The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Women’s World Cup predictions: DI sports predicts the 2023 group stage

The ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is kicking off in Australia and New Zealand for an exciting month-long tournament.

The competition will embrace many new changes this year, such as expanding from the former 24 teams to a full 32 – now the same size as the men’s tournament – and being hosted by two different countries.

The pressure is on to see if any team can successfully dethrone the United States, who have won the past two tournaments. The Americans have finished on the podium in every single Women’s World Cup to date, winning a total of four times.

As the event kicks off with the group stages, we have predicted the results for who will be proceeding to the knockouts and therefore possibly heading on to win the whole thing.

The United States are the favorites to win their third successive World Cup, with England and Germany following as the second and third highest odds. But, the following nations will attempt to dethrone the queens of international women’s football.

    Subscribe to our sports newsletter!

    Group A – Adam Rosen

    Group A presents a very intriguing group, with the host nation featuring for the kickoff match of this edition of the Women’s World Cup.

    While the host nation is usually a fun pick to get out of the group, I’d be stunned to see New Zealand make it out, despite the likelihood that they will feed off the energy from the home crowds.

    Norway and Switzerland are the clear cut favorites here, and while I think Norway has more talent, I feel Switzerland will pull out on top. Regardless, both will escape the group stages.

    Final Standings:

    1. Switzerland
    2. Norway
    3. New Zealand
    4. Philippines

    Group B – Maaike Niekerk 

    Australia, with their home advantage and exceptional talent, are considered a favorite to win the tournament. With star players like Sam Kerr and Ellie Carpenter, the Matildas are ready to take on the very best of them.

    Canada presents a roadblock. Currently ranked seventh in the world, they experienced a disappointing loss to powerhouse Sweden in the 2019 tournament knockout round, and will likely be back to fight.

    In the other half of the group, the Republic of Ireland is making their debut this year, and has their work cut out for them playing on the opening day against the hosts. With their past World Cup experience, I’m confident Nigeria can take them on for third.

    Final Standings:

    1. Australia
    2. Canada
    3. Nigeria
    4. Republic of Ireland

    Group C – Adam Rosen

    This group is in the running to be named the “Group of Death,” the unofficial nickname fans give to what they believe is the most difficult group. 

    There’s a valid argument to be made for Groups D and B as well, but this group tops it with its multitude of talented nations. 

    Costa Rica possesses a great defense and has plenty of experience playing the reigning champions. Spain and Japan should be the favorites, but without a doubt, it will be interesting. Unfortunately for Zambia, their first Women’s World Cup appearance looks like it won’t be a long stay, as they’re the lowest ranked nation in this edition of the tournament.

    Final Standings:

    1. Japan
    2. Costa Rica 
    3. Spain
    4. Zambia

    Group D – Adam Rosen

    Similarly to group C, this is one of the groups many are calling the “Group of Death,” and I concur with that sentiment.

    The reigning European champions, England, should have no trouble escaping this group, but China, Denmark and Haiti will have much to say about that.

    In my eyes, Denmark and Haiti are better than their rankings suggest. China are at a disadvantage, having not won a match against European nations this year, but they’ll have two chances to change that.

    Final Standings:

    1. England
    2. Denmark
    3. Haiti
    4. China

    Group E – Maaike Niekerk 

    This group is perhaps the most exciting, as it pits the winner and runner-up of the previous Women’s World Cup against each other right off the bat in the group stage.

    The United States is a clear favorite to win the tournament for the third time in a row. With more Women’s World Cup wins than any other nation, they present an absolute powerhouse and are heading into the competition with confidence. 

    In an unpopular opinion, I don’t see the USA’s mix of old and brand new faces carrying their same iconic chemistry from the past eight years and taking the trophy for the third time in a row. However, I can see them coming out of their group on top.

    With Oranje’s star striker Vivianne Miedema out due to an ACL injury, the odds look to be in the American’s favor. Pitting their experienced stars like Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe against the younger Dutch group seems like a safe plan for the win.

    With Portugal and Vietnam both making their debuts at this World Cup, the battle for third will be exciting. However, I’ll put Portugal on top in the match between the two.

    Final Standings:

    1. United States
    2. The Netherlands
    3. Portugal
    4. Vietnam

    Group F – Maaike Niekerk 

    Brazil and France are up for an intense showdown as they represent such highly ranked nations in the world of women’s soccer.

    While neither team is widely predicted to make it to the final in the long run, they’ll certainly show an interesting fight in the group stage to get a more advantageous spot in the round of 16. Both teams have shown incredible talent in the past and will surely continue to do so.

    Jamaica and Panama will likely be fighting for third, considering Jamaica’s loss of all three games in the last Women’s World Cup and Panama making their debut. 

    Final Standings:

    1. France
    2. Brazil
    3. Jamaica
    4. Panama

    Group G – Maaike Niekerk 

    Sweden, currently ranked at number three in the world, will be a force to reckon with in this world cup. It’s not hard to imagine them coming out on top of the group, even with the strong competition they face.

    South Africa will be participating in their second ever Women’s World Cup, and their lack of experience may be detrimental to their chances of escaping the group.

    Italy and Argentina will show the most exciting battle for who will take second and make it to the knockout stage. Despite showing up lower in the world rankings, Argentina has seen more success in recent matches, where Italy has been struggling for the past several years. I’ll pick Argentina for the knockout spot, with Italy getting eliminated.

    Final Standings:

    1. Sweden
    2. Argentina
    3. Italy
    4. South Africa

    Group H – Adam Rosen

    This is one of the easiest groups to predict in my opinion, as it’s not even a debate for who will finish first.

    Germany will dominate their opponents, and they’ll easily take the top spot.

    South Korea may give them a little bit of trouble, (perhaps they could feed off the energy from the men’s side, who also advanced to the knockouts from a group with Germany, ultimately knocking a stacked German side out of the men’s World Cup). 

    Colombia and Morocco could make some noise, but I’ll make the safe picks, and go with that obvious choice.

    Final Standings:

    1. Germany
    2. South Korea
    3. Colombia
    4. Morocco

    [email protected]

    [email protected]

    More to Discover
    About the Contributors
    Adam Rosen, Assistant Sports Editor
    Hello! I’m Adam and I’m a senior majoring in journalism. I’m one of the assistant sports editors, and this is my second year with The DI. I love to talk about sports, so if you have any questions or desire to talk about a random athlete from 10 years ago or why Messi > Ronaldo, contact me at my email below!
    Maaike Niekerk, buzz Editor
    My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
    ILLordle: Play now