The Women’s World Cup kicks off on Friday night, June 7, with hosts France taking on South Korea at the Parc des Prince in Paris.
The Women’s World Cup 2019 is the eighth edition of the showpiece tournament for women’s football. France hosts the tournament for the first time and 24 teams will once again compete for the right to be called world champions.
Women’s World Cup: Who are the favourites?
Defending champions the United States head into the tournament as the odds on favourite, according to leading sportsbooks. The three-time winners defeated Japan in 2015 to lift the trophy and manager Jill Ellis will be confident the Yanks can win a fourth World Cup trophy.
The US women’s team continues to fight for equal pay on home soil and a good performance will once again show they are deserving of the same financial rewards that the men’s team receives.
Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd are the team’s top players, although the US is filled from front to back with stars. Morgan and Lloyd have combined for an incredible 211 career international goals.
France are level with the US according to a number of leading sportsbooks. The French not only play in a very winnable group but they also have a number of great players. Manager Corinne Diacre has selected primarily from the French women’s league, which can claim to be one of the top divisions in the world.
Women’s World Cup: Who are the outsiders that can lift the trophy?
Germany and England go into the Women’s World Cup with plenty of hope. The German’s are two-time winners of the tournament. Wolfsburg forward Alexandra Popp will be tasked with getting the team’s lion’s share of goals.
Meanwhile, England finished third at the Women’s World Cup 2015. Phil Neville’s Lionesses have raised hopes that the team can do even better this time around. Toni Duggan and Nikita Parris, two former Manchester City women’s players, will be key to England’s success.
Parris is coming off of a 22 goal in 25 appearance season for the Cityzens. Her play in the FA WSL influenced France’s Lyon to sign her in May. She will have more incentive to play well in France with all eyes on her.
Women’s World Cup: Is there a dark horse to win the tournament?
Canada and Japan can be seen as two of the dark horses heading into France 2019. The Canadians are ranked fifth in the world and made it to the final eight in 2015.
Canada’s top scorer Christine Sinclair has led the ladies team to an undefeated record in 2019. The big question is: can the Canadians step up to the big stage and continue producing results?
Japan won the 2011 version of the tournament and followed it up with a second-place finish in 2015. Japan have a difficult group with England, Argentina, and Scotland in it. They should be one of the two best teams to advance from Group D, however.