FIFA Women’s World Cup Preview And Tips Part One – Groups A & B

By Ian John
May 29, 2023

Later this summer, 32 of the best women’s national football teams will head to Australia and New Zealand to compete at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Here in the United Kingdom, interest will be high with the European Champions of 2022, England, amongst the favourites, while Irish eyes will be keen to see how the Republic of Ireland perform.

Current holders and the most decorated team in Women’s World Cup history, the United States, will also be there alongside plenty of other big hitters from the women’s international game too.

It is still a little early for bet365 Sport to have their odds up for the tournament, but do keep a close eye on the sportsbook as we are sure the odds will be available once we reach the end of the Women’s Super League season has been reached.

So let’s quickly now move on to the main thrust of this article, which is taking a look at the eight teams that will contest Groups A and B in the finals this summer.

FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Finals

  • Location – Australia and New Zealand
  • Dates – 20th July to 20th August 2023
  • Teams – 32 (8 groups of 4)
  • Venues – 10 (in 9 host cities, 5 in Australia, 4 in New Zealand)
  • Current Holders – United States

Group A

Group A will be contested wholly in New Zealand and will feature the following four teams.

  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Switzerland

Fixtures

Kick off times shown are UK time (12 hours behind)

  • 20th Jul – New Zealand v Norway (Eden Park, Auckland) – 7am
  • 21st Jul – Philippines v Switzerland (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin) – 5am
  • 25th Jul – New Zealand v Philippines (Wellington Regional Stadium) – 5.30am
  • 25th Jul – Switzerland v Norway (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton) – 8am
  • 30th Jul – Switzerland v New Zealand (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin) – 7am
  • 30th Jul – Norway v Philippines (Eden Park, Auckland) – 7am

Team Snapshots

New Zealand

The Ferns may have home advantage, but they are going to need it in what looks like being a tough group for them. Having lost eight of their last ten games, drawing the other two, their last win came back in September 2022 with a win over Philippines who they will face in the group stages here.

Home support can raise a team a great deal, but whether it can raise this New Zealand team to qualify from the group stages, I’m not so sure.

Top Player – Ali Riley (Defender) – Captain of club and country and the leader of the team.

Norway

Norway have had a tough build up to the World Cup, drawing two and losing two of their last four, but against very good European opposition, so they should be well tested ahead of their World Cup opener against the hosts New Zealand.

That game and the game with Norway will likely determine Norway’s chances of qualifying from the group stage.

Top Player – Ada Hegerberg (AC) – One of the best strikers in the world today with 43 goals in her 77 caps.

Philippines

One of west Asia’s dominant teams, the Philippines have struggled against better quality teams such as Wales, Scotland and Iceland and as such, they could struggle in this group with a host nation, plus two decent European teams in it.

I don’t expect them to get a real thrashing off any team, but I do feel they will finish bottom of the grouop.

Top Player – Sarina Bolden (AC) – 26-year-old striker who plays her football in Australia for Western Sydney Wanderers and who has 20 goals from just 33 international caps.

Switzerland

After beating Wales in their playoff for the World Cup, Sweitzerland have not win in five, losing two and drawing three, enhancing their reputation as a solid team that is difficult to beat, but perhaps one lacking firepower.

That said, they should still be good enough to qualify from this group.

Top Player – Ana Maria Crnogorcevic (AC) – experienced striker who plays for Barcelona and who has 70 goals from her 145 caps.

Our Group A Prediction

  1. Norway – Q
  2. Switzerland – Q
  3. New Zealand
  4. Philippines

Group B

Group B’s fixtures will be played exclusively in Australia and it features the following teams:

  • Australia
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Nigeria
  • Canada

Fixtures

  • 20th Jul – Australia v Republic of Ireland (Stadium Australia, Sydney) – 10am
  • 21st Jul – Nigeria v Canada (Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne) – 10.30pm
  • 26th Jul – Canada v Republic of Ireland (Rectangular Stadium, Perth) – 12pm
  • 27th Jul – Australia v Nigeria (Lang Park, Brisbane) – 8am
  • 31st Jul – Canada v Australia (Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne) – 6am
  • 31st Jul – Republic of Ireland v Nigeria (Lang Park, Brisbane) – 6am

Team Snapshots

Australia

The host nation has warmed up for the home World Cup with some impressive wins over Spain, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa and England. The game with Canada will likely decide who tops this opening group.

Top Player – Sam Kerr (AC) – The Chelsea striker captains her country and is their main attacking threat with 63 goals in 120 caps.

Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland still have two more friendlies to play ahead of the World Cup, but after close defeats to the United States in April, the irish will be a stronger opponent than many may expect, but a lack of goals could be their big problem.

Top Player – Katie McCabe (MC) – Captain of her country, the Arsenal midfielder has scored 18 goals for her country, the second most in the squad.

Nigeria

After a run of six straight defeats, Nigeria have won all their last three games heading into the World Cup, including a 3-0 away win over New Zealand held in Turkey. They may struggle in what looks like being one of the tougher groups of this stage of the tournament.

Top Player – Asisat Oshoala (AC) The Barcelona striker is one of several Nigerian stars playing in Spanish football and looks to be their team’s biggest attacking threat.

Canada

Ranked 6th in the world, Canada should be considered amongst the favourites not just in this group, but for the tournament. However, they come into the tournament with just one win in five and with doubts raised over their current form. Even so, they should be good enough to qualify here.

Top Player – Ashley Lawrence (DC) – The PSG defender has matured into one of the best centre back sin the world and should show that class in this tough group.

Our Group B Prediction

  1. Australia – Q
  2. Canada – Q
  3. Republic of Ireland
  4. Nigeria

For more information about the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup and its history check out our detailed FAQ guide to the tournament!

Additionally, for a look at some of the potential stars of the summer, why not take a look at our Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023 Pre Tournament World XI?

All the latest betting for the tournament can be found at bet365 Sport, including backing which of the 32 teams you think will win the tournament!

And remember to check back tomorrow for our second part of this four-part series looking at all eight groups of the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Finals in Australia and New Zealand.

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