Defend and Repeat – The Complete Women’s World Cup Preview

The women’s 2019 World Cup is about to kick off in Paris, France as the United States attempts to be the first nation to repeat as champion since Germany in 03’ and 07’. This promises to be the most competitive World Cup ever assembled in the 28-year history of the event as not only has the field increased to 24 for the second consecutive term but the number of countries with a legitimate chance of winning has also increased, with many more talented offensive teams and increased scoring. So, if they are going to be the first nation to repeat in 12 years they will have to defend first.

The US may be the favorites to win again but it is not by the wide margin as in years past. To be precise, some sports books have the US now even with the host nation of France at +350 to win it all. Germany is not too far behind at +550 and England at +700. The Dutch are the betters favorite at 14-1 as they are as talented up front as any and should make it out of their group with relative ease. Once in the knockout stage the odds shorted as the pressure ramps up.

With that said, let’s take a look at the groups…

So if we HAD to name a “Group of Death”, and in the World Cup we always have to, then top-to-bottom it’s Group A with an overall world ranking of 65, with Group D right behind at 67. But c’mon, you have three countries in the top 12 ( host France, Korea, and Norway) who really should be in the top 10 but took the foot off the gas pedal once they qualified for the cup. Oh, and by the way Nigeria is by no means a slouch, as they can score with any team in the tournament and may be the overall most athletic side. So, this is defines the “Group of Death”.

The US Group isn’t soft, but they only have to deal with the #9 seed in Sweden, who can give them a run, but in the other two matches they should light up the scoreboard and put up a big goal differential that should but them in good shape going into the knockout stage. But let’s not forget they’ve been here before, as the US would be going for a three-peat if not for the monumental collapse back in 2011 when they let a 2-0 lead slip away in the final ten minutes and ended up losing on penalty kicks. Let’s just say that was the catalyst and motivation to their dominating win four years later. However they will not have the luxury of that motivation this time around and moreover, will have a huge target on their back and it won’t be because it’s their sponsor.

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