سایت بت برو : Women’s World Cup power rankings: Usual suspects occupy top 10, can first-timers cause any damage?

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It is finally here. The biggest sporting event to arrive on our shores since the 2000 Olympics is now only a few days away from actually starting. The level of excitement is gathering up some speed within the place as we see the branding spread across the major cities of Australia and New Zealand.

With that in mind let’s take a look at how the 32 teams are shaping up coming into the tournament.

1. USA, Group E

The greatest country in FIFA Women’s World Cup history will be set on writing another storied chapter in its record books which was already making novels like Les Misérables look like light reading.

The back-to-back champs will look to make footballing history in August and become the first team to achieve a three-peat in the World Cup. With another SheBelieves Cup victory under their belt seeing them on a nine-game win streak, they appear to be on the right track heading into the tournament.

While debate lingers around who will fill the requirements of captaincy left by Becky Sauerbrunn, the USWNT will still have an experienced core heading to the tournament with Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe (who announced her retirement after the tournament) fronting the attack, as well as defender Kelley O’Hara all making it to their fourth Women’s World Cup and hopefully entering their names into football immortality.

United States co-captain Megan Rapinoe.

(Photo by Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

2. England, Group D

Despite their recent results against Portugal, Canada and Australia, the Lionesses still appear to be one of the front runners in the eyes of many. Under Sarina Wiegman, England has shown their pedigree throughout her appointment going on a 30-win streak that included their Euro triumph.

The losses of key players such as Ballon d’Or runner-up Beth Mead, captain Leah Williamson and Fran Kirby as a result of injuries and the retirements of Helen White and Jill Scott will be significant, but the majority of that Euro-winning squad from last year has made their way to Australia.

3. Germany, Group H

While a 2-1 loss to Brazil was not ideal but at least respectable, a 3-2 defeat to Zambia will likely have some worried about the two-time Women’s World Cup champions coming into the tournament. Even though the result didn’t go their way, it was clear to see that they dominated the game, but they couldn’t finish their chances until added time, but they should have never been in that situation, to begin with.

Despite the result, don’t count Germany just yet. With the group they’re in, they will likely be able to build momentum and get through into the knockouts with their young yet experienced squad.

4. France, Group F

Sometimes all it takes is one change to completely change an outlook. After it became clear Corinne Diacre’s position as coach was no longer tenable within the national team, she was sacked by the FFF. They appointed then-Saudia Arabia coach Herve Renard to take over with less than three months to go before the Women’s World Cup.

While a limited sample size is hard to go off, wins against Colombia, Canada and Ireland show are definitely indicators that France does have what it takes to go all the way. And while they did suffer a loss against Australia, it still appears to be nothing but Les Bleus skies ahead for Renard and co.

5. Sweden, Group G

The Swedes seem to always play the role of second fiddle within women’s football. In the eight Women’s World Cup previous, they have made the semi-finals in four of them but have been unable to aloft the trophy.

They certainly can make a deep run once more, shown by recent performances against Norway, Germany and Denmark with goals in added time preventing a better record. But they also show that they can be easily beaten as shown by 4-0 drubbings by quality opponents in England and Australia in the last 12 months so it’s hard to gauge what they will do later this month. But history suggests that they will find a way to go far into the tournament.

6. Australia, Group B

For most of Tony Gustavsson’s tenure as Matildas coach, there has been debate about whether he was the right man to lead them into a home World Cup.

Assistant coach Tony Gustavsson of the United States

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

It seems in the last 12 months any doubt over his ability has disappeared as they look to match and better their 2015 performance at a home World Cup. They have won nine out of their last 10, which includes breaking England’s 30-match win streak as well as a win in their send-off match against France.

Certainly, a team in form at precisely the right time and with home soil advantage, Sam Kerr and the Matildas will do their best to leave a legacy to inspire the next generation of Australians.

7. Canada, Group B

The backdrop for Canada’s arrival at the Women’s World Cup is certainly a unique one. The Canadian Soccer Association according to reports being on the verge of bankruptcy as well as still not having a collective bargaining agreement signed has resulted in an interrupted schedule in friendlies.

The reigning Olympic champions come into the tournament after finishing last in the SheBelieves Cup, only achieving a win against Brazil. Although, this was during the period when they took a pay strike which would have affected their preparation.

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Their most recent game saw them draw against England. With Christine Sinclair likely to play in her last Women’s World Cup, Canada will hope to add to her already esteemed honour roll.

8. Spain, Group C

For a team that first qualified for a Women’s World Cup only eight years ago, La Roja has been in leaps and bounds since then to now be one of the favourites to win it all, largely as a result of only losing one game since their quarter-final loss to England at the Euros last year.

This has been largely in the face of a feud between coach Jorge Vilda and a group of 15 players who have come out against him and the RFEF which has been remarkable given they have beaten the USA, Japan and Norway.

But with the exodus of quality players still from this squad only three of the original 15 have been selected to be in the squad. But with two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas back in the Spanish team after doing her ACL, Spain still has the potential to match their golden generation billing despite the exodus.

9. Brazil, Group F

With coach Pia Sundhage now taking her third country to a Women’s World Cup finals, Brazil will hope that she can once again lead her side beyond the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time since 2007.

The Copa America Femenina champions have gotten recent victories over Germany in a friendly as well as Japan as a part of their campaign in the SheBelieves Cup which would see them finish third in the tournament. With legend Marta likely to play in her sixth Women’s World Cup, Brazil will hope that she can extend her goal tally record to remain at the top of goals scored at a FIFA World Cup and lead them into the knockouts.

Alanna Kennedy of the Matildas and Marta Vieira Da Silva of Brazil embrace

Alanna Kennedy of the Matildas and Marta Vieira Da Silva of Brazil embrace.(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

10. Denmark, Group D

It appears for the men’s and women’s teams, the status of being the dark horse is inescapable for Denmark. While the men crashed out in the group stage, the women appear likely to go further than what happened in Qatar.

Despite not making an appearance in the last three editions of the Women’s World Cup, Denmark has shown to be a formidable side in recent years, beating both Sweden and Japan in recent friendlies although their most recent one saw a loss to Spain.

Fielding a young squad coming into the tournament with only three players being over the age of 30, the hope is that Denmark can pick up from they left off in 2007 and go further than their group stage exit.

11. Netherlands, Group E

While Arsenal star Vivianne Miedema may be unable to play in the tournament, the Dutch still boast a quality side that is capable of matching their performance from four years ago.

With 4-1 and 5-0 wins against Poland and Belgium respectively, they have shown their ability to score without Miedema and score plenty, although a win against a top-10 opponent has alluded them in recent times.

If the USA were not in their group, then they would likely be the favourite to finish top despite the high quality of opponents that sat in Pot 1 which will make their potential knockout stage matches a lot harder to get through if they make it back to the Final.

12. Norway, Group A

With Ada Hegerberg now well entrenched once more with the Norway team after her five-year absence from the team, Norway will look to return to the glory days of the early 1990s which saw them win a Women’s World Cup, particularly after being knocked out in the group stage of last year’s Euros.

Although having some mixed results in recent friendlies with a win against Portugal, against higher-ranked opponents they have drawn with Sweden and lost to Spain. They should be expected to get out of the group being the highest-ranked team in their group.

13. Japan, Group C

While the Nadeshiko are unlikely to replicate their 2011 performance which saw them become champions, the new generation of players that have come in have shown an ability to contend with higher-ranked opponents. Finishing runners-up in the SheBelieves Cup with a win against Brazil which saw them finish ahead of Brazil and Canada while demolishing Panama 5-0 showing the beginnings of the new generation under Futoshi Ikeda.

With their captain Saki Kumagai being the only player over 30 in the squad, it will serve as an opportunity for the majority of the squad to have experience at an international tournament and improve upon the 2019 result. This is with the hope that in four years that they will have a better chance of emulating their 2011 campaign with the core of this squad.

14. Italy, Group G

Italy are a difficult side to pinpoint coming into the Women’s World Cup. A team capable of going far as shown by their quarter-final appearance in its last edition in 2019 but also been knocked out in the group stage at last year’s Euros showing their juxtaposition in major tournaments.

They do have form on their side with wins against New Zealand and Colombia but have also drawn to Morocco which is a game they probably should have won. They are heavily predicted to get through to the knockouts but it won’t be a shock if they repeat their Euro form here and do not get there.

15. South Korea, Group H

Coming into the tournament, South Korea has largely remained under the radar and could prove to be one of the teams that could make a surprise run into the knockouts. They have won their previous three matches but these were against teams that they were expected to beat in Zambia (twice) and Haiti. With the group they are in, they appear likely to finish behind Germany and make the knockout stages for the second time in their history.

16. Switzerland, Group A

The Swiss have been extremely consistent coming into the tournament, however, this consistency is in an ability to draw matches rather than it is to win them, having drawn all their friendlies in 2023 bar one which they would lose.

While not letting other teams beat them and being able to match the other teams is often a good thing, when it’s against the likes of Morocco and Zambia which they should be winning they may be a slight concern. Although with the quality of teams within Group A, they still appear likely to make it through the knockout stage.

17. Colombia, Group H

After returning to the Women’s World Cup after missing 2019, Colombia will hope to once again make the knockout stage with the Las Cafeteras. Had the votes gone a different way back in June 2020, it would be them playing on home soil for this year’s tournament, but they instead journey to Australia to compete.

While unable to secure good results against European teams like France or Italy, they still have kept up some form with a win against Panama. While their preparation was cut short when playing Ireland with their friendly called off during the match, it shouldn’t have too much of an impact on their performance in the tournament.

18. Ireland, Group B

For the first time since 2002, Ireland will once again be competing in a senior FIFA tournament with this being the first appearance for their women’s team. In the most recent international windows, they only managed one win which was a 3-2 result against Zambia while the rest were losses to the USA and France as well as an in-game cancellation against Colombia after only roughly 25 minutes of game time.

Group B will be a tough group for the Irish to crack given the likely stronghold Australia and Canada will have on it but it’s not out of the question for an Irish upset.

19. China, Group D

For every Women’s World Cup that China has made an appearance in, they have made it to the knockout stages every time and they will hope to continue this streak for another four years. Playing in Asia suits China with their only wins for the year coming from a set of friendlies played against Russia at home.

While outside of China, it appears to be a difficult obstacle to play overseas as shown by losses to Brazil and Spain. While they may struggle to keep the knockout stage streak alive in this tournament, they still are Asian champions for a reason and they’ll certainly help add to the hype surrounding Group D being the group of death.

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20. Portugal, Group E

While qualifying the long way around through the inter-continental playoffs, Portugal will have a point to prove in the maiden appearance at the Women’s World Cup. Taking care of business against Ukraine with a 2-0 win as well as a draw against England certainly shows they are capable of matching the very best as well.

Despite being drawn into a group with the USA and the Netherlands, they can certainly challenge either side and potentially take one of the two spots to progress to the knockouts.

21. Argentina, Group G

Wins against Venezuela and Peru in their most recent friendlies show the consistency of the La Albiceleste in performances against their continental opponents. Despite playing in three Women’s World Cups, they too have not gained three points after one of their games.

But what serves as an advantage compared to most countries will be their experience in playing within New Zealand. During the inter-continental playoff period, they would play three matches and win all three. If they can replicate that form in a couple of weeks, then can finally reach the knockout stage for the first time on their fourth appearance at the Women’s World Cup.

22. New Zealand, Group A

The Football Ferns will undoubtedly make for an interesting storyline in the tournament.

Every host country in Women’s World Cup history has made the knockout stage. Whilst this should be a good bearer for New Zealand, they haven’t won a single match out of their 15 games at the level. Add in the fact they only won two friendlies since September against Group A opponent the Philippines and Vietnam and it looks like this 32-year streak may break.

Being on home soil, the expectation will to be break this duck and finally achieve three points. But it remains to be seen whether this edition will be a replication or whether they can break their duck and potentially take another big step by progressing to the knockouts.

23. Jamaica, Group F

The Reggae Girlz have once again had to scrap their way into the tournament as they too face issues with their federation surrounding pay issues and not having enough preparation before coming to Australia. They would struggle in the Central American and Caribbean games, only managing to get a draw against Puerto Rico as they finished at the bottom of Group B.

Their chances of getting through to the knockouts will heavily rely on Man City’s Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw to score enough goals to be able to get them into winning positions.

24. Nigeria, Group B

When your coach has said publicly that your team is not prepared for the tournament, alarm bells are ringing. It seems to be once again that Nigeria’s women’s team are coming into issues with its federation on the eve of the Women’s World Cup over unpaid salaries. This has now led to the possibility that the Super Falcons could boycott their opening match with Canada in Melbourne which would hinder any chance of making it out of the group stage.

They certainly have the talent to compete with their Group B opponents with striker Asisat Oshoala posing a significant threat for defenders, as shown by her form playing for Barcelona, putting her in contention for the Golden Boot. They have shown form recently, winning their last three friendlies against Costa Rica, Haiti and New Zealand.

25. South Africa, Group G

The reigning WAFCON champions have not had the best run of form since they achieved continental success a mere 12 months ago. Losing the COSAFA Women’s Championship to Zambia in the final as well as the runners-up finish in the Turkish Women’s Cup has dampened some of their chances of making it to the knockout stage for the first time.

They have also faced other issues with their federation surrounding preparation and pay disputes which resulted in their World Cup squad sitting out of their friendly against Botswana which they would lose 5-0. The squad would come back to beat Costa Rica 2-0. It does not look promising for Banyana Banyana’s chances of going further in Australia and New Zealand.

26. Philippines, Group A

Alen Stajcic in the space of two years has managed to turn the Philippines from being ranked 68th to winning their first international tournament and now competing in their first Women’s World Cup. They would also achieve their highest ranking of all time highest ranking of 46th.

While against Asian and Oceanic opponents they have shown an ability to test their opposition, outside of those regions that they don’t have a winning record against any side. While they have certainly earnt their spot in the tournament, their ability to compete against the European teams in Norway and Switzerland will determine how successful this tournament was regardless of progression to the knockouts.

27. Vietnam, Group E

Vietnam is another country that will be making their debut at the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament this edition. To go one better, it will be the first time that Vietnam will make an appearance at a senior FIFA tournament.

Having won gold in the Southeast Asian games as well as some respectable losses against Germany and New Zealand show an ability to maintain some level with high-quality opponents. However, a 9-0 defeat to Spain may be a sign of things to come. Being in a group where all their opponents are at least ranked 21st and higher makes it hard to see them progress any further.

28. Zambia, Group C

With an upset win against Germany which very few contemplated let alone expected, Zambia will be on the radar as potential giant-killers. With a 3-3 draw against Switzerland and a close 2-3 loss to Ireland to go with, they have shown an ability to take their chances against higher-ranked opposition.

While they managed to beat Germany despite only having 23 per cent possession and less than 35 per cent possession against the Swiss and Irish, it does seem unlikely to be replicated across their group stage matches. But the Copper Queens will hope to defy expectations once more.

29. Costa Rica, Group C

Costa Rica has struggled in recent times as they come into the tournament. Similar to Haiti, they too struggled in the CAC games with their only win coming against Haiti. Other losses to Poland, Scotland and South Africa in recent friendlies certainly don’t bode for Las Ticas.

They made an appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup back in 2015 where they just fell short of making it to the last 16 despite not winning a game in the group stage, but it does like history will repeat itself in 2023.

30. Morocco, Group H

The first team from the Arab world to make the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Atlas Lionesses regardless of what happens over the next two-to-four weeks will serve as inspiration to the next generation of women in the Arab region.

While they have largely struggled against better-ranked opposition since qualifying, they have seen some good performances as shown through their recent draws against Italy and Switzerland. There is certainly a chance for them to create a possible upset alert within Group H but it seems unlikely.

31. Panama, Group F

Panama is also another team that will make their debut at this Women’s World Cup. They would also qualify through the inter-continental playoffs. They have had some results go their way with a pair of wins against the Dominican Republic and a 7-0 demolition of Gibraltar. This would go along with a draw with Colombia.

However, they too would be on the receiving end of a 7-0 defeat from Spain as well as a 5-0 loss to Japan. Hard to see them getting anything beyond a point within Group F against the likes of France, Brazil or Jamaica.

32. Haiti, Group D

Through the inter-continental play-offs, Haiti will make their debut finals appearance in the Women’s World Cup. Outside of that qualification through the playoffs, they haven’t had much success in the lead-up into the tournament as they would finish last in their group in the Central American and Caribbean Games not gaining a single point losing to Costa Rica, Venezuela and Centro Caribe Sport (similar to the IOC Refugee team).

Add in the fact that the group they are in may be the hardest if measured by world rankings (all other teams in Group D are top 15) and from a footballing perspective it will prove mightily difficult to overcome.

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