Women’s World Cup 2019 Team-By-Team Guide

France

France are marginal outright favourites at 10/3. The tournament being on home soil gives Corinne Diacre's team a very slight edge over defending champions, USA, in the betting. France have controversially left out Ligue 1 top scorer Marie-Antoinette Kakoto due to a personality clash with the coach. However, France are still stacked with star quality with the guts of the all-conquering Lyon team in their roster.

Midfield duo Amandine Henry and Eugene Le Sommer are among the best players in the world with countless club titles between them. Both aged 29, they are in their prime years and will be ravenous to add a title with their country to their burgeoning honours portfolio.

Le Sommer is 13/2 to be the tournament's top scorer, which shouldn't be underestimated.

France have a recent history of underdelivering, they have exited at the quarter-final stage of their last three tournaments- losing to Denmark at Euro 2013, Germany at World Cup 2015 and England at Euro 2017. But in centre-half Wendie Renard, they have arguably the best defender and captain in women's football. France have never progressed to a major final before, but ought to be semi-finalists at least in their home country this time around.

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Renard is 100/1 to win the Golden Boot. It's an outside bet for a reason, she is a centre-back after all. But Renard is an enormous danger at set pieces- her scoring rate for France is just under one in five, while for Lyon, she scores at roughly one in three. France really should go further than ever before.

Norway

In the 1990s, Norway were a powerhouse of women's football. They finished as runners-up in the 1991 World Cup, won the tournament in 1995 and finished fourth 1999. Norway are a little behind the behemoths of modern women's football but remain a formidable team that nobody ever really wants to play.

It's well documented that star turn and 2018 Ballon D'Or winner Ada Hegerberg won't travel to France this summer as she still refuses to represent her country due to a difference of opinion with the Norwegian FA.

Chelsea's Maren Mjelde is the beating heart of Martin Sjögren's team, whether she plays as a centre-half or a defensive midfielder. Norway are very tactically flexible with players adopting many different positions, according to the whims of the coach.

Striker Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland carries most of Norway's attacking hopes, she was top scorer in qualifying with seven goals. Young winger Emilie Nautnes is also one to watch, she can play on either wing. She possesses something of an x-factor from either flank. She is a good player to bring off the bench if Norway need a goal against a tiring defence.

Norway ought to get out of the group, either in second place or as one of the best third placed sides. But 6/1 is a good price for winning the group if they can get something out of their fixture with France. I wouldn't expect them to venture much further than the round of 16 though.

Korea Republic

Korea sprung a bit of a surprise by making it out of their group back in the 2015 World Cup, beating Spain to set up a last 16 defeat to France. They have finished third at the last three Asian games, so do not have a huge pedigree. But with Chelsea's creative midfielder Ji So-yun in tow, they have one of the world's finest players.

Ji is Korea's third most capped player of all time aged just 28 and her country's top goalscorer. West Ham midfielder Cho So-Hyun also features in their ranks, but Ji is the undisputed star of the team. Korea can reasonably expect to challenge Norway for second place in the group, hence their 10/1 pricing for qualification for the knockouts.

The final group match on June 17 between Norway and Korea might just decide the runners-up spot, but since the four best third placed teams qualify for the knockouts, Yoon Deok-yeo's side have an excellent chance of advancing through the group. I wouldn't expect them to go much beyond the round of 16 though.

South Korea play hosts France in the opening match and are priced at 6/1 to spoil the party by holding France to a draw. France are 1/10 to win, but opening match jitters might take hold given the level of expectation around them in front of a sold-out home crowd.

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Nigeria

Nigeria are very much the outsiders in this group, as reflected by their 275/1 odds to win the tournament. However, they do boast Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala in their ranks. The ex-Liverpool and Arsenal forward is one of the most unpredictable players you will ever watch. On her day, her ability to beat players and her sprinting speeds are completely unplayable.

She can tear apart any defender in the world. On her day. On an off day, she is just as likely to trip over her own feet. Nigeria have qualified for every edition of the World Cup, reflecting their dominance in Africa– they have won 11 out of 13 African Championships.

But they have only qualified from their World Cup group once (in 1999). This year, they have lost friendlies to European sides like Belgium and Austria, who failed to qualify for tise World Cup. It's exceptionally unlikely they will come out of this group (they're 80/1 to win it), their main target will be to try and win a game.

Germany

Much like the USA, Germany are not the monoliths they once were, even if they remain a powerful team in women's football. They won eight out of nine European Championships between 1989 and 2013 and won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007. Since then, they have had to contend themselves with a quarter-final berth in 2011 and fourth place in 2015, losing the bronze medal match to England in the process.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's team are in among the favourites (9/2) for good reason- they are current Olympic gold medallists after all.

That said, Martina has only been in charge for a short while, with just three games to her name as Germany's manager. Since long-serving coach Silva Neid's departure in 2016, Die Nationalelf have not truly settled, but their recent form is good, having beaten France, Sweden and Italy this year, as well as a draw with Japan.

In Alexandra Popp (10/1 for top scorer), they have star quality at centre-forward, Almuth Schult is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, midfielder Dszenifer Marozsán is a vital cog in the all-conquering Lyon team, while Sara Dabritz attracted attention from Chelsea and Arsenal this year, before deciding to move to PSG.

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Another player to watch is full-back Leonie Maier, who will soon sign for Arsenal. Germany have a few young talents in the squad poised to announce themselves to the world. Klara Bühl is just 18, her Freiburg teammate Giulia Gwinn turns 20 during the tournament. They aren't quite the superpower they used to be, but nobody would be surprised if they hoisted the trophy on July 7.

Striker Lea Schuller is a good outside bet for the Golden Boot at 25/1. Buoyed by winning the Champions League in her home town of Budapest in May, naturalised German Dzsenifer Marozsan also represents value for Player Of The Tournament at 15/2. Given China's leaky defence, 15/8 for Germany to score more than 3.5 goals in their opening game is also tempting.

Spain

Spain are still a developing force in women's football, appearing in only their second World Cup. However, the direction of travel is good, they've beaten Netherlands and Brazil this year and pushed England very, very close in a friendly at Swindon in April.

Barcelona's appearance in the recent Champions League Final demonstrates that the country is investing in women's football at the top level.

Ex-Arsenal midfielder Vicky Losada is a rich source of energy and goals in midfield, while Atletico Madrid attacker Jennifer Hermoso is rated at 18/1 to score the most goals in the tournament. Spain might not go far enough for that to come to fruition, but Hermoso is certain to impress. Having progressed to the quarter-finals of the last two European Championships, Spain can reasonably expect to qualify for the World Cup knockout rounds for the first time in their history.

Spain were expected to qualify from their group in 2015, but underperformed amidst disharmony behind the scenes. Following their elimination, the squad put out a public statement demanding the sacking of coach Ignacio Quereda, who had presided over the team for the previous 27 years. Spain seems to be a happier camp now and midfielder Patricia Guijarro, could be one of the breakout stars of the tournament. 25/1 reflects their dark horse status to win the trophy.

China

China were runners-up at the 1999 World Cup, losing the final on penalties to the US. Currently 15th in the FIFA World rankings, they will aim for qualification for the group, either in second place ahead of Spain or as one of the four best third placed teams. They would likely require a kind draw in the round of 16 to progress much further.

Coach Jia Xiuquan is one of three coaches at the tournament who played men's international football. China open their campaign against Germany, whom they have not scored against in over a decade.

PSG midfielder Wang Shuang is among China's most revered talents (she was voted the 2018 Asian footballer of the year ahead of Chelsea's Ji So Yun), alongside defender Wang Shanshan- who has also been used as a striker to great effect.

Much will ride on their final group game against Spain on June 17 in Le Havre, which will probably decide second place in Group B. Other group rivals South Africa are the second lowest ranked side in the competition and beating them handily would go a long way to at least securing China one of the four best third-placed spots. Their defence is pretty leaky and they will need to fix that to qualify from this group.

South Africa

This is South Africa's first appearance at the World Cup. Ranked 48th in the world and coming into the tournament on a nine game losing streak, winning a point would represent an achievement for Banyana Banyana. In the Cyprus Cup recently, South Africa were beaten 4-1 by North Korea and 3-0 by Finland, neither of whom qualified. At 500/1 they have the joint longest odds of anyone to win the World Cup.

However, in Janine Van Wyk, Linda Mothalo and Thembi Kgatlana they have players who play at the highest level of club football, with Houston Dash in the NWSL. Van Wyk is a veteran of over 150 caps and her experience will be crucial at centre-half, because South Africa will be doing a lot of defending. Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Mothalo as both have signed with Chinese Super League side Beijing Phoenix next season.

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Mothalo is a 20-year-old attacker with a sprinkle of creativity and a good eye for a pass. That allied with Kgatlana's pace upfront is threatening enough on paper. But on the field, South Africa have failed to trouble opponents for some time now. Winning a game is probably their most realistic ambition for France 2019.

Australia

The Matildas, ranked sixth in the world in the most recent FIFA rankings, will hope to improve on three consecutive quarter-final exits in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Their most recent match saw them push world champions USA all the way in a thoroughly entertaining friendly before losing 5-3. Typically, Australia are a match for any team, but tend to fall just short against the elite.

That said, in 25-year old forward and captain Sam Kerr, they have a player with a legitimate claim to being the best in the world. She is the all-time leading goalscorer in America's NWSL. Kerr is preparing for her third World Cup and she is hugely motivated to change the off-cited, rather anomalous statistic that she has yet to score a World Cup goal. Barring injury or calamity, that will change this time around.

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The Matildas changed coach in February, as former Socceroos assistant Ante Milicic replaced Alen Stajcic as Head Coach. Stajcic was sacked citing ‘an unsatisfactory environment.' But there are more heart warming stories in this Australia squad.

First is the selection of Hayley Raso, who fought her way back into the squad despite fracturing three vertebrae in her back after a collision with an opposition goalkeeper in September. Also selected is Bankstown City striker Mary Fowler who, at 16, could become the youngest player to ever appear at a World Cup- men's or women's- if she plays.

Sam Kerr is 9/1 for top goalscorer and 13/2 for Player Of The Tournament. If Australia progress to the semi-finals or beyond, she will be a very decent shout for both gongs. At 12/1 the Matildas are the joint third favourites with Japan and, given the lack of a truly dominant team at this World Cup, that represents value also.

Brazil

The Seleção Femenina arrive at this tournament in absolute turmoil having lost their last nine matches. There is discontent, in the team as well as the fan base, of the treatment of previous manager Emily Lima, who was sacked after a very short stint as manager in which she was not properly supported by the CBF.

The CBF top brass decided to re-hire the unpopular Vadão as coach and morale in the camp has sunk to rock bottom. Several players initially went on strike and refused to play for their country in protest at the CBF's treatment of a female coach. Publicly at least, those protests have subsided, but a poor run of results tells its own story.

At 33, Marta is a fading force and Brazil don't have the tactical structure to do anything other than feed her the ball and hope she can produce some magic. It is a shame because in the likes of Cristiane and Andressa Alves, there is other top class attacking talent in the squad, but Vadão struggles to harness it.

Marta is a lowly 33/1 to win Player Of The Tournament and that tells a story. However, Brazil do boast tireless PSG midfielder Formiga (her nickname, which means ‘ant') who, at a sprightly 41 years of age, is set to take part in her seventh World Cup. There are two members of this Brazil squad who were not born when Formiga made her tournament debut.

Brazil are a 11/10 second favourites to win Group C. It's not a price I would be attracted by, with Australia most likely to top the group at 5/6.

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Italy

Back at the World Cup for the first time in twenty years, Italy arrive at France 2019 in good spirits. They are unbeaten in 2019, defeating the likes of Chile, Wales and Republic of Ireland this year. Italy qualified comfortably, winning the first seven of their eight qualifiers overall and in doing so, establishing themselves as an emerging force in European football.

Juventus winger Barbara Bonansea is their star turn. She is capable of playing on either flank and having any full-back on toast on her day. Bonansea is the most experienced player in what is a very young Italy midfield. But upfront, Italy have stacks of experience with 29-year old Cristiana Girelli and 33-year old Daniela Sabatino.

With Brazil in disarray, Italy are a good bet to progress from their group. If Italy can get something out of their opening game with Australia (29/10 the draw, 4/1 the win) then 12/1 becomes an excellent price for them to win Group C.

Jamaica

Brazil boss Vadão described the 500/1 outsiders as ‘a team that does not shy away from African characteristics', producing something of a face palm moment. The Reggae Girlz were actually disbanded for six years between 2008 and 2014 after a poor showing in the Beijing Olympics. They will compete at the World Cup for the first time in France, but are still holding fund raising events in the build-up to the tournament. Jamaica's is a fight for continued existence.

They earned a creditable draw with South Africa and produced a pair of wins against Chile in March, but South Africa are fellow 500/1 shots, with Chile priced at 100/1. Jamaica have been placed in a fairly strong group and the best they can realistically hope for is not to be convincingly beaten in each of their games.

Brazil look vulnerable, if you're feeling brave 11/1 is good price for the Jamaica or Draw in the Double Chance market in their opener against the off-form Seleção, who have lost their last eight matches. The Reggae Girlz are 66/1 to win Group C, which I don't see many takers for.

Group D – Group of death

England

Phil Neville's Lionesses come into the tournament as joint-third favourites with Germany (11/2) and they will want to improve on their third place showing in Canada in 2015. England haven't quite clicked under Neville and there remains the suspicion that the team lacks a truly top class goalscorer in tight games. Jodie Taylor, Ellen White and Nikita Parris aren't as prolific for their country as they have been at club level.

England went home with the SheBelieves Cup back in March after a creditable draw with the US, but in the final, they were spared a little by Japan's decision to play a young side. With Jordan Nobbs injured, Neville has been robbed of one of the world's best midfielders, which damages England's chances of lifting the trophy.

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England are unspectacular to watch, but with a clutch of seasoned performers like Jill Scott, Steph Houghton and Karen Carney, they remain competitive even when they struggle to find their flow. Fran Kirby's ability to find the star dust has been compromised by an injury hit season, so much will fall on Nikita Parris in the forward line, who will join Lyon this summer.

Beth Mead is rated at 7/2 to be top scorer for the Lionesses in France and that's a solid bet. Mead ended the season brilliantly with Arsenal, finding her goalscoring touch from a wide forward role. The Whitby-born forward has three goals in her last five games for her country, scoring against the likes of Brazil, Japan and Spain.

Mead is 16/1 to win the Golden Boot and England should reach the semi-finals at least. Toni Duggan is 14/1 to be England's leading scorer and that's an eye-catching outside bet. At 11/2, England to win the whole thing is a fair price, but I expect them to just fall short. If you're interested, take them each-way.

Scotland

Shelley Kerr's side have developed rapidly over the last few years. There is very unlikely to be a repeat of the 6-0 thumping they endured at England's hands in the Euro 2017 groups, when Scotland were ravaged by injuries to players like Kim Little. Scotland have a fistful of players operating at the very top of the WSL.

Arsenal's Lisa Evans is one of the world's finest right-wingers, while fellow Gunners midfielder Little is in the top 5 central midfield players in the world. Caroline Weir, Claire Emslie and Jen Beattie (Manchester City) and Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea) bolster their ranks. However, they are drawn with two of the tournament favourites in England and Japan.

Realistically, Scotland might be looking at trying to finish as one of the best third-placed teams, which is the main reason for their 20/1 pricing to win Group D. In most other groups, they could push for a runners-up berth. Their pairing with Italy at 80/1 outright feels fair, both are emerging forces on an upward curve, but short of the top tier.

England are rightly favourites in their opening game against Scotland, but 9/2 is a tempting price backing the Scots or draw in the Double Chance market. Shelley Kerr's side will be super motivated to show that the 6-0 drubbing at Euro 2017 was an aberration and Little will be in the team this time. That makes a big difference.

Japan

Japan's inclusion makes Group D the group of death at France 2019. Finalists in 2015 and winners in 2011, Japan are one of the elite forces of women's football and I make 12/1 a very good price for them to win the tournament this time around. Defender and captain Saki Kumagai is part of an all-conquering Lyon side. Three of their usual starting back four aggregate over 320 caps between them.

That said, they have lost to England and France this year and they drew with Germany. But Japan are very proficient in tournament mode and the fact that they have played friendlies against such high level opposition and blooded young players in those games illustrates that they have come to play ball in France. Their seventh place in the most recent FIFA rankings is a consequence of experimenting against big teams.

They won the Asian Cup in 2018, with coach Takakura Osako admitting she prioritised development above results over the last year, “Players become better by playing matches,” she said. “So we didn't hesitate to give players who are still work in progress to play in our matches. In our early days, we struggled to win, but I knew it was a necessary process in order to strengthen the team in the long run.”

I am not entirely convinced they will win the World Cup this time around, but the 12/1 about them, in my view, are good odds. The 13/8 also represents value for them to win the group, don't be fooled by the 3-0 defeat to England in March with a second string side.

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Argentina

Argentina return to the World Cup for the first time since 2003 and have been drawn into the group of death. If they return home with a point or more they will regard it as a success. They've yet to win a World Cup game in their history, that is unlikely to change in France. (They are 100/1 shots for a reason).

They come into the tournament off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Australia, a 2-0 defeat to New Zealand and a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of South Korea. They qualified via a playoff win over Panama. Buoyed by World Cup qualification, the Argentinean FA recently agreed to the creation of a professional domestic competition. Argentina's appearance in France won't have been in vain, even if they are likely to be the group's poor relations.

Argentina are 50/1 to win Group D, but even at those odds, I would save up for a punt on Japan to win the group at 13/8.

Netherlands

The current European champions have experienced an explosion in interest since winning Euro 2017 on home soil, with most of their games attracting crowds of 20-25,000. Some members of the team confess that the expectation created by their Euro 2017 success and the large crowds their success attracted has not been straightforward to deal with.

The Dutch only qualified via a playoff against Switzerland after losing to Norway and drawing at home against Republic of Ireland in qualifying. They have also lost friendlies to Spain and Poland this year, finishing a lowly 11th place out of 12 in the Algarve Cup. However, they comfortably beat Mexico and Chile in their most recent games and playing away from an expectant home crowd might release some of the pressure.

Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema comfortably won the Golden Boot in the WSL this season and she has a reasonable claim to be the best centre-forward in the world. There will be plenty of takers for Viv to win the Golden Boot at 9/1. Fellow Gunner Danielle van de Donk is also a rich source of goals, while wide players Lieke Martens (Barcelona) and Shanice van de Sanden (Lyon) recently contested a Champions League Final for their respective clubs.

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Netherlands have one of the best attacks in the world and in Miedema, a player of genuine superstar quality who can drag them to victory. If they go all the way (16/1), then Miedema for Player Of The Tournament will look generous at 25/1. Nobody will want to play Sarina Wiegman's team in France.

Canada

Canada are unbeaten in 2019 with a solitary goal conceded in seven games against the likes of England, Norway and Sweden- only Nigeria have been able to trouble the Canadian net. Aged 35, Portland Thorns striker Christine Sinclair remains their focal point. With 181 goals in 281 appearances for her country, dating back to her international debut in 2000, only Brazil's Formiga has greater international pedigree. This will be Christine's fifth World Cup. She's 25/1 to mark it with scoring more goals than anyone else.

Canada were also grouped with New Zealand and Netherlands at the 2015 World Cup when they were hosts, they topped the group with 5 points, but 2015 was seen as an underperformance as they crashed out to England in the quarter-finals. Kenneth Heiner-Møller's side did beat England 1-0 in a controlled display in Manchester in April.

Canada elevated up the FIFA rankings from 11th to fifth after finishing runners-up to the USA in last year's CONCACAF Women's Championships. They have two squad members in the WSL, forwards Janine Beckie (Manchester City) and Adriana Leon (West Ham United).

Canada are a tactically flexible side who change formations according to their opposition, they are defensively sound but reliant on Sinclair for goals. They will be a big threat and could medal in France. They probably won't win the tournament, but they might be worth a pound at 20/1.

New Zealand

Ranked 19th in the world, the Football Fearns are among the stronger third seeded teams in the tournament. However, the gap between them and the top was illustrated in their 5-0 defeat to the USA a few weeks ago. Defenders Ali Riley of Chelsea and Ria Percival of West Ham are their most experienced campaigners, with over 260 caps between them.

New Zealand have exited in the group stages of all of their four previous World Cup campaigns, but they will aspire to finish as one of the four best third placed teams. Scottish coach Tom Sermanni is a veteran of three previous World Cups with Australia, so has the experience.

But New Zealand's big issue is that their star player, Riley, is a full-back and they lack star attacking quality. Their group clash with Cameroon will therefore be vital- a good victory could see them qualify as one of the four strongest third placed sides. They're 15/4 to draw with Netherlands in their opening game.

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Cameroon

Only South Africa and Jamaica are ranked lower in the FIFA rankings at this World Cup and those three teams share 500/1 odds to lift the trophy. A recent 4-0 friendly defeat to Spain proved to be a sobering reminder of the task ahead of the Indomitable Lionesses in France. Yet they manoeuvred their way out of the groups at the 2015 World Cup with victories over Ecuador and a surprise win against Switzerland.

Forward Ajara Nchout has scored 15 goals in 19 games for Toppserien in Norway, earning herself a move to Valerenga, where she has three goals in six games this season. With Nchout, Cameroon have the sort of attacking threat many of their peers don't possess. Preparation has been an issue for Cameroon, who have only played once since November. This is especially problematic as coach Alain Djeumfa only took over in January.

Cameroon are priced at 6/1 for the draw in their opening game against Canada. Canada has a tight defence, but if Nchout can breach it, Canada are not hugely prolific scorers themselves. A 1-1 draw as an outside bet is not totally out of the question.

USA

The three times World champions, four times Olympic gold medallists and current World Cup holders, the US, have ‘medalled' in all seven Women's World Cups. Jill Ellis' side have a pedigree unmatched in women's soccer and they are 10/3 favourites to win the tournament again with good reason. Talent like Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath and Mallory Pugh, is why few teams can match them for star power.

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Few teams match the USWNT for experience too, with around 1,700 international caps in their squad. The US are the tournament's king makers, if you want to win it, you are going to have to beat them. That said, the gap has closed in recent years. With rising professionalism in England, France and Germany. The US remain at the top table, but they no longer enjoy quite the same physical advantages they used to.

Morgan is joint favourite to win the Golden Boot at 13/2. Their pedigree is further reflected in the odds for Player Of The Tournament, with Morgan (5/1), Lloyd (6/1) and Heath (14/1) among the favourites. In a tournament with no clearly dominant side, the US to win is always something of a failsafe bet. They remain the benchmark, even if their supremacy isn't quite as emphatic as it once was.

The US are 1/4 to win their opening game against Thailand by Over 3.5 goals. Their global supremacy is shared nowadays, but their dominance in Group F, which they are 2/9 to win, is beyond doubt. With group games against Chile and Thailand, an American to be top goalscorer is a fair bet.

Sweden

Sweden ought to qualify from this group in second place at least and they will want to improve on their round of 16 showing in 2015. They fought and defended their way to the final of the Olympics in 2016, which tells you much about the resolve and character of Peter Gerhardsson's team. Anybody that plays them faces a tough match.

34-year old Wolfsburg defender Nilla Fischer remains their focal point and she forms part of a good defensive unit alongside Chelsea's Magdalena Eriksson and Joanna Andersson. Sweden do lack consistent goalscoring presence, nobody in the squad boasts a better rate than one in four when it comes to goals.

Fischer and their captain Caroline Seger (who has 193 caps) will almost certainly play in their final World Cup at the age of 34. It does mean Sweden's core is not terribly athletic. The loss of former Arsenal right-back Jess Samulsson to injury does little to ease that issue.

Sweden can give any team a game, but are likely to come up short when faced with the big players. They are priced at 25/1 to win and that reflects their status as dark horses. They are the type of side that could get to a semi-final, but it's difficult to see them getting much further.

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Chile

In 2019, Chile have lost to Italy, Catalonia and Jamaica and endured a 7-0 shoeing from the Netherlands. It is fair to say they head to France on a damage limitation exercise, hence their 275/1 odds. But with fellow outsiders Thailand in the group, they at least stand a chance of taking their first ever World Cup points in their maiden World Cup campaign.

Chile have never qualified for the Olympics or the Pan-American games either, so have very little in the way of tournament pedigree. They did manage to finish as runners-up in last year's Copa América, sealing their qualification for France 2019 in the process. They also managed to hold Scotland to a draw back in March.

Their World Cup squad has a combined tally of 39 international goals, which is numerically satisfying given their 39th placing in the FIFA rankings. They can expect to be easily beaten by the US and Sweden (whom they are 20/1 to beat), but the encounter with Thailand on match day three in the group should be competitive.

Thailand

Sharing 500/1 total outsider billing with Jamaica and Cameroon, Thailand are playing in their second World Cup after finishing third below Germany and Norway in Group B in Canada four years ago. A 3-2 victory over Ivory Coast in 2015 wasn't enough to qualify them for the knockout rounds, but it does mean they have a little more tournament pedigree than group rivals Chile.

Ranked 35th in the world, Thailand are unlikely to qualify from this group. They are rated at 100/1 to beat the US, with even a draw set at 19/1. They, like Chile, likely to be handily beaten by the US and beaten comfortably by Sweden, making their chances of finishing as one of the best third placed teams remote.

Nuengruethai Sathongwien's team were recently beaten well by Nigeria and Italy, neither of whom will expect to perform significantly better than Thailand in this World Cup.




This post first appeared here

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