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GROUP F TWG's fifa women's world cup preview

FIXTURES

CHILE V SWEDEN

June 12, 2:00am AEST

Roazhon Park, Rennes

UNITED STATES V THAILAND

June 12, 5:00am AEST

Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims

SWEDEN V THAILAND

June 16, 11:00pm AEST

Allianz Riviera, Nice

UNITED STATES V CHILE

June 17, 2:00am AEST

Parc des Princes, Paris

SWEDEN V UNITED STATES

June 21, 5:00am AEST

Stade Océane, Le Havre

THAILAND V CHILE

June 21, 5:00am AEST

Roazhon Park, Rennes

USA

FIFA Ranking: 1

Last five games: WWWWW

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

Captain: Charli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan & Megan Rapinoe

It's been a long journey since the USA's victorious win in Canada. The world No.1's had a quarter-finals loss to Sweden at the 2016 Olympics while the squad also saw the departure of longtime goalkeeper Hope Solo in controversial circumstances.

This was then followed by a period of what could be called experimentation which saw 61 different players called into the national side over a two and a half year period. However 2017 was probably one of the toughest years for the US with Germany briefly taking the world No.1 crown while they also suffered three defeats on home soil.

While the team has settled on a starting XI and are still the favourites for the tournament due to their previous success, there are some concerns for the side.

STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS

Strength: Defenders from the other three teams in this group will be fearful of the attacking line up of this team. Lead by Megan Rapinoe, Morgan, Tobin Heath, Mallory Pugh, Christen Press and Carli Lloyd, the USA won't have much problem scoring.

Weakness: Down the other end of the field, there have been a few issues for the Americans with the team conceded multiple goals back-to-back. Something that hasn't happened with 2011. The back four lack depth and experience with starting backs Kelley O'Hara plagued by injury while Crystal Dunn is being played out of position.

COACH

Jill Ellis was appointed head coach in 2014 and a year later she lead the USA to a World Cup championship. However, recently, the 52-year-old has drawn criticism for her coaching tactics particularly from former player Hope Solo who said she "cracks under pressure".

PLAYER TO WATCH

Rose Lavelle hamstring has limited her time in the national team over the past two year but the World Cup debutant will be pivotal in midfield with her creativity and technical skill.

KEY PLAYERS

Alyssa Naeher (Goalkeeper): This is an important tournament for the 31-year-old. She will be under the spotlight this tournament and will ultimate be the last line of defence.

Lindsey Horan (Midfielder): She's the necleus at Portland Thorns but with the USA she plays a different role and is not on the ball as much. However, she's still dangerous. The midfielder left home at 18 and played for Paris Saint-Germain.

Megan Rapinoe (Forward): The Reign FC captain has vast experience at the highest level and she's one of the most experienced players on the team having made her debut in 2006. While she hasn't scored since playing Australia in April, Rapinoe is still an important part of the attacking force.

SQUAD

1. Alyssa NAEHER, 2. Mallory PUGH, 3. Samantha MEWIS, 4. Becky SAUERBRUNN, 5. Kelley O HARA, 6. Morgan BRIAN, 7. Abby DAHLKEMPER, 8. Julie ERTZ, 9. Lindsey HORAN, 10. Carli LLOYD, 11. Ali KRIEGER, 12. Tierna DAVIDSON, 13. Alex MORGAN, 14. Emily SONNETT, 15. Megan RAPINOE, 16. Rose LAVELLE, 17. Tobin HEATH, 18. Ashlyn HARRIS, 19. Crystal DUNN, 20. Allie LONG, 21. Adrianna FRANCH, 22. Jessica McDONALD, 23. Christen PRESS

CHILE

FIFA Ranking: 39

Last five games: LDLLD

Previous World Cup appearances: Nil

Captain: Christiane Endler

Chile are set to have a mix of players who started in their 2018 Copa América campaign and some new faces when they begin their campaign in France. However, Letelier has had to find replacements for two of his starting backline with Carla Guerrero (injured) and Geraldine Leyton both not available.

However, their current record isn't favourable. They haven't won a game since that shock upset against Australia in November last year.

STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS

Strength: Chile like to play a possession-based game which can see them frustrate opposition when they hold the ball and continue passing around without moving forward.

Weakness: Their recent run of form hasn't been what would be expected in the lead up to a World Cup. Heading to France without a win since late 2018 isn't ideal especially with the group they are in.

COACH

A former goalkeeper himself, José Letelier has won 10 national titles plus the Copa Libertadores with the Colo-Colo women’s team. He took over the national team in 2016 and made history by guiding the team to their first ever FIFA Women's World Cup.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Karen Araya is the leader of both Chile's defence and attacking efforts. The 28-year-old has been invaluable to her club this year and has been the engine room for the team.

KEY PLAYERS

Christiane Endler (Goalkeeper): The PSG goalkeeper gives lots of confidence to the backline through her experience. Recently picking up Best Goalkeeper in the … …, the 27-year-old is also the captain and has great abilities.

Yessenia López (Midfielder): She scored two goals at the 2018 Copa América Femenina including in a 5-0 win over Peru in the group stage before scoring against Brazil in a 3-1 loss.

Daniela Zamora (Forward): The 28-year-old will likely partner Valencia forward Aedo up front to create chances on goal.

SQUAD

1. Claudia ENDLER, 2. Rocio SOTO, 3. Carla GUERRERO, 4. Francisca LARA, 5. Valentina DIAZ, 6. Claudia SOTO, 7. Maria Jose ROJAS, 8. Karen ARAYA, 9. Maria URRUTIA, 10. Yanara AEDO, 11. Yessenia LOPEZ, 12. Natalia CAMPOS, 13. Javiera GREZ, 14. Daniela PARDO, 15. Su Helen GALAZ, 16. Fernanda PINILLA, 17. Javiera TORO, 18. Camila SAEZ, 19. Yessenia HUENTEO, 20. Daniela ZAMORA, 21. Rosario BALMACEDA, 22. Elisa DURAN, 23. Ryan TORRERO

THAILAND

FIFA Ranking: 34

Last five games: LLLLL

Previous World Cup appearances: 1 (2015)

Captain: Duangnapa Srathongvian

They made history in 2015 after the became the first senior side of either gender to qualify for the World Cup. Thailand come to France with pretty much the same squad they took to Canada four years ago with the core group the team still involved. However, they didn't get a favourable group with the likes of reigning Champions the USA.

STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS

Strength: The are 15 players from their 23 player squad four years ago remain with the backbone of the squad still involved so the squad knows each other well. It will only boad well for them as they know each others strengths and weaknesses.

Weakness: They don't come to France with the best record. Thailand head into their opener on the back of a five game losing streak with their last win coming in Feburary during Cyprus Cup. Looking at the World Cup teams they've faced in the last year they've all had losses (six, in fact).

COACH

Nuengruethai Sathongwien took the side to their first World Cup in 2015. After taking to their first World Cup win, she decided to retire. However, he 47-year-old returned to the national team coaching roles in 2017, replacing Spencer Prior.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Suchawadee Nildhamrong or "Miranda Nild" has the pace and skills to create chances for the team. The 22-year-old also has an eye for goal. She came on to the international scene in 2017 but it was during the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup that people started to stand up and take notice of this University of California player.

KEY PLAYERS

Duangnapa Sritala (Defender): The 33-year-old has been part of the national team set up since 2008 and is set to feature in her second World Cup. She played in all three matches in Canada four years ago.

Taneekarn Dangda (Midfielder): At 26, she is headed to her second World Cup and will bring more than just experience to the team. Dangda is also part of the backbone of the side so is important to Nuengruethai Sathongwien game plans.

Kanjana Sungngoen (Forward): The 32-year-old has been with the side since 2009 and scored twice as Thailand beat Vietnam 2-1 to earn the team’s historic World Cup spot four years ago. Her experience will play a key role in this tournament.

SQUAD

1. Waraporn BOONSING, 2. Kanjanaporn SAENKHUN, 3. Natthakarn CHINWONG, 4. Duangnapa SRITALA, 5. Ainon PHANCHA, 6. Pikul KHUEANPET, 7. Silawan INTAMEE, 8. Miranda NILD, 9. Warunee PHETWISET, 10. Sunisa SRANGTHAISONG, 11. Sudarat CHUCHUEN, 12. Rattikan THONGSOMBUT, 13. Orathai SRIMANEE, 14. Saowalak PENGNGAM, 15. Orapin WAENNGOEN, 16. Khwanrudi SAENGCHAN, 17. Taneekarn DANGDA, 18. Sukanya CHOR CHAROENYING, 19. Pitsamai SORNSAI, 20. Wilaiporn BOOTHDUANG, 21. Kanjana SUNG-NGOEN, 22. Tiffany SORNPAO, 23. Phonpirun PHILAWAN

SWEDEN

FIFA Ranking: 9

Last five games: WWLDL

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

Captain: Caroline Seger

Sweden took out their qualification group stage with ease after Denmark was unable to play, giving the Swedes the win. Denmark could not reach an agreement with their football federation for compensation for representing the country.

STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS

Strength: Sweden like to exploit the pace of their flanks either by letting them challenge the defenders or quickly counter attacking to try set up the players inside the box.

Weakness: In their friendly with Germany, they exploited two weakness in the Swedish defence; set pieces and a high line. While they will be looking to fix both of these issues if they want to go deeper into the tournament, the high line helps with their attacking momentum.

COACH

Peter Gerhardsson was the replacement for Pia Sundhage after Sweden failed to move past the quarter-finals at the European Champions in 2017. The 59-year-old, who has more than 150 top-flight matches as a player, emerged as an interesting figures on the coaching scene.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Sofia Jakobsson was voted the best player in France in 2015 by managers and coaches and has more than 100 caps for her country. She has pace to burn and uses it to go create opportunities for teammates.

KEY PLAYERS

Nilla Fischer (Defender): One of the veterans in the side with around 175 games under her belt, the Wolfsburg defender so will be valuable to the sides defensive plans.

Caroline Seger (Midfielder): The captain of the national team is set to play at her fourth World Cup. She'll be eager to perform after not having the best of luck in previous tournaments.

Kosovare Asllani (Forward): The 29-year-old is an all-around player and is often plays behind the strikers. At the Algarve Cup she had two assists and a goal against Switzerland. Sweden will be hoping she continues these kind of performances come their opening group-stage game against the Chile.

SQUAD

1. Hedvig LINDAHL, 2. Jonna ANDERSSON, 3. Linda SEMBRANT, 4. Hanna GLAS, 5. Nilla FISCHER, 6. Magdalena ERIKSSON, 7. Madelen JANOGY, 8. Lina HURTIG, 9. Kosovare ASLLANI, 10. Sofia JAKOBSSON, 11. Stina BLACKSTENIUS, 12. Jennifer FALK, 13. Amanda ILESTEDT, 14. Julia RODDAR, 15. Nathalie BJORN, 16 . Julia ZIGIOTTI, 17. Caroline SEGER, 18. Fridolina ROLFO, 19. Anna ANVEGARD, 20. Mimmi LARSSON, 21. Zecira MUSOVIC, 22. Olivia SCHOUGH, 23. Elin RUBENSSON

Credits:

Getty Images, Stephanie Meek Photography and Google

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