The following article is written by Georgina Turner from Kickster.tv, a blog covering women’s football.
The women’s World Cup starts in five days and chances are you know nothing about it, which simply won’t do. I know they’re girls and that, but they’re pretty good, and since most of the games are on the telly you might as well give it a try. Plus this quick guide to the basics will transform you into a eulogising armchair expert in no time.
The decent teams: USA are favourites to win (remember that lass who whipped her top off after scoring the winning goal in the final of 1999? That was them (Ed – that’s her in the pic at the top)); but not far behind them are Germany, who are the cup holders and European champions to boot.
The middling teams: Canada, Brazil, China and North Korea are all decent second-tier sides if you fancy a long-ish punt. Don’t say: “Brazil have got to be favourites, surely?”. Brazil have the excitement factor of their male counterparts but they can lack organisation and a quality finish, though they do have possibly the world’s best player in Marta.
The making-up-the-numbers teams: Ghana and Nigeria are dominant in Africa but have virtually no chance here. New Zealand are getting better but remain a long way off World Cup contenders, and while Australia are looking stronger than ever, they weren’t really that good to begin with.
And England? Hope Powell takes her strongest squad ever to China, and considering they haven’t even made it to the finals since 1995 (another little factoid for you to peddle there), this is all good news. They face Germany (bad news), Argentina and Japan in group A. Argentina and Japan are improving sides but England should be strong enough to follow the Germans out of the group. Their most likely opponents should they do that are USA or Sweden, so their run could very well end there.
So for all your female football facts, head over to Kickster.tv. You know it makes sense.