Group guide to the Women's World Cup

A group-by-group analysis of the 2019 Women's World Cup.

A LOOK AT THE SIX WOMEN'S WORLD CUP GROUPS

GROUP A

France (world ranking: 4), South Korea (14), Norway (12), Nigeria (38)

With powerhouses Eugenie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry leading the way, France should top the group in style. France have the benefit of playing with several of the national team squad at Europe's best team Olympique Lyon. South Korea, led by Chelsea forward Ji So-yun, will fancy their chances of getting out of the group given the world's best player - Ada Hegenberg - is boycotting in protest at her federation's treatment of women. African champions Nigeria aren't easybeats but they've not drawn well.

GROUP B

Germany (2), China (16), Spain (13), South Africa (49)

Two-time World Cup champions Germany cross the border with a terrific pedigree and as reigning Olympic gold medalists but as a team in transition. Former player Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has just a handful of games in charge but a string of stars at her disposal led by Alex Popp. Matildas captain Sam Kerr has tipped Spain as the team to watch. They qualified for the World Cup by winning every game in qualifying, scoring 25 goals and conceding two. China's strength has waned in previous years while South Africa are making their first appearance and are without expectation.

GROUP C

Australia (6), Brazil (10), Italy (15), Jamaica (53)

The Matildas love their group and with good reason. They've a fine recent record over Brazil, a talented but ageing side. Italy has returned to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years and lack tournament experience. Jamaica, on their debut appearance, are unknowns, with many called into the squad for the first time in the last year. Given that, Ante Milicic's side should be full of confidence they can get out of the group, as they've done for the past three tournaments, but on top for the first time.

GROUP D

England (3), Japan (7), Scotland (20), Argentina (37)

England's recent investment in women's football should yield fruit in France, even if they've found themselves in the closest thing to a group of death. Scotland and Argentina count superb individual talent in their ranks and Japan has reached the past two World Cup finals. Still, England has depth thanks to the growth of their local Women's Super League. The Lionesses' meetings with Japan and local rivals Scotland will provide group stage highlights.

GROUP E

Canada (5), Netherlands (8), Cameroon (46), New Zealand (19)

Group E is a genuine toss-up between Canada and the Netherlands for supremacy, though no team is without a chance of progression. New Zealand's surprise friendly win over England last week shows they aren't making up the numbers, while Cameroon made the knockout phase last time out. Eyes will be on evergreen Canadian champion Christine Sinclair, who needs three goals to become the all-time leading scorer in international football.

GROUP F

USA (1), Sweden (9), Chile (39), Thailand (34)

The indisputable world No.1s have a title to defend and should have no trouble breezing through their group. Chile and Thailand won't have the quality to go with the US and Jill Ellis' side won't lack for motivation against Sweden. The Scandinavians knocked them out of the Olympics three years ago and they meet at the group stage for the third straight World Cup. The only problem is that the team that tops the group is on a collision course with, most likely, France in the quarter finals.


AAP