The 19th edition of the Women’s World Cup will take place from 22 September to 1 October in Australia, Sydney. Twelve teams will try to succeed the United States, the title holders. Les Bleues will want to erase their poor performance in 2018 (5th).
The first group: America is in force
The United States, the defending champions and the top candidates, should dominate this group as the top four will qualify. They are unbeaten in international competition since their 2006 World Cup semi-final defeat against Russia. Belgium, who finished fourth in the 2018 World Cup after losing in the semi-finals to the Americans and against the Spaniards in third place, will be one of the biggest overseas teams in the competition. The Belgians can be surprised.
China’s best performance in this competition dates back to 1992 with the position of finalist, that is, forever. In 2018, she was eliminated in the quarter-finals against future finalists Australia. Bosnia, Puerto Rico and Korea will compete for the fourth and final place in the qualifiers. The Bosnians will have to do the work before the last day because they will face the Americans who will certainly already qualify, but even to qualify they will play hard to prepare the rest of the competition as much as possible.
For the first time in the competition, the Bosnians will not have the right to play their first match as they will face a direct opponent to qualify; Puerto Rico.
In 2018, South Korea and Puerto Rico took the last place in their group, and this year they will want to escape from this place. Of the three teams, Bosnia appears to have more arguments and a better squad to qualify. Four years ago, Puerto Rico was already in the Belgium group which took first place while Puerto Rico took last place.
Group B: France national team prediction without an observation tour
France, who finished fifth at the last edition in 2018 and bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, will have plenty to do in a group that includes Australia, Japan, Mali and Canada. The French national team will get to the heart of the matter with a match against the Australians, one of the favorites in the competition and the host of this competition.
France want to erase their disappointing fifth place in 2018. They finished second in their group behind Canada before coming out of the quarter-final against Belgium (86-65) with a wide score while the French were among the favorites to compete.
They beat China in the fifth place match. Three years later, Valerie Garnier players won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and they want to confirm this medal. The group has changed a bit compared to the Olympics, the youngsters (Fauthux, Rupert, etc.) have gained experience, and the managers are still there.
However, she left France for Australia with many questions since she returned to a new project with Jean-Amy Tauban who was appointed coach in place of Valerie Garnier. The group is the most difficult between the two teams with Serbia, which is the holder of the European champion title, a title he got by defeating … France in the final (63-54). It was in June 2021, just before the Tokyo Olympics, that Les Bleues avenged themselves by defeating Serbia to win the bronze medal (91-76).
Serbia is old acquaintances, both sides know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and the game in Australia should be tight and tactical. Japan maintained two victories over France, in the group stage of the 2021 Olympics (74-70) and then in the semi-finals (87-71).
Japan, the sudden country
Asian champion in the title, deputy Olympic champion, the Japanese are difficult to play. Nigeria, who beat Blue in February (67-65), and Canada completed the group. After completing the top four qualifying spots, France will have to get the best possible spot in order to avoid the United States in the next round in a competition that doesn’t work out for them.
In fact, Les Bleues is more comfortable in the European Championship with two titles in 2001 and 2009 and five silver medals over the last five editions (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021) than in the World Championships where it was its last podium. Bronze medal in 1953.
The French team has the potential to rise to the podium, if it finishes in the top three of this very complex group, it will be able to dream of a medal by avoiding the United States too early in the competition.