- The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins Friday, June 7, 2019
- Group B includes Germany, Spain, China and South Africa
- Germany aim for third World Cup title in team history
With the 2019 Women’s World Cup (WWC) kicking off this Friday and concluding with the final on July 7, we preview each team participating in Group B this summer.
The top two teams from each group, plus the four-best third place teams overall will advance to the knockout round. Let’s look at the odds for each of Germany, Spain, China and South Africa.
Women’s World Cup Group B Odds
|Country||FIFA Ranking||Odds to Win Group B|
Odds taken June 2, 2019.
Among the favorites to win World Cup 2019, the Germans reached the semifinals in 2015 and were eliminated 2-0 by USA. They were undefeated in the group stage at 2-1-0 with a 15-1 goal-difference.
— Soccer Laduma (@Soccer_Laduma) August 19, 2016
2016 saw Germany take home Olympic gold in a 2-1 win over Sweden. The Germans reached the quarterfinals of the Women’s Euros in 2017 and easily qualified for France during the qualification phase.
Germany’s plus-38 goal-differential was easily the best of European nations with England the next closest at plus-28.
In Group E, the finished first at 7-0-1 while scoring an astounding 38 goals compared to only three conceded. Their plus-38 goal-differential was easily the best of European nations with England the next closest at plus-28.
Both Alexandra Popp and Lea Schüller led Germay with six goals each in qualifying. Striker Dzsenifer Marozsan had ten goals for Lyon in the France’s Feminine Division 1 this season.
— German?Greens (@GermanGreens) May 15, 2019
Germany was 0-1-2 at the SheBelieves Cup in March of 2018, but in the time since, they are undefeated across all competitions at 9-2-0. This year’s friendlies included wins over France (1-0), Sweden (2-1), Chile (2-0) and a draw to Japan (2-2).
Banking on Germany progressing deep into the tournament is a bet that typically pays off. Die Nationalelf have attended each of the previous seven World Cups and have never finished below the quarterfinals. Their World Cup history includes back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2007, as well as being runners-up in 1995.
World Cup 2015 in Canada was La Roja’s first appearance in a WWC. Spain failed to progress from the group stage with a 0-1-2 record, scoring twice and conceding four.
This summer the Spanish women will seek their country’s first win on a World Cup stage.
The future of women’s soccer in Spain looks bright as their U-17 and U-20 teams have been on fire in recent competitions. Spain reached the U-20 World Cup finals last summer in France, losing to Japan. In December, they took home gold in Uruguay at the U-17 World Cup.
Returning to the senior team, results have also been improving since 2015. Head coach Jorge Vilda took over after 2015 and has presided over a 2017 Algarve Cup win, a quarterfinals run at the Women’s Euros and a 2018 win at the Cyprus Women’s Cup.
After France who automatically qualified, La Roja were the next side to book their ticket to the World Cup as they ran out to a perfect 8-0-0 record in World Cup qualifying. During those matches they scored 25 goals and conceded just twice.
Jennifer Hermosa was the European qualifier’s second overall leading scorer with seven goals and one assist. PSG’s Irene Paredes, despite playing as a central defender, was the team’s second-leading scorer in qualifying with four goals. Hermosa also lead Spain’s Primera División Femenina with 24 goals for Atlético Madrid this year.
Here's how Li Ying faired at the 2018 AFC championship
– 7 goals in 5 matches
– Top Scorer
– @FIFAWWC qualification for China
One can imagine how this year's @FIFAWWC outing will be for her.
— Arctic Foxy Guitarist (@TheAfrolucy) May 13, 2019
You can see above that China’s Li Ying will be a key to their success in France as she was instrumental to their third place run at the Women’s Asian Cup last year.
The Steel Roses advanced to the semifinals, losing 3-1 to Japan, and concluded the tournament with 3-1 win over Thailand to claim third place.
China advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics and were 1-0 losers to Germany in the quarters during 2015’s World Cup.
China were a penalty shootout away from being crowned champions in ’99, with their period of success leading up to that moment giving them the nickname ‘Steel Roses’.
Their away kit this summer is a symbol of that previous success, and features an all-over Phoenix print. pic.twitter.com/WvJLUh4YEe
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) March 11, 2019
Having attended six World Cups previously and reaching one final in 1999, the Chinese generally find themselves competitive, though haven’t progressed any further than the quarterfinals since 1999.
Throughout the latter stages of 2018 and early 2019, China were unbeaten over eight matches which included competitions in the Yongchuan Tournament, EAFF F1 Football Championship Women and the Four Nations Tournament. That form dropped during the Algarve Cup in March where they lost to Norway, Denmark and the Holland.
Their warm up included a 2-1 loss to France on May 31.
The South Africans hold a FIFA World ranking of 49th and will be making their World Cup debut in France. South Africa reached the finals of last year’s Africa Cup of Nations where they fell on penalties to Nigeria. They did top their group during the group stage though, where they defeated the Super Falcons 1-0.
They have also participated in each of the past two Olympics, however, finished last in their group in 2016 at 0-1-2 behind Brazil, China and Sweden. They were unable to score, while conceding three times.
South Africa legend Portia Modise believes Bayana Bayana 's debut appearance at the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup will have a huge impact on… https://t.co/O68eS3PRBI
— Primetweets (@Primetweets_PT) April 16, 2019
Banyana Banyana had been in good form leading up to that point. However, since their finals defeat back on December 1, they have yet to record a win over their next eight matches. This has included competition in both friendlies and also the Cyprus Women’s Cup.
Their two most recent friendlies included a 1-1 draw to fellow World Cup debutants Jamaica in April and a 3-0 loss to tournament favorites USA.
Group B Prediction
3rd: China *to qualify as 1/4 top third place teams
4th: South Africa
Additional 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Coverage