Fifa World Cup 2019: Australia the team to beat in Group C
Maia Jackman, a 50-cap Football Fern and SKY Television Fifa World Cup 2019 pundit, breaks down Group C. For in-depth previews of each team, click on the links below.
Australia has dealt with the upheaval of the shock sacking of their coach Alen Stajcic but, make no mistake, our neighbours are going to France intent on winning the World Cup. They might be typical cocky Australians – but they have good reason to confident.
There is plenty of substance behind their ambition. The results under new coach Ante Milicic – which include a comfortable 2-0 victory over New Zealand - have been highly encouraging. They look like a really switched-on team – and I’d expect them to top Group C comfortably.
Brazil has slipped to 10th in the world rankings and are a team who have lost a lot of experience in recent times. But they still have the great Marta, who is a genuine game-changer.
But you still need to get the ball to her in the right part of the pitch, and that is where they have been struggling. They might not be the power they once were, but they should still finish second in the group and will be a threat in the knockout rounds.
I wouldn’t expect Italy to trouble Australia but they might push Brazil, while Jamaica is another team that will be out to impress in their first World Cup. I suspect they might be a bit overwhelmed after landing in a group with three very tough opponents.