The 19th Women’s World Cup will be held in Sydney, Australia from September 22 to October 1. Twelve teams will try to defeat the United States, the reigning champion. Les Bleues need to erase their worst performance in 2018 (5th).
Group A: United States of America in force
Defending champions and tournament big favorites USA should dominate this group, where the top four will qualify. They are unbeaten in international competition since their 2006 World Cup semi-final loss to Russia. Belgium will be one of the best outsiders in the tournament after losing in the 2018 World Cup in the semi-finals against the Americans and for 3rd place against Spain. The Belgians might be surprised.
China’s best performance in the tournament has secured a place in the finals since 1992, in other words an eternity. In 2018, he was eliminated in the quarter-finals against eventual finalists Australia. Bosnia, Puerto Rico and Korea will compete for the fourth and final qualifying spot. The Bosnians need to get the job done before the last day, because they will face the Americans, who will of course already have qualified, but even if qualified, they will play hard to prepare as much as possible for the rest of the tournament.
For their debut in the tournament, the Bosnians will not be eligible to go into their first match as they face a direct opponent for qualification; Puerto Rico.
In 2018, South Korea and Puerto Rico finished last in their group, and they will be looking to escape this spot this year. Of the three teams, Bosnia seems to have the most arguments and a better team to qualify. Four years ago, Puerto Rico was already in Belgium’s group, which took 1st place, while Puerto Rico took last place.
Group B: France expected without observation round
France, who finished 5th in the last edition in 2018 and won bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics, have a lot to do in the group with Australia, Japan, Mali and Canada. Les Bleus will take center stage and host this match against one of the tournament favourites, the Australians.
France He wanted to erase his disappointing 5th position in 2018. He finished 2nd in his group behind Canada. He was eliminated by Belgium (86-65) in the quarter-finals, while the French were among the favorites of the tournament.
Defeated China in the 5th place match. Three years later, Valerie Garnier’s players won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and they want to confirm this medal. The team has changed a little compared to the Olympics, the youngsters (Fathdoux, Rupert, etc.) have gained experience, the managers are still there.
However, France head to Australia with many questions as they return to a new plan with Jean-Aimé Toupane as coach replacing Valéry Garnier. The group is the toughest of the two with Serbia, the current European champion, who qualified by defeating France in the final (63-54). In June 2021, just before the Tokyo Olympics, Les Bleus got revenge by defeating Serbia for the bronze medal (91-76).
Serbia are old acquaintances, both sides know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and the game in Australia should be tight and tactical. Japan has two wins against France in the group stage (74-70) and then in the semifinals (87-71) of the 2021 Olympic Games.
Japan is an amazing country
The Asian champions, the Olympic vice-champions, the Japanese are difficult to play in the title. Nigeria and Canada, who defeated Les Bleus in February (67-65), completed the group. Beyond qualifying in the top four, France will need to be better placed to avoid the United States in the next round in a tournament where they have not won.
Les Bleus are, in fact, more comfortable than their last podium at the Worlds, with two titles in 2001 and 2009 and five silver medals in the last five editions (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021) at the European Championships. 1953 Bronze Medal.
A top-three finish in this highly complex group could leave the US in the early stages of the tournament to dream of a medal.
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