Women's World Cup at a glance

France host the eighth edition of the Women's World Cup this month.

The biggest show in women's sport kicks off on Saturday (AEST), when the 2019 Women's World Cup opens in Paris.

France take on South Korea in the first of 52 matches across 31 days, leading to a new champion being crowned.

KEY DATES

June 7 - Opening match between France and South Korea (Paris)

June 9 - Australia v Italy (Valenciennes)

June 13 - Australia v Brazil (Montpellier)

June 18 - Australia v Jamaica (Grenoble)

July 7 - World Cup final (Lyon)

* All dates France time

HOSTS

Footballing powerhouse France stages the event for the first time and should they win, they'll be the first nation to unite the men's and women's championships.

The host cities are Paris, Lyon, Nice, Montpellier, Rennes, Lyon, Grenoble, Le Havre and Reims.

Lyon's Parc Olympique Lyonnais will host the final rather than the capital, a tribute to the feats of European footballing powerhouse Olympique Lyon.

FORMAT

The 24 teams have been drawn into six groups of four.

The group winners and runners-up go through to the round of 16 along with the four best third-placed finishers and from there it's a knockout.

WHO'S GOING TO WIN?

France and reigning champions USA are favourites but if both top their groups and win their first knockout game, they will meet in the quarter finals.

Two-time winners Germany are third favourites, with England not far behind.

Australia can be found on the next tier of contenders among Canada, Netherlands and Japan.

WHAT ABOUT AUSTRALIA?

The Matildas have reached the last eight at the past three tournaments, winning their first knockout match at a senior World Cup to do so in 2015.

Led by captain Sam Kerr, Australia boast a fearsome attack but whether they'll be able to hold other teams at bay is a major question.

So is recently appointed coach Ante Milicic.

The former Socceroos assistant has won over the dressing room after the contentious sacking of Alen Stajcic but has only been in the role for three months.

WHAT DO THEY WIN?

The prize money on offer is a major bone of contention.

The winners take home $US4 million ($A5.7 million) compared with the $US30 million France's men's team won last year for their World Cup.

Still, it's a doubling of the pool from the 2015 tournament won by USA, reflecting the growing investment and interest in the women's game.

MASCOT

A young chicken called Ettie - close to the French word etoile, meaning star - who has a "passion for life and football" is the tournament mascot.

Ettie was created by Footix, the Gallic rooster who served as mascot to the 1998 men's World Cup by shooting a star into space, which returned as his daughter.


AAP