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Can the USA win the World Cup for the third time in a row?

With many injury doubts for the Lionesses, Spain and the Netherlands, can it be USA’s year again?

The World Cup is less than 100 days away, so it is time to look into all the teams competing and if they have a chance to lift the trophy at the end.

Group A

With the way recent history has gone it is looking likely that the top two teams in the group will be Norway and Switzerland. But the co-hosts will be looking to use their home advantage to make it to the round of 16.

In this group Norway are the highest ranked team with a FIFA rating of 12. In terms of FIFA ratings, the group would go in order of Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand and the Philippines.

The Philippines will be making their first appearance in the world cup. They will kick of their tournament against Switzerland on the 21st July.

New Zealand will be kicking off the tournament at Eden Park against Norway. If they could get off to a winning start, then there could be an unluckily team not making it out of the groups.

Group B

The other co-host Australia are amongst one of the favourites to win the competition. With the likes of Sam Kerr and Arsenal duo Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord they will be looking to top their group and make it far on home turf. In a warm up match Australia beat the European champions England 1-0.

The Republic of Ireland could potentially be one of the underdogs that make it far, with the likes of Arsenal star, Katie McCabe and Aston Villa midfielder Ruesha Littlejohn. This is their first world cup so there’s no pressure on the greens, but with their talented squad they could make it far.

After all the recent incidents the Canadian players have had to deal with, they are hoping to go out and do their nation proud in the World Cup. They have a very talented team with the likes of PSG star Jordyn Huitema and Portland Thorns winger, Adriana Leon. They will believe that they could be amongst the top 2 in the group.

Nigeria, with their many qualifications to the World Cup, have never really shown their full potential after being knocked out in the group stages. Nigeria have full domination over all other African countries, but can they go on to show their worth this summer? Nigeria are ranked 42nd in the fifa rankings.

Group C

The captain and Ballon d’Or winner, Alexia Putellas will be back for the summer, in which Spain will be amongst the favourites to lift the trophy and should have no issue getting out their group.

With many WSL players, Japan will hope to use their quality to make it out their group. They have been in many major competitions and will hope to use their experience to make it far.

Costa Rica's last World Cup entry was in 2015 when they failed to make it out of their group, so they are hoping for a change of fortune this year.

For Zambia, this is their first ever qualification and will hope to make an impact, they are ranked 77th in the fifa world rankings. Zambia only have 5 professional players in their whole squad, one of them includes their captain Barbara Banda who plays for Shengzi Shanghai.

Group D

The European champions will be looking to top their group and make it far in the tournament, even with their major injury doubts, these include, Beth Mead, Leah Williamson, Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze. They are the highest ranked in their group, being 4th.

Denmark are the second highest ranked team in the group. With Chelsea star, Pernille Harder and Lyon forward, Signe Bruun, surpassing the group should be a must.

China have qualified for the world cup 8 times, with their best year being in 1999 when they were runners up. In recent history they have failed to surpass the group many a time, so will hope for a change. China are ranked 13th.

For Haiti this is the first time their country has ever qualified for a major competition, so they will enter the tournament with so many achievements already achieved, but can they cause an upset at the RO16?

Group E

On paper group E could be the hardest with one big team not being able to reach the RO16. The USA will be expected to top their group and go on far, due to them being ranked 1st in the FIFA rankings but also with them being the holders of the trophy.

For the Netherlands, yet again they will miss Vivianne Miedema for a major completion, with her tearing her ACL back in December. But will still have quality all over the pitch and would hope to have a great competition.

For Portugal and Vietnam, they will be expected to be the teams that don’t reach the RO16. But for Portugal they showed in the Euros when they nearly knocked out France that they can cause upsets. With Vietnam they are like others with this being their first world cup for their country ever will go into the competition with no pressure but will look to have a great underdog story.

Group F

Brazil and France will be making sure they reach the RO16, with them being the two superior teams in the group but also the competition.

For Jamaica they have the WSL top goal scorer up front, Khadija Shaw and if they can create a few chances anyone would back that she can score them.

Panama are set to make their debut in the competition, but they managed to reach the semi-final back in 2018 in the CONCACAF championship, so they shouldn’t be fully looked away from creating history for their country in the world cup.

Group G

Sweden will hope to top their group, they have been in many major competitions before and with their striker, Stina Blackstenuis, being in great form for Arsenal, this should be a must.

Argentina, Italy and South Africa, are all very even on paper and all three will believe they could beat each other on their day. This allows this group to be very tight and a great watch. In recent times Italy have made the most impact so they could have the most pressure of making it in the top 2.

In the FIFA rankings, South Africa are ranked the lowest on 54th.

Group H

With Germany reaching the Euro’s final, they will be expected to top or at least make it out their group. In the Euros Alexander Popp was second in the golden boot race, if she can get back fit they will be expecting many more goals from her.

Colombia and South Korea will both be looking to reach the RO16 with Germany. There are only 9 rankings between them both, so if both teams can come into the tournament with a fully fit team this could be an interesting encounter.

Morocco are ranked 73rd in the FIFA rankings and are expected to finish bottom of their group. This will be their first ever qualification to a major tournament. Can they cause an upset?

Who do you believe will lift the trophy in the Summer?

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