FIFA Women's World Cup: Guide to the Favourites

Martin Green

Monday, May 27, 2019 9:11 PM UTC

Monday, May. 27, 2019 9:11 PM UTC

The USA, France, Germany and England are the leading teams to look out for at this summer's World Cup.
<div><p><a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" target="_blank"><img alt src="" style="height:14px;width:100%" /></a></p><p>The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup gets underway on June 7 when host nation France takes on South Korea in the opening clash. We take a look at the teams competing for glory.</p><h2>USA</h2><p>The Americans cemented their status as the dominant force in the women’s game when they won the World Cup in 2015. They lost to Japan on penalties in 2011, but then turned the tables on the Japanese and swept them aside in a 5-2 triumph in 2015, a result that made them the most successful team in this tournament’s history. Jill Ellis’ side features stellar talent in the form of Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath and Mallory Pugh, and they also boast a great deal of experience. Morgan is the 13/2 (7.50) joint favourite with <a href=";a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6&amp;f=1" target="_blank" title="Betfair">Betfair</a> to claim the Golden Boot, and she is also the 5/1 favourite to be named best player in the tournament. They are not quite as dominant as they once were, but they should breeze through a group that also features Sweden, Chile and Thailand, and Morgan to finish as top scorer looks like a good bet. They are 7/2 joint favourites with <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" target="_blank" title="Bet365">Bet365</a> to win this tournament and that will be a popular choice among punters.</p><h2>France</h2><p>Les Bleus won the men’s World Cup last year and now their female counterparts will bid to follow in the footsteps of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and co. They have the advantage of the tournament being held on home soil, and they should benefit from strong support throughout. A midfield pairing of Eugene Le Sommer and Amandine Henry looks particularly formidable. Many bookmakers have Henry as the favourite to be named player of the tournament, but <a href=";a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" target="_blank" title="Unibet">Unibet</a> has a market leading 6/1. Le Sommer is also joint favourite along with Morgan for the Golden Boot. Much will rest on her shoulders, after France axed Ligue 1 top scorer Marie-Antoinette Kakoto after she clashed with coach Corinne Diacre. Ten players return to the squad from the 2015 World Cup, including Arsenal goalkeeper Pauline Peyraid-Magnin, and Atletico Madrid defender Aissatou Tounkara. France are 7/2 joint favourites to win this tournament.</p><h2>Germany</h2><p>Reigning Olympic gold medallists Germany have previously won two World Cups and they secured eight out of nine European Championships between 1989 and 2013. Victories over France and Italy this year point to a team in strong form. They will need to rally around new coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who has only managed them three times. Since winning gold at Rio 2016, they have struggled in major tournaments. They crashed out of the 2017 Euros at the quarter-final stage and lost to the USA and France in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. Yet they have some quality players in the form of Alexandra Popp, Dszenifer Marozsan and Lea Schuller, so you can never write them off. They are 6/1 with Paddy Power to win the World Cup.</p><h2>England</h2><p>Phil Neville’s Lionesses are 7/1 with Betway to win the World Cup and that might make an interesting each-way bet. They finished third at the last World Cup and then they were runners-up at the SheBelieves Cup 2018. Neville said he is taking a squad full of world-class players to France and he is convinced they can have a successful tournament. Jill Scott and Karen Carney provide vital experience, while Fran Kirby and Nikita Parris will provide creativity going forwards. England will rely on Jody Tatlor, Beth Mead, Ellen White and Toni Duggan for further goal threat. The Lionesses will miss injured midfielder Jordan Nobbs, but Steph Houghton is a strong captain and the squad is brimming with talent. First England must get out of a Group of Death, which also features Japan, Scotland and Argentina, but if they can progress unscathed they will be very dangerous in the latter stages of the tournament.</p><h2>The Rest</h2><p>Japan were winners in 2011 and runners-up in 2015, so it is perhaps surprising to see them out at 17/1 with Unibet to win the World Cup this year. Captain Saki Kumagai has been excellent for Lyon and there is plenty of experience in the team. They won the Asia Cup in 2018, but they lost to England and France last year. However, coach Takakura Osako has been bedding in new players, prioritising development above results, and they could be a force to be reckoned with in this summer’s tournament.</p><p>The Netherlands boast the formidable talents of Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema and the supporting cast is strong, with Shanice van de Sanden, Lieke Martens and Danielle van de Donk providing plenty of danger in attack, so they also look interesting at 16/1. Brazil are a fading force after losing nine in a row and seeing the talents of star forward Marta diminish, so it looks like it will either be the USA or a European team lifting the trophy this year, and an each-way punt on England at 7/1 looks tempting.</p></div>
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