GROUP B TWG FIFA WOmen's world cup preview



June 8, 11:00pm AEST

Roazhon Park, Rennes


June 9, 2:00am AEST

Stade Océane, Le Havre


June 13, 2:00am AEST

Stade de Hainaut, Valenciennes


June 14, 5:00am AEST

Stade Océane, Le Havre


June 18, 2:00am AEST

Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier


June 18, 2:00am AEST

Stade Océane, Le Havre


FIFA Ranking: 16

Last five games: LWWDL

Previous World Cup appearances: 6 (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015)

Captain: Wu Haiyan

The youthful team are looking to replica the glory days which saw them finish inside the top four 1991 and 1995. The team almost won their first Asian title in 12 years at the Jakarta Asian Games but a late goal from Japan saw them denied the trophy.

There are somewhat high expectations for China at the tournament after going on a surprising run to the quarter-finals in 2015 so most supporters will be hoping that they can make it to at least the next round in France.


Strength: China play a very structured style mainly revolving around the movements of forward Wang Shanshan. This sees the team set up in a way that everyone knows what their role is in the game but also have the ability to adapt if they get caught out.

Weakness: Who will play defensive midfield? Former vice captain Zhang Rui, who is capped more than 140 times, was dropped from the provisional World Cup squad. Potential players could be Yang Lina but she doesn't have many international games to her name while Tan Ruyin has only just returned to the squad after a long injury.


Jia Xiuquan was appointed coach after the Asian Cup last year, the 55-year-old had been almost exclusively invovled in the men's side of the game until that point. An interesting fact though is in 2010 he was questioned and assisted the police in a match-fixing case.


Peng Shimeng replaces goalkeeper Zhao Lina from the Asian Cup last year. The 20-year-old has 15 clean sheets in 23 appearances with club Jian Suning and was name Goalkeeper of the Season last season in the Chinese Super League. However, recently there has been speculation that she won't be first choice keeper in France.


Wu Haiyan (Defender): After joining the national team in 2011, she inherited the captain's armband from Pu Wei three years later and has remained the team's leader ever since. The 26-year-old has formed a strong central defensive partnership with Li Jiayue.

Han Peng (Midfielder): Having represented China PR for the past decade, 30-year-old Zhang Rui will bring valuable experience to the squad. Despite being a defender or defensive midfielder, she is known for her attacking flair.

Wang Shuang (Forward): The PSG player has a free role up front but will still closely partner Wang Shanshan going forward. The 2018 AFC Women's Player of the Year is closing in on 100 goals from her country.


1. Xu Huan, 2. Liu Shanshan, 3. Lin Yuping, 4. Lou Jiahui, 5. Wu Haiyan, 6. Han Peng, 7. Wang Shuang, 8. Li Jiayue, 9. Yang Li, 10. Li Ying, 11. Wang Shanshan, 12. Peng Shimeng, 13. Wang Yan, 14. Wang Ying, 15. Song Duan, 16. Li Wen, 17. Gu Yasha, 18. Bi Xiaolin, 19. Tan Ruyin, 20. Zhang Rui, 21. Yao Wei, 22. Luo Guiping, 23. Liu Yanqiu


FIFA Ranking: 2

Last five games: WDWWD

Previous World Cup appearances: 7 (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)

Captain: Alexandra Popp

The reigning Olympic Champions have time against them coming into the World Cup. The team were given a new coach a few months out from their opening game in France, which hasn't be ideal preparation especially when they've lost the services of veterans Annike Krahn, Melanie Behringer, Anja Mittag and Simone Laudehr.

Germany finished last at the prestigious SheBelieves Cup in the US in 2018 and this result saw head coach Steffi Jones fate sealed and was an outgoing coach. However, while all that is happening, the team has talent bursting across the park.


Strength: In traditional German style, they will play an attacking minded game which has featured heavily no matter who has been their coach. At Canada 2015 they scored 20 goals across six games.

Weakness: There's no denying that time is against them with a new coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg only having a handful of games under her belt. It's hard to know what the formation and the tactics of this team will be with knowing that.


Martina Voss-Tecklenburg comes into the World Cup with only four friendlies and a handful of training camps with the team. However, the 51-year-old no stranger to the world stage with three World Cups (1991, 1995 and 1999) and 125 caps for Germany during her playing days.


Giulia Gwinn joined Bayern Munich in the summer. The 19-year-old impressed in an attacking role earlier this year in an outing against Japan but she can also be versatile and play in the right side of the back four.


Almuth Schult (Goalkeeper): She returned to the team recently after a bout of measles last winter but France will see her take over the reigns from Nadine Angerer on the world stage after the Ballon d'Or winner retired in 2016.

Dzsenifer Marozsán (Midfielder): The Lyon playmaker is considered one of the best in the game. The 27-year-old is back at her best after missing three months in the summer of 2018 due to a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Alexandra Popp (Forward): The leader in the team plays a holding midfield position but can also be moved to the left wing. Her physicality in a game will be a positive point up front for the team.


1. Almuth Schult, 2. Carolin Simon, 3. Kathrin Hendrich, 4. Leonie Maier, 5. Marina Hegering, 6. Lena Oberdorf, 7. Lea Schueller, 8. Lena Goessling, 9. Svenja Huth, 10. Dzsenifer Marozsan, 11. Alexandra Popp, 12. Laura Benkarth, 13. Sara Daebritz, 14. Johanna Elsig, 15. Giulia Gwinn, 16. Linda Dallmann, 17. Verena Schweers, 18. Melanie Leupolz, 19. Klara Buehl, 20. Lina Magull, 21 Merle Frohms, 22 Turid Knaak, 23 Sara Doorsoun


FIFA Ranking: 16

Last five games: LLDLL

Previous World Cup appearances: 6 (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015)

Captain: Janine van Wyk

The nation will be watching in anticipation when South Africa take to the field in France. In recent years they've been able to play against more high quality teams on the international stage which will only benefit them going into their seventh World Cup.

However, the team doesn’t have a great record against non-African opposition with their last win coming against Hungary in March last year.


Strengths: They will be relying on their attackers to go forward with their forwards being one of their biggest strengths which has seen them score 24 goals between March and October 2018, a time where they found the back of the net in 10 consecutive games. Although their conversion rate could be a bit better.

Weakness: Their 7-2 scoreline against Norway raised some questions over the sides defence. Looking further back they haven't kept a clean sheet since January 22 which was a friendly against Sweden and during their nine games in 2019, they've conceded 21 times.


Desiree Ellis is the longest-serving captain in the history of South Africa’s women’s team and was part of their first ever game when they played against Swaziland in 1993. The 56-year-old served as interim coach after Vera Pauw resigned in 2016 before being appointed in early last year as the head coach. She's helped the team finish second in her first major tournament, the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, qualifying South Africa for their first ever Women’s World Cup.


Former Houston Dash midfielder Linda Motlhalo is currently plying her trade for Beijing BG Phoenix. The 20-year-old started in all five games at the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations, where she scored one goal and was named Player of the Match during her side's semifinal encounter with Mali.


Noko Matlou (Defender): The 33-year-old has been with the national side for over a decade and became the first South African player to win the African Women’s Footballer of the Year award back in 2008. However, Ellis converted her from a striker to a defender last year and she's staying put.

Mamello Makhabane (Midfielder): The 31-year-old has been a constant presence in the South African midfield for 14 years. She offers stability and decisiveness as the base of the midfield which will be crucial in France.

Thembi Kgatlana (Forward): She is one of the most talked about players in Africa. The 23-year-old was picked up both African Women’s Footballer of the Year and African Women’s Goal of the Year awards. She was also top scorer at the 2018 Women’s Afcon and has more than 50 caps for her country.


1. Mapaseka Mpuru, 2. Lebohang Ramalepe, 3. Nothando Vilakazi, 4. Noko Matlou, 5. Janine van Wyk, 6. Mamello Makhabane, 7. Karabo Dhlamini, 8. Ode Fulutudilu, 9. Amanda Mthandi, 10. Linda Mothalo, 11. Thembi Kgatlana, 12. Jermaine Seoposenwe, 13. Bambanani Mbane, 14. Tiisetso Makhubela, 15. Refiloe Jane, 16. Andile Dlanmini, 17. Leandra Smeda, 18. Bongeka Gamede, 19. Kholosa Biyana, 20. Kaylin Swart, 21. Busisiwe Ndimeni, 22. Rhoda Mulaudzi, 23. Sibulele Holweni


FIFA Ranking: 13

Last five games: DDWLW

Previous World Cup appearances: 1 (2015)

Captain: Marta Torrejón

Spain won all eight games on their route to qualifying for their second World Cup. The country have had great success at youth level with the under-17s being World and European champions and the under-19s winning the Euros while the under-20s finished second in the World Cup…so expectations are high.

Their 2015 World Cup campaign was remembered for the players’ rebellion against the methods of the then-coach Ignacio Quereda and they failed to get out of their group.

The nations also didn't get past the quarter-finals at Euro 2017 so this tournament will be a test of the maturity of the coach and the players.


Strength: The majority of the defence in this Spanish side is made up of Barcelona players so they know each other quite well. Recent results have seen the team concede just nine goals in their 10 matches this year.

Weakness: One things lacking in the squad is depth but not in the typical way. The domestic competition, Liga Femenina Iberdrola, is not competitive enough with Barcelona and Atlético too superior with 15 of the 23 player squad headed to France coming from those two clubs. So it means players at times don't get to play a high brand of competitive football.


Jorge Vilda has been in charge of the team since the 2015 World Cup. The 37-year-old has won the European Championship with the women’s under-19 team in 2017 and 2018. In 2014, he was nominated for the FIFA Women's World Coach of the Year after the U17 and U19 women's teams were runners-up at the European Cup.


Alba Redondo earned her first cap in January so hasn’t been on the international scene that long. The 22-year-old has a strong season for Albacete, scoring 15 goals, despite the team being relegated from the top division.


Irene Paredes (Defender): The 27-year-old is the leader of the Spanish backline. She was selected in the 2017 FIFA FIFPro Women’s World XI and was Spain’s second-highest scorer in the qualifying campaign for France 2019.

Vicky Losada (Midfielder): The Barcelona midfielder is the engine room of the national team and has spent nearly a decade with the senior team. The 28-year-old is the creative force and while she likes to play possession football, her long-range shooting poses a threat to opposition defences.

Jenni Hermoso (Forward): The top scorer of the Liga Iberdrola with 24 goals this season, the Atletico Madrid star can also control and hold the ball as well as slow the game down when needed.


1.Dolores Gallardo, 2. Celia Jimenez, 3. Leila Ouahabi, 4. Irene Paredes, 5. Ivana Andres, 6. Vicky Losada, 7. Marta Corredera, 8. Marta Torrejon, 9. Mariona Caldentey, 10. Jennifer Hermoso, 11. Alexia Putellas, 12. Patri Guijarro, 13. Sandra Panos, 14. Virginia Torrecilla, 15. Silvia Meseguer, 16. Maria Leon, 17. Lucia Garcia, 18. Aitana Bonmati, 19. Amanda Sampedro, 20. Andrea Pereira, 21. Andrea Falcon, 22 Nahikari Garcia, 23 Maria Quinones


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