It’s another Group preview as we head into FIFA’s Women’s World Cup of Soccer starting on Thursday, June 20th. This time we look at Group B, which includes the co-host country in Australia and the reigning Olympic Gold Medalists, Team Canada. Time to get our kicks with a Women’s World Cup Group B Prediction.
Group B Preview
Team Australia is stoked to be one of the co-hosts for the World Cup festivities. With a raucous crowd behind them, the #10 ranked team in the world will surely bring their A-game to the field. It’s interesting to note that the previous host nations have gotten out of the group stage in all nine Women’s World Cups since 1991. No pressure, right? The Matildas are a very talented team, with captain Sam Kerr leading the charge as the team’s most dangerous threat and one of the best players in the tournament.
Canada is another team to watch out for in this group. Although they are limping into the World Cup with a few key injuries, like Janine Beckie’s torn ACL, their world-class defense and goaltending are still intact, which was a big reason why they won the 2020 Olympic Gold Medal in Tokyo. The question for Canada is where they will find the scoring. While Christine Sinclair is a legend in the game, she may be past her prime, so younger players like Jessie Fleming and Jordyn Huitema must step up.
Nigeria is always a tough out and shouldn’t be ignored. However, their biggest competition comes from the Nigerian Football Federation, specifically getting paid. This has become a big off-the-field story and a major distraction for the Falcons. It’s a big mess with talks about boycotting, which could impact their performance on the field.
Ireland is making their World Cup debut, but they won’t wow you with star power. However, they play an excellent defensive game, and midfielder Katie McCabe is a joy to watch. For Ireland, scoring a goal or even winning a World Cup match would be a significant achievement.
Women’s World Cup Group B Prediction
You have two top-ten teams in Canada and Australia in this group, and they are most likely the two teams that will advance to the Round of 16.
Like Nigeria, Canada has been dealing with a pay dispute with their Federation, Soccer Canada. It remains to be seen if this will continue to distract the team. But something has felt off with this Canadian squad lately. Most recently, they had an absolutely dismal showing at the She Believes Cup and seems to be missing the spark they had in the 2020 Olympics. Could they be distracted or fed up by politics off the field? They’ll look to zero in on the task at hand, reignite that Olympic flame, and make a run at their first World Cup.
While Canada and Australia are expected to move on from this group, they both have their sights set on a Championship. If the Matildas can gain momentum and feed off the Aussie crowd’s energy, they could make a real splash in this tournament.
Prediction: Canada, Australia
July 20: Australia vs. Republic of Ireland (6 a.m. ET)
July 20: Nigeria vs. Canada (10:30 p.m. ET)
July 26: Canada vs. Republic of Ireland (8 a.m. ET)
July 27: Australia vs. Nigeria (6 a.m. ET)
July 31: Canada vs. Australia (6 a.m. ET)
July 31: Republic of Ireland vs. Nigeria (6 a.m. ET)