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Women’s World Cup Group A Odds & Preview: France Heavy Favorites to Advance to Knockout Round

Eugenie Le Sommer
Eugenie Le Sommer and the French Women's National Team will be hoping to improve on 2015's quarterfinals finish when France hosts this summer's Women's World Cup. Photo By @RachyUgiagbe411 (Twitter).
  • The 2019 Women’s World Cup takes place from June 7 – July 7, 2019
  • Group A consists of France, Norway, South Korea and Nigeria
  • Hosts France are the betting favorites to finish first in Group A

Group A consists of host nation France, along with Norway, South Korea and Nigeria. France and South Korea will kick things off with a standalone match on Friday, June 7, 2019 at 3:00 pm EST in Paris.

The French women are heavy favorites at home to the Koreans in the match, while also being enormous favorites to top Group A at odds of -1200 at Bovada. However, prices do heavily fluctuate, as the French are -535 at BookMaker and were just -285 recently. So be sure to shop around for your odds.

Let’s take a look at the four nations competiting in Group A at the Women’s World Cup 2019. The top two teams from each, plus the four best third place teams overall will advance to the knockout round.

Women’s World Cup Group A Odds

Country FIFA Ranking Odds to Win Group A at Bovada
France 4 -1200
Norway 12 +700
South Korea 14 +1400
Nigeria 38 +7000

*Odds taken June 2, 2019

France

Les Bleus will carry a world no. 4 ranking into the tournament and are just behind the USA in regards to favorites to lift the trophy. France will be attending their third World Cup and gained automatic qualifcation as hosts. Their best-ever finish is the semifinals in 2011.

Thus, meaning they’ve had less warm up matches to prepare without needing the qualification stage. They have been involved in plenty of friendlies in the past months though, where they’ve been an impressive 7-0-1, with just a single loss to Germany.

In competitive tournaments, France has been a factor, but has failed to advance into the later stages of tournaments. They reached the quarterfinals in each of the 2017 UEFA Women’s Championships, the 2016 Olympics and the 2015 World Cup. Should France win the 2019 Women’s World Cup, it will be the first time a country has been the holder of both the men’s and women’s titles.

Their path to the final could be complicated though, as should both France and USA win their groups, they would be headed towards a potential quarterfinals matchup with defending champs.

The French will have plenty of talent up front with three of the Feminine Division 1’s top six scorers. Kadidiatou Diani, Eugenie Le Sommer and Viviane Asseyi all join their forward ranks.

The one surprising omission was the league’s top scorer, Marie-Antoinette Katoto who had 22 goals and was left off the squad. However, Katato had an earlier fall-out with head coach Corinne Diacre this year over a lack of focus, so perhaps this isn’t such a surprise to the team.

Norway

France’s closest competitors are expected to be the Norwegians. Norway were champions in 1995 and have attended each of the seven previous World Cups, reaching the finals on two occasions.

The Grassoppers could only reach the round of 16 in 2015, falling 1-0 to England. Of late, they topped their qualification group at 7-0-1 with 22 goals scored and just four allowed. They were also impressive in the Algarve Cup earlier this year with a 3-0 win over Poland in the finals.

Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland lead Norway during the qualification stage with seven goals, good for a tie of second overall in the qualifying scoring. Caroline Graham Hansen had six goals and three assists of her own, meaning Norway should not lack offensive weapons.

This, despite the absense of Ada Hegerberg who was Norway’s top scorer in 2015. Hegerberg chose to step away from the national team in 2017, citing her unhappiness with how women’s soccer was treated in Norway.

Norway will be without Ada Hegerberg, the inaugural Women’s Ball d’Or winner from last year.

It will no doubt be a loss to not have her services given she was named UEFA’s Best Women’s Player in Europe in 2016, the BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2017 and won the inaugural Women’s Ball d’Or award last year.

South Korea

The South Koreans are actually ranked just above Norway, but are seen as outsiders in advancing from Group A.

This will be the Taegeuk Nangja’s third World Cup, with their best acheivement coming in 2015 in Canada where they reached the round of 16, losing 3-0 to France.

Sout Korea qualified for 2019 by virtue of taking their continent’s last qualifying spot at the Asian Cup.

If you’re betting on Korea in the tournament, you may be wise to look to unders. In three group stage matches played at the Asian Cup, Korea scored four goals and allowed zero, going 1-2-0. Those four goals though all came against Vietnam who went winless in a group that all included Australia and Japan. For reference, Vietnam scored zero goals, while allowing 16 in the group.

Korea then blew out Philippines 5-0 in the fifth place playoff from the opposing group.

Looking back a bit further to last summer, South Korea were 4-0 winners over Chinese Taipei in the third place match of the Women’s Asian Games. They look to be easy winners against lower competition, but play to tight affairs with teams near their skill level.

Nigeria

Nine-time Africa Cup of Nations winner Nigeria are the only African nation to have attended every Women’s World Cup since its inception in 1991.

Despite this, their success in the tournament has been limited by only advancing to the round of 16 once – way back in 1999.

December saw Nigeria win on penalties versus fellow World Cup participant South Africa to quaify for the tournament as winners of the Africa Cup of Nations. While they scored ten and allowed just one during the group stage, they fell 1-0 to South Africa and finished second in Group B.

In the knockout round, their matches were extremely close. They needed penalties to break a 0-0 draw with Group A winners and fellow World Cup side Cameroon, before penalties decided a 0-0 final with South Africa.

One Super Falcon to look out for is striker Asisat Oshoala of Barcelona, who’s been named African Women Footballer of the Year three times.

Group A Prediction

1st: France

2nd: Norway

3rd: South Korea *to qualify as 1/4 best third-place finishers

4th: Nigeria


Additional 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Coverage

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