FIFA Women’s World Cup Preview And Tips Part Two – Groups C & D

By Ian John
May 29, 2023

Hello and welcome back to the second part of our series of articles previewing the group stages of the forthcoming FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Finals.

If you want to skip back to the start of this series you can check out the Group A and B previews by following the link.

The opening phase sees 32 teams competing across eight groups, each playing three games with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the 16-team knockout phase.

From then on, it is a straight knockout between teams until we know which is the last team standing, holding aloft the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

After England’s success at the 2022 European Championships, when they defeated Germany to win their first ever international silverware, interest in the Lionesses has increased markedly and they are in Group D of this preview!

So let’s quickly move on to the preview of Groups C and D in the tournament which features plenty of interest for Lionesses fans.

Especially those that have backed them to win the tournament as one of the favourites with bet365 Sport!

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 C

Group C’s fixtures will be played exclusively in New Zealand and it features the following teams:

  • Spain
  • Costa Rica
  • Zambia
  • Japan

Fixtures

  • 22th Jul – Spain v Costa Rica (Wellington Regional Stadium) – 7.30am
  • 23rd Jul – Zambia v Japan (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton) – 7.00am
  • 26th Jul – Japan v Costa Rica (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin) – 5am
  • 26th Jul – Spain v Zambia (Eden Park, Auckland) – 7.30am
  • 31st Jul – Japan v Spain (Wellington Regional Stadium) – 7am
  • 31st Jul – Costa Rica v Zambia (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton) – 7am

Team Snapshots

Spain

Spain’s chances have been rocked by a divide in the camp, with 15 players refusing to play for Spain until manager Jorge Vilda changes his ways. An impasse has been reached which means Spain could be massively under-strength at a tournament that they would likely have a great chance of winning if they took a full-strength squad.

It is not known if 2-time Ballon D’or winner Alexia Putellas will be on the plane as she has voiced her support of her 15 team mates, although not officially withdrawn from the team.

Top Player – Alexia Putellas (MC) – Wonderfully gifted Barcelona midfielder who missed out on Euro 2022 through injury and who deserves a world stage to showcase her talents.

Costa Rica

One of the outsiders for the tournament, Costa Rica have won just one hame since 11th July 2022 losing 10 of their last 14 games. A very experienced team in terms of caps, but not at playing at this high level and as such, I feel that they may well be a team that struggles in the group.

Top Player – Priscila Chinchilla (MC) – The wonderfully named Priscila Chinchilla is one of Costa Rica’s great female football hopes. Just 21, she has 45 caps and has scored 20 goals and plies her trade in Scotland with Glasgow City.

Zambia

One of the stronger of the emerging African women’s teams, Zambia may have a strong standing in African women’s football but they are novices on the world stage and recent heavy defeats to South Korea, themselves not a women’s game super-power, does not bode well for the popular African side who will add colour and dazzle to the finals.

Top Player – Barbra Banda (AC) – Playing her football in China, Barbra Banda has an incredible 22 goals from just 10 caps. The 23 year old is also a boxer and she is one of a number of talented forward players from the country now playing her club football abroad.

Japan

One of just four teams to have won the women’s World Cup, Japan were well beaten finalists in 2015 but their performances have been a little erratic since. They have lost five of their last seven, but have also beaten Canada and Portugal. Will the real Japan stand up in time for the World Cup?

Top Player – Yui Hasegawa (MC) – Manchester City’s talented energetic midfielder is the heartbeat of a young Japanese team that will certainly be expecting to get out of the group and make the knockout phase of the tournament.

Our Group C Prediction

  1. Spain – Q
  2. Japan – Q
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Zambia
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Group D

Group D will be contested wholly in Australia and will feature the following four teams.

  • England
  • Haiti
  • Denmark
  • China

Fixtures

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

  • 22nd Jul – England v Haiti (Lang Park, Brisbane) – 7.30am
  • 22nd Jul – Denmark v China (Perth Rectangular Stadium) – 10am
  • 28th Jul – England v Denmark (Sydney Football Stadium) – 8.30am
  • 28th Jul – China v Haiti (Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide) – 10.90am
  • 1st Aug – China v England (Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide) – 11.30am
  • 1st Aug – Haiti v Denmark (Perth Rectangular Stadium) – 11.30am

Team Snapshots

England

The current European Champions have been hit with injuries to a number of players with Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Meade unlikely to be fit in time for the World Cup, which is a huge blow to the team.

That said England do have great strength in depth in this squad and they should still go deep into this tournament.

Top Player – Lucy Bronze (DR) – Bronze is not just England’s best player, she is one of the world’s best and has been for many years. She’ll be key for England once again at this finals.

Haiti

Perhaps the team that people know the least about, the Haiti team has won three of its last four games beating Chile, Senegal to qualify for the finals and then a friendly win over Moldova. Some of their strikers have racked up plenty of goals against weaker opponents but they won’t find World Cup Group Stage opponents quite so easy to score against.

Top Player – Batcheba Louis (AMR) – An attacking winger and goalscorer who has 23 goals from just 13 caps and who plays her football in France, as do many of this Haitian team.

Denmark

Four wins in a row ahead of the finals has the Danes set up nicely to pose the biggest threat to the Lionesses in Group D. Pernille Harder’s injury has blighted their preparation but it looks like the Chelsea striker could be fit for the finals, which would be a massive boost for the Danes.

Top Player – Pernille Harder (AC) – Has been injured most of the season but could be fit enough to play in her first World Cup for Denmark after missing out the last three times. If she is fit, she could inspire the Danes a great deal.

China

Ranked 13th in the world, China won’t be a pushover at this tournament and they are capable of springing a surprise or two, however their chances depend on if their veteran front three of Wang Shuang, Wang Shahshan and Li Ying can find goals against top quality opposition.

Top Player –.Tang Jiali (MC) the Real Madrid midfielder has an impressive 30 goals from 72 caps in midfield and is aged just 28. She’ll be the main creative force in this team along with veteran Zhang Rui.

Our Group D Prediction

  1. England – Q
  2. Denmark – Q
  3. China
  4. Haiti

There’s tones of great historical information and titbits about the FIFA Women’s World Cup and its past, just check out this great FAQ guide to the tournament!

Want to know some of the stars to look out for in the tournament? Then check out our Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023 Pre Tournament World XI which we compiled a little while back.

Come back on Monday when we will bring you the third part of this four-part series looking at Groups E and F of the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Finals in Australia and New Zealand.

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