GROUP A TWG FIFA WOmen's world cup preview



June 8, 5:00am AEST

Parc des Princes, Paris


June 9, 5:00am AEST

Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims


June 12, 11:00pm AEST

Stade des Alpes, Grenoble


June 13, 5:00am AEST

Allianz Riviera, Nice


June 18, 5:00am AEST

Roazhon Park, Rennes


June 18, 5:00am AEST

Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims


FIFA Ranking: 4

Last five games: WWWWW

Previous World Cup appearances: 3 (2003, 2011 and 2015)

Captain: Amandine Henry

The host nation, France is one of the favourites at the World Cup on home soil. Coming into the tournament head coach Corinne Diacre announced that Paris Saint-Germain striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto had been dropped. According to France 24, the two had a falling out earlier this year over the 20-year-olds lack of focus.

While Lyon may be household name after completing the treble winning the Domestic, League cup and Champions League for the fourth time in a row, France have not taken home any silverware and will be looking to do so in front of their home crowd.

However, in their favour is a formidable home record…they haven't lost in France since 2016.


Strength: There is no doubt that France can score. The nation ended their 2018 on a seven-game winning streak where they scored 27 goals and conceded just one. Throughout last year France saw 15 players get on the scoresheet with forward Eugénie Le Sommer’s leading the way with nine goals. Looking at the games they've played in 2019, they've lost just one but have managed 19 goals in six games.

Weakness: Despite the squad boosting 1,153 games of experience between them, four of the 23 players make up almost 65 per cent of those matches. There's also the factor that only eight members from the squad have prior World Cup experience. While experience isn't always needed to win games, to go deep into a World Cup, it becomes helpful with dealing high pressure and tight games.


Corinne Diacre took the reigns as national team coach in 2017 and boost a record of 14-1-1 since coming into the fold. The 44-year-old became the first women to coach a men's professional team in a competitive match when she was in charge at Clermont Foot before taking on her role with France. She's no stranger to the World Cup, having represented France in 2003.


Wendie Renard is one of the most consistent defenders in the game and is a vastly experienced international. The Olympique Lyon player is known for her cool-headed style of play, which could come in handy with in high pressure moments.


Sarah Bouhaddi (Goalkeeper): Australians who watched the Matildas face France in October last year need no introduction to this shot stopper. Bouhaddi is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the game and with a structure defence in front of her, its not hard to believe that since September 2018 France has conceded just four goals.

Amandine Henry (Midfielder): Not only is she the captain of the team but is also part of the backbone to squads starting XI. It's been argued that the 29-year-old is one of the best centre midfielders in the world with her class and composure on the ball. She's also versatile and can play in multiple positions across the centre of the field.

Eugénie Le Sommer (Forward): Another key member to Diacre starting XI. While she was out with a injury in France's warm up game against Thailand, she looks to be on track to be fully fit for their opener against Korea Republic. Heading to her third World Cup, the 30-year-old is the highest goalscorer in the team with 74 goals.


1. Solène Durand, 2. Eve Périsset, 3. Wendie Renard, 4. Marion Torrent, 5. Aïssatou Tounkara, 6. Amandine Henry, 7. Sakina Karchaoui, 8. Grace Geyoro, 9. Eugénie Le Sommer, 10. Amel Majri, 11. Kadidiatou Diani, 12. Emelyne Laurent, 13. Valérie Gauvin, 14. Charlotte Bilbault, 15. Elise Bussaglia, 16. Sarah Bouhaddi, 17. Gaëtane Thiney, 18. Viviane Asseyi, 19. Griedge Mbock Bathy, 20. Delphine Cascarino, 21. Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, 22. Julie Debever, 23. Maeva Clemaron


FIFA Ranking: 14

Last five games: LDLWL

Previous World Cup appearances: 2 (2003, 2015)

Captain: Cho Sohyun

Their 2015 World Cup campaign was their best to date with Korea Republic reaching the group stage in Canada, however would be defeated by France in the Round of 16. However, this 2019 squad sees a new generation of players coming through the ranks with players who won the 2010 Under-17 World Cup and also reached the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Cup part of the team headed to France.

The team will be aiming to go one better than 2015 and all eyes will be on the opening game against host France.


Strength: The midfield sees the likes of Ji So-yun and Lee Min-a, she won't play at the same time as Ji though, in an attacking midfield position while Cho So-hyun will be in a central role. Between them they boost around 300 games

Weakness: It hasn't been an ideal preparation for Korea Republic's defence with the two first-choice goalkeepers being out with long term injuries while recent friendlies have seen the side make at least one big mistake a game. The team isn't comfortable playing against physically strong teams. This might just be the style of play football Korea Republic play throughout their system as they prefer a tactical fluid style of play.


Yoon Deok-Yeo played at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and after retiring, he started coaching in the men’s football before taking over as the women’s national team in 2013.


Yeo Minji was the 2010 Golden Ball and Golden Shoe at the U17's World Cup had a run of injuries which have halted her reaching her full potential recently but she's ready to take on the world.


Lee Eun-mi (Defender): For over a decade now, the 30-year-old has been a rock in defence and forms the backbone of the current team alongside Cho Sohyun and Jeon Gaeul.

Cho So-hyun (Midfielder): The 30-year-old is the most experienced player in the squad having made her international debut in 2007. She will be the one who plugs gaps and dictates the pace of play, which will be important given the weaknesses in the side.

Ji So-yun (Forward): She's been playing with Chelsea since 2014 and has been selected in the PFA Team of the Year for the last four seasons. As the attacking fulcrum in Yoon's side, the 28-year-old operates just behind the striker.


1. Kang Kaae, 2. Lee Eunmi, 3. Jeong Yeonga, 4. Hwang Boram, 5. Kim Minijeong, 6. Lim Seonjoo, 7. Lee Mina, 8. Cho Sohyun, 9. Moon Mira, 10. Ji Soyun, 11. Jung Seolbin, 12. Kang Yumi, 13. Yeo Minji, 14. Shin Damyeong, 15. Lee Youngju, 16. Jang Selgi, 17. Lee Sodam, 18 Kim Minjung, 19. Lee Geummin, 20. Kim Hyeri, 21. Jung Boram, 22. Son Hwayeon, 23. Kang Chaerim


FIFA Ranking: 12

Last five games: WLWWW

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

Captain: Maren Mjelde

Norway is one of the most success national teams with a 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup trophy, 2000 Olympic gold medal and two UEFA Women's Champions in their cabinet. They are also one of the seven countries to feature at every World Cup since 1991.

However, after a disappointing Germany 2011 and Canada 2015 campaign, Norway will be looking to redeem themselves in France. They've already add a trophy to their cabinet this year, taking out the Algarve Cup for the fifth time with a 3-0 win over Poland.


Strength: There is a balance of experience and inexperience in the midfield with the likes of Caroline Graham Hansen and the exciting Guro Reiten. It's an important area for Norway especially the defending dilemma they could face.

Weakness: Head coach Martin Sjögren has been hard at work to sort out the defensive structure for the side. While Kristine Minde and Ingrid Moe Wold will be the likely fullback combinations, the experience Maria Thorisdóttir, who is expected to play an important role, has been injured most of the FA WSL season at Chelsea so fitness might be an issue. If Norway can have a solid defence then they are likely to go far in the tournament.


Martin Sjögren took over the national team in 2016 but his first major tournament did go well with Norway failing to score a single goals in the group stage of the 2017 Euros. However, since that hiccup the Swede has done well to get them through World Cup qualification.


Despite Ingrid Syrstad Engen having just 14 caps to her name but is set to play an important role in France. The 21-year-old only made her debut last year against Australia at the Algarve Cup but not it's time for the big stage for the young midfielder.


Ingrid Hjelmseth (Goalkeeper): With a defence which could go either way, it's good to see the experienced Hjelmseth in goals. The 39-year-old has played over 127 games and will certainly be the last line of defence for the team.

Caroline Graham Hansen (Midfielder): The 24-year-old hasn't been widely spoken of ahead of the tournament, which is a bit strange because she's set to tear up the field. The Barcelona midfielder has dribbling skills that are second to none but also the ability to create goals with her pace.

Isabell Herlovsen (Forward): Without Ada Hegerberg involved in the national team set up since 2017, Herlovsen has been the one to take on her role up front. She's a constant goal threat and has 57 goals international goals to her name.


1. Ingrid Hjelmseth, 2. Ingrid Moe Wold, 3. Maria Thorisdottir, 4. Stine Hovland, 5. Synne Skinnes Hansen, 6. Maren Mjelde, 7. Elise Thorsnes, 8. Vilde Risa, 9. Isabell Herlovsen, 10. Caroline Graham Hansen, 11. Lisa-Marie Utland, 12. Cecilie Fisterstrand, 13. Therese Sessy Åsland, 14. Ingrid Syrstad Engen, 15. Amelie Vevle Eikeland, 16. Guro Reiten, 17. Kristine Minde, 18. Frida Maanum, 19. Cecilie Redisch Kvamme, 20. Emilie Haavi, 21. Karina Sævik, 22. Emilie Nautnes, 23. Oda Bogstad


FIFA Ranking: 38

Last five games: LWLWW

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

Captain: Desire Oparanozie

Nigeria have long dominated Africa having won nine of 11 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations but that dominance came under threat at the 2018 edition of the tournament when South Africa and Cameroon sent a powerful message. Both games, which were a semifinal and final, ended goalless and Nigeria were taken to penalties before winning.

However, the team is seriously under funded but expected to produce results but after years of a lack of preparation ahead of previous tournaments, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been much better is helping the side for France. They've featured in the Meizhou Four Nation Tournament, the Cyprus Cup, and had a training camp in Spain.

By the far the biggest challenge for the side will be getting out of the group stage. In their seven previous World Cups, Nigeria have only managed to make it out of the groups once. That came in 1999. Can they finally translate their continental dominance to world stage?


Strength: When Dennerby came in he tried to instill order in the attack and more fluidity between the players, which has seemed to pay off. Nigeria have a quick counter attack through their forward line which recently contributed to 23 goals at the 2019 WAFU Zone B Cup.

Weakness: However, having a quick front line does come at a trade off with opponents able to exploit the holes in defence due to the team wanting to keep a high defensive line for their quick transition. While at Awcon they conceded just one goal, it might be harder when they come up against the pacey attacks from nations in their group.


Thomas Dennerby came on as Nigeria head coach in earl 2018 after NFF failed to attain the services of American coach Randy Waldrum but they can't really go wrong with Dennerby, after all he won a bronze with Sweden at the 2011 World Cup.


Asisat Oshoala is the FIFA U20's Golden Ball and Golden Boot in 2014 has gone on to add three African Women’s Footballer of the Year awards to her name and earnt her moves to Liverpool and Arsenal and is on loan at Barcelona at the moment. The pace and agility from Oshoala is the reason why she is so dangerous up front.


Onome Ebi (Defender): The 36-year old is playing at her fifth World Cup. Her strength and steely determination will be a huge contributor to the side. While she lacks some pace, Ebi makes up for it in supreme game-reading ability.

Rasheedat Ajibade (Midfielder): She will play a pivotal going forward in play with her ball skills and drive towards goal. The young players has dubbed a player of the future by club coach Lena Tyriberget.

Francisca Ordega (Forward): The name might be familiar to W-League and NWSL fans. The vastly experienced 25-year-old's creativity will be important in the team's attack during the tournament.


1. Tochukwu Oluehi, 2. Amarachi Okoronkwo, 3. Osinachi Ohale, 4. Ngozi Ebere, 5. Onome Ebi, 6. Evelyn Nwabuoku, 7. Anam Imo, 8. Asisat Oshoala, 9. Desire Oparanozie, 10. Rita Chikwelu, 11. Chinaza Uchendu, 12. Uchenna Kanu, 13. Ngozi Okobi, 14. Faith Michael, 15. Rasheedat Ajibade, 16. Chiamaka Nnadozie, 17. Francisca Ordega, 18. Halimatu Ayinde, 19. Chinwendu Ihezuo, 20. Chidinma Okeke, 21. Alaba Jonathan, 22. Alice Ogebe, 23. Ogonna Chukwudi


Getty, Twitter and Stephanie Meek Photography

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.