France look ready to usurp Germany and USA as the leading team at the women’s World Cup
In 1998, the French men’s team won the football World Cup for the very first time. Previously to this, it has been a tale of near misses despite some outrageous ability, although the squad came together and finally believed it could be done.
A similar philosophy exists within the women’s camp ahead of the 2015 tournament, with Les Bleues enjoying some eye-catching victories ahead of the World Cup which surely give them as strong a chance of victory as any other team.
Philippe Bergeroo’s team are ranked third in the world, having breezed through qualifying for Canada 2015 and the victories were pretty brutal. Indeed, France comfortably won all ten of their matches and conceded just three goals altogether.
More notably, the French have beaten Germany, US and Brazil this year, marking them out as the form team coming into a tournament which is grander than ever before.
Twenty-four teams will line up in Canada, with France drawn in England’s group and that will mean a repeat of the quarter final clash at the 2011 World Cup which saw Les Bleues go through on penalties.
England will have their toughest opponents out of the way after the first game and it’s realistic to think that the Three Lionesses can finish second ahead of Colombia and Mexico.
Even third place in the section could be enough considering the last sixteen will comprise four of the six teams that landed third in the section along with the winners and runners-up.
The bookies are finding it hard to split the USA and Germany for this competition and they have traditionally been the powerhouses of the women’s game in recent years, although it was Japan who enjoyed an emotional triumph four years ago.
Brazil are the other team available at single figures and the draw is easy-going to the extent that the big guns might not have a showdown until the quarter final stage.
However, we’re going to back France at favourable odds, with much of the squad being drawn from Olympique Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ten players are from the Lyon side which have completed another league and cup double this season, while several more play for a PSG team who reached the Champions League final this term.
Amel Majri is the team’s left-back and claims that the squad feel confident they can go all the way in Canada.
“Full-backs tend to get forward quite often and so I use my dribbling skills and my ability to drive into opposition territory at both club and international level. Although I don’t get many chances to score, it’s a bit of a trade-off,” she told the FIFA website.
“I don’t want to come across as overconfident, but I do think we can win the tournament, “ said Majri. “We have a nice mix of styles – we can pass the ball around really well, but we’re also good in the air. We’ve got pace and a physical presence, and we’ve shown that we can play intelligently when need be.
“Against the top teams it’s going to come down to the little things, but we’ve got a great coaching staff, and that’s obviously going to go in our favour,” she concluded with an air of confidence”.
France to win the World Cup @ 8/1 with Sky Bet