Group B at the 2023 Women’s World Cup features the other set of co-hosts along with a debutant team and 2 teams that are capable of the spectacular. Australia is joined by Ireland, Nigeria, and Canada, forming a strong group with an average FIFA ranking of 19.75. Australia carries with it the hopes of a nation, while Canada want to be the team that follows up their gold medal at the 2020 Olympics with a Women’s World Cup.
Schedule (based on Eastern Time kickoffs)
Thursday, July 20th
Australia vs. Ireland
Nigeria vs. Canada
Wednesday, July 26th
Canada vs. Ireland
Thursday, July 27th
Australia vs. Nigeria
Monday, July 31st
Ireland vs. Nigeria
Canada vs. Australia
The Matildas enter the tournament with the hopes of an entire continent holding them up. They’ve been one of the stronger programs in the world for several years, and now they’re hoping to take the next leap in front of their home fans. Anticipation is off the charts, with fans absolutely crazy about their team and ready to support them at home. They have the players to make some noise and absolutely contend to lift the Women’s World Cup trophy at home.
FIFA Ranking: 10
Recent Record: Australia is 4W-1L-0D in 2023, with a friendly scheduled for tomorrow against France ahead of the start of the World Cup. Australia have wins this year against the Czech Republic, Spain, Jamaica, and England.
Odds of Winning Group: Co-Favorite
One to Watch: Sam Kerr may be the bright star, but Claire Polkinghorne is the most experienced player on the roster, and she will be counted on to quarterback the Matildas on defense.
Entering their first World Cup, Ireland plays a tenacious defense that will frustrate any opponent. They want to use that to their advantage so that they can pounce and counter with goals. They’re not here to sightsee. They’re here to put in the work to get out of the group and give themselves a chance.
FIFA Ranking: 22
Recent Record: Ireland is 1W-3L-1L in 2023. Their lone win this year came against Zambia back on June 22nd.
Odds of Winning: Dark Horse
One to Watch: After recently filing a one-time switch to represent the Irish, Sinead Farrelly will participate in her first Women’s World Cup, an incredible achievement for a woman who has sacrificed so much of her career and recently came back to the NWSL after a 7-year hiatus.
Don’t look now, but Naija is here to take names. They have some players that are going to wow this tournament, and they’re always going to be a tough out. Having competed in (check notes) every single Women’s World Cup, they’re used to the bright lights, the intensity, and the pressure. And they can dish out some of their own. Keep your eyes on the Super Eagles.
FIFA Ranking: 40
Recent Record: Nigeria is 3W-2L-0D in 2023. They have wins this year against Costa Rica, Haiti, and New Zealand.
Odds of Winning: In the Running
One to Watch: Asisat Oshoala is a straight up problem. She has scored in almost every match she’s played for FC Barcelona, and her 29 goals for Nigeria make her someone you need to focus on when she takes the field.
Canada is not here to show that they’re a contender. They want to be viewed as a favorite to win the Women’s World Cup and add to the gold medal they won in the 2020 Olympics. They have veterans, they have players in their prime, and they have some young talent that’s ready to take the world by storm. They want to show the gold medal was no fluke, and they can overcome all the obstacles in front of them to claim the trophy they desire.
FIFA Ranking: 7
Recent Record: Canada is 1W-3L-0D in 2023, with a friendly scheduled for tomorrow against England ahead of the start of the tournament. Their lone win this year came against Brazil during the SheBelieves Cup.
Odds of Winning: Co-Favorite
One to Watch: Ashley Lawrence is an incredible young defender, and she’ll press forward to make her presence felt on the attack as well.
Who will advance from Group B? What matches are most interesting to you? Let us know in the comments.