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Thunder down under

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The 9th edition of the FIFA World Cup will kick off on 20th July 2023 with a match between the hosts, New Zealand battling out Norway from 8 pm at the Eden Park Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. On the other side of the Indian Ocean at 11 pm, Australia will host Ireland at the larger Accor Stadium with a capacity of 83,500 after the match was moved from the smaller Allianz stadium, which has a capacity of 42,500 due to large ticket sales. Even the viewership on TV is poised to increase. Moreover, this is the first time the Women’s World Cup is hosted by two nations (or more).

FIFA has acknowledged the great numbers the event will pull by increasing the total prize pool from $30 million to $110 million to be shared among the participants. So, get your jerseys ready as we bring you up to speed for the biggest tournament in women’s sports to help you fight the fever pitch.

New Format

Just as FIFA is planning to change the format of the men’s world cup,  the women’s world cup has been expanded to 32 from the usual 12 teams. More teams will participate; only 36 have graced the tournament in previous editions. Only four national teams have won the tournament, Japan, Germany, USA, and Norway. The USA has dominated the competition, being among the only seven nations to feature in all the tournaments. The US team has won 4 tournament editions, had eight top-four finishes, and has been in three consecutive finals, winning the last two.

The 32 teams that play in the FIFA Women’s world cup are drawn from six confederations,  AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North and Central America and the Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), OFC (Oceania) and UEFA(Europe). The teams from each draw are divided into pots, with pot 1 containing the hosts, defending champions, and the six best-ranked teams; the rest are in other pots. A team is drawn from each pot to join one of the groups of four teams between A to H.   

Please find below the Women’s World Cup 2023 list of teams and the groups they will be playing in:


Group  Teams 
Group A New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland
Group B Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland
Group C Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, Zambia
Group D China, Denmark, England, Haiti
Group E Netherlands, Portugal, United States, Vietnam
Group F Brazil, France, Jamaica, Panama
Group G Argentina, Italy, South Africa, Sweden
Group H Colombia, Germany, South Korea, Morocco

The group stage will see teams in each group battle out in three matches, each with two of the best teams advancing to the round of 16. Watch out for Group F and Group G as they are the most challenging groups, popularly known as the groups of death.

The tournament will progress from the group stages to the knockout round, which is divided into the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final. In the knockout rounds, any team that loses leaves the tournament except for the losers of the semi-finals, who battle for the 3rd place.

The Women’s World Cup will be played in Australia and New Zealand, with the final held at the Accor Stadium on 20th August. The semi-finals will be on the 15th and 16th of August, respectively, also at the Accor stadium.

Teams to Watch and Prediction

The USA have redefined how women’s football should be played in the World Cup, and they are definitely a team to beat. The team still has legendary player Megan Rapinoe, who is looking to lift her last trophy at 38. The new US coach, Vlatko Andonovski, is banking on younger talent, including Naomi Girma in the defense and Sophia Smith in the attack. However, with the chip on their backs, the US will face stiff competition, and whether they can replicate their 2015 and 2019 wins is to be seen. As it looks today, most fans will likely put money on the USA lifting the world cup for the unprecedented third time. You can read more on on how odds work to determine the most likely winner, as well as the latest news and prediction on the Women’s World Cup.

England are the current European champions who look poised to bring a great show to the World Cup. However, they are plagued by injuries as Beth Mead and Leah Williamson will miss out on the tournament due to ACL injuries, which are more common in women’s sports than in men’s. But The Lionesses have been resilient, with a 30-match unbeaten record that was only demolished by Australia in a friendly match.

The Olympic champions, Canada, are another team that have a fair chance to go all the way with its talismanic Jessy Fleming, who was instrumental in her team clinching the Gold two years ago. She has displayed great form at Chelsea and will likely rake defenses. Additionally, the team has the prolific Christine Sinclair playing her last World Cup and hoping to lift the cup before her retirement. The legend has more international football goals than her male counterpart Christiano Ronaldo.

The teams from UEFA, such as Sweden, Spain, and Germany, will be ready to take the spoils from any teams that will let their guard down. Spain particularly play great Tiki Taka football which will be incredible to watch. Additionally, they play great counter-attacking football that can surprise even the best of opponents. With the tournament’s expansion, anything could happen with any of the debutants, as explained here.

In Summary

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will have a lot of firsts, including hosting, expanded teams, and a large prize pool for the winners. Billions of fans will be watching, betting, and enjoying the phenomenon worldwide, showing the revamped interest in women’s sports. Which team do you think will lift the trophy in Australia?

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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