FIFAWWC Countdown Day 27 - At A Glance: Group A & Group D

Join us on this exhilarating journey as we unveil the exhilarating tableau of this year's competition. Hold onto your seats, because it's going to be a ride you don't want to miss!

As we step boldly into Day 27 of Edge of the Crowd's electrifying 70-day countdown to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, anticipation is at a fever pitch.

Now, it's time to dive headlong into the gritty, thrilling details of each group. Prepare to be enchanted by tactful maneuvers and enchanted by top-tier athletes. Each group promises a dramatic blend of the supreme contenders and the underdogs with nothing to lose.

From group to group, we're dissecting the exciting prospects, starting with Group A and Group D.

Group A

Group A showcases an arresting blend of footballing narratives. Housing New Zealand, the hosts, it also features Norway, a once-champion of the World Cup, alongside the newcomer in The Philippines, and a Switzerland team still smarting from a less-than-ideal Euro 2022 run.

Home crowd advantage could likely propel New Zealand to its first Women’s World Cup finals triumph as the side square off with The Philippines at the renowned Sky Stadium (Wellington Regional Stadium to the first-timers). Europe's representation, though formidable, isn't as intimidating as it might be. Hence, New Zealand securing a point from bouts with Norway and Switzerland seems a feasible prediction.

The Philippines, however, could find its World Cup baptism a challenging affair. Nevertheless, the stewardship of Australian coach Alen Stajcic should curtail any unwelcome humiliations. Despite the romantic idea of the Filipinas causing an upset in their inaugural World Cup outing, it's a tough ask. Their journey may end prematurely, yet, if they notch a goal via a counterattack, expect nationwide jubilation.

Norway, while a previous Women's World Cup victor, now confronts a fading memory of past glories. Yet, the undeniable pool of talent for Gresshoppene, coupled with a favourable draw, should help exorcise the ghost of their Euro 2022 debacle, particularly that 8-0 drubbing by England. Norway, in my estimation, will amass seven points, overpowering New Zealand and The Philippines, but settling for a draw with Switzerland.

Switzerland, Norway's fellow European competitor in Group A, is also keen to banish the spectre of Euro 2022. La Nati have displayed remarkable resilience post their ill-fated group stage exit, with a near flawless World Cup qualifying campaign, losing just once. That lone defeat compelled them to seek qualification through playoffs, which they navigated with aplomb. My forecast places Switzerland with a respectable five-point tally, holding New Zealand to a draw, thus denying the co-hosts a dream run to the knockout stage.


Norway 7pts

Switzerland 5pts

New Zealand 4pts

Philippines 0pts

Group D

Group D, with three squads nestled in the top 15 of FIFA Women's rankings, is set to be one of the most fiercely fought groups in the initial tournament phase. The group, a potpourri of European champions England, the 13th-ranked China, Denmark who hold the 15th spot, and the newcomers Haiti, appears primed for a three-way race for the top two positions.

Kicking off the group stage against Haiti, England could see a goal tally that is reminiscent of a cricket score, a fixture where it's not far-fetched to envision the Three Lionesses racking up double-digit goals. But, the road becomes increasingly thorny for Sarina Wiegman's England squad afterwards. Nevertheless, I predict England's world-class skills will be evident as the side tackle both China and Denmark successfully, amassing a robust goal difference, bolstered by its likely demolition of Haiti.

Regardless of how tightly Haiti batten down its defences, the unavoidable reality is the newcomers are likely to be overwhelmed with goals. The luck of the draw placed Les Grenadières in a challenging group, and their tournament journey might consist of long games, where they'll continually battle to fend off world-class offences. Regrettably, to the Haitian fans, a winless campaign with a glut of goals conceded seems probable. And, to compound things, the chances of them scoring appear slim.

Entering their first Women's World Cup in 16 years, De rød-hvide's anticipation is palpable. It's remarkable that Pernille Harder will be making her World Cup debut at 30 years of age. This unique circumstance might give Denmark the impetus the side needs in its pivotal fixture against China at the unimaginatively named Perth Rectangular Stadium.

China, on the other hand, is eager to secure a spot in the knockout phase. The Steel Roses present a formidable challenge, and with attackers like Wang Shuang (王霜) and Tang Jiali (唐佳丽) in their ranks, they're poised to exploit any lapse in their opponents' form. We predict China will succumb to England, amass a healthy goal tally against Haiti, and narrowly miss out against Denmark.


England 9pts

Denmark 6pts

China 3pts

Haiti 0pts

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