Women's World Cup Preview Group A: Will Hegerberg Produce The Goods For Norway?

Co-hosts New Zealand are chasing their first win...
10:00, 09 Jul 2023

The Women’s World Cup is now under two weeks away from kick-off and the excitement is building around the tournament. The big guns are all preparing for action as England have touched down in Oz, but how are the other teams looking ahead to the biggest event the sport has to offer? We start with Group A.

Group A

New Zealand




Co-hosts New Zealand have the honour of kicking off the biggest Women’s World Cup we have ever seen on July 20, in-front of a sell-out crowd of 50,000 at Eden Park. New Zealand will hope for something special at this World Cup and they will be backed by a raucous fanbase, but they will have to come through one of the most competitive groups at the 2023 World Cup.

It could be a tough ask for the Football Fearns, who have never made it beyond the group stage of any World Cup. Their last four attempts at making it to the knockout stages have seen them finish winless, and they have also failed to win any of their last eight games. It’s not the best run of form to head into a home World Cup with and head coach Jitka Klimková is still trying to inspire her experienced outfit. 35-year-old Ali Riley should lead the team from the back, while Betsy Hassett has over 140 caps to her name in midfield. 

They are currently ranked 26th in the world, with Switzerland 20th, Norway 12th and Philippines 46th to give you some perspective of the task at hand. Norway are favourites to win the group, but they were humiliated 8-0 by England in the group stages of the Euros. They disappointingly crashed out in the group stage of that tournament, but with Ada Hegerberg, Guro Reiten and Caroline Graham Hansen, they should cause major damage in this group. 

Betfred Women's World Cup odds*

Despite Switzerland’s healthy ranking, they only just made it to the finals after a dramatic extra-time play-off win over Wales. Fabienne Hunn scored in the dying embers of that tie here but all eyes will be on Ramona Bachmann, who has 131 caps and 57 goals to her name. She’s the talisman of this outfit, while 17-year-old Iman Beney has a whole bunch of talent and could become the youngest Swiss player to appear at a World Cup. Switzerland lost just one game, to Italy, in their qualification campaign and will want to flourish on this stage, having previously played in just one World Cup, back in 2015. 

The Philippines had never qualified for a men’s or women’s World Cup before, so this year they truly are breaking new ground. Alan Stajcic has taken them to the tournament after they came close to qualifying in 2019 and they won the SouthEast Asian Games as they continued to improve. They can rely on defensive linchpin Hali Long and captain Tahnai Annis, while Sarina Bolden stole the headlines when she scored the winning penalty against Chinese Taipei to secure qualification.

They’ll likely be the neutral’s favourites throughout Group A given they are making history, while New Zealand will feel huge pressure to secure their first ever World Cup win. Norway should win the group however, and they are the short price of 3/10 with Betfred to do just that.

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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