Fifa World Cup: England expected to top Group D
Maia Jackman, a 50-cap Football Fern and SKY Television Fifa World Cup 2019 pundit, breaks down Group D.
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England had some great results in the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year, thumping Japan 3-0, beating Brazil 2-1 and then claiming a 2-2 draw with the powerhouse United States to take out the tournament. That will give them huge confidence going into the World Cup.
Their coach, Phil Neville, has done really good things with them. He’s certainly getting the best out of them. So they’ll be a strong favourite to top Group D – and will be looking to improve on a third place finish at the 2015 World Cup.
At club level, the women’s game in England is still well behind the men, but at national level they attract good crowds to watch them play an exciting brand of football.
Scotland have got a lot of good players who play in the English league. They’re ranked 20 going into the tournament but I suspect they are better than that. I’m really interested to see how they go. I think they’ll beat Argentina but with a lack of experience it may be difficult to get a result from the top two seeds.
The Japanese won it in 2011, but in 2015 they got absolutely smashed, so it will be fascinating to see how they go this time around. They drew with USA and Brazil in the SheBelieves Cup – but as mentioned, were beaten easily by England.
Sadly Argentina’s women really struggle in comparison to the country’s famous men’s team. They receive very little support from the powers that be and have really battled an attitude that women shouldn’t be playing football. They do boast a bit of classic South American flair, but it would be a real surprise if they were able to qualify from what is a very strong group.