get out of the group. nonetheless, a Cinderella story for both of these nations can’t be fully dominated out.

should-see match: Sweden vs. Italy

Who will take the very biggest spot in Group G? it is a rematch from the Euro 2022 group stage, which noticed Italy win in a 5-purpose thriller three-2.

Italy had a dominant qualifying advertising and marketing campaign, solely conceding one purpose, to Switzerland. in the meantime, Sweden, who accomplished third in 2019, boast expertise and may possible be wanting for revenge after their Euros defeat this yr.

Sweden have amongst the diversified best defenses on the planet, led by Chelsea star Magda Eriksson, whereas Italy’s attacking power is equally thrilling with gamers comparable to Cristiana Girelli.

X concern: Can Argentina discover their first win on the World Cup?

In 2019, Argentina had their biggest-ever efficiency on the World Cup. regardless of not making it to the knockout rounds, they notched two thrilling attracts — a zero-zero in opposition to Japan and an thrilling three-three with Scotland; their solely loss was a slender 1-zero defeat to England.

4 years later, the youth inside the squad from 2019 have gained large expertise and may possible be ready to deal with the challenges in entrance of them. whereas it is laborious to think about Argentina making it out of the group, a win would mark continued progress and success for this workforce.

Predicted finish: Italy, Sweden, Argentina, South Africa


GROUP H

Germany, Morocco, Colombia, South Korea

Germany will possible be laborious to match on this group. The depth and expertise of this squad carried all of them the strategy whereby to the closing of Euro 2022, falling simply brief to England. Germany have licensed for all eight editions of the women’s World Cup and have topped their group in every look. Their path to the very biggest spot right here seems locked in; barring any predominant breakdowns, they should wrap this one up simply.

Colombia’s biggest World Cup efficiency was in 2015 as quickly as they licensed for the knockout half, however they did not make it out of the group in 2019. Group H is effectively-poised for them to make one other run into the elimination rounds, with a key sport in opposition to South Korea of their strategy.

South Korea observe the identical historic previous as Colombia inside the final two editions, making it to the spherical of sixteen in Canada however failing to get out of the group in France.

Morocco will possible be making their first look inside the women’s World Cup. as quickly as they take the sector in Melbourne, they may make historic previous as a consequence of the predominant Arab nation to compete inside the match. whereas it is subsequent to not attainable to see a strategy out of the group, this historic previous-making second will possible be one other mark of progress for the women’s sport and the success of African women’s soccer.

should-see match: Colombia vs. South Korea

it is straightforward. This match will resolve who will progress and who will go residence. each nations will possible be battling laborious with one factor to show after not qualifying for the elimination rounds in France. South Korea, led by former Chelsea participant Ji So-Yun, boast the depth and expertise, whereas Colombia are stuffed with power and creativity.

These sides have solely met a pair of occasions in historic previous, with South Korea beating the Colombians inside the Olympic group phases in 2016. nonetheless, It has been a few years since their final meeting and with the whole lot on the road, this match is an unmissable look forward to the match.

X concern: Lena Oberdorf

one among many very important thrilling gamers at solely 20-years-outdated, Oberdorf is forward of her time and has been nominated for numerous awards this yr after marshalling Germany’s midfield on the Euros.

Oberdorf’s expansive and inventive play kick-begins Germany’s assault and is a pleasure for any soccer fan to look at. This youthful star will possible be one to look at all by way of the match subsequent yr.

Predicted finish: Germany, Colombia, South Korea, Morocco

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