In the latest Women’s World Cup group preview, it’s time to place Group G under the magnifying glass. Group G will be the focus point of Sweden, who after claiming four medals from their previous eight World Cup appearances, will hope to get their hands on the ultimate prize.
It’ll be a battle easier imagined than completed however, with a group that possesses the ingredients for an interesting journey.
Who is in Group G?
Group G will be made up of the following four teams:
- South Africa
What are the Group G fixtures & when?
23/07/23: Sweden vs South Africa
24/07/23: Italy vs Argentina
28/07/23: Argentina vs South Africa
29/07/23: Sweden vs Italy
02/08/23: Argentina vs Sweden
02/08/23: South Africa vs Italy
Group G Preview:
Sweden will go into the tournament as the group favourites, having tested the waters on the big stage eight times before. Peter Gehardsson’s side claimed a medal in the previous Women’s World Cup in France, coming third in 2019. The Swedes have claimed a total of four Women’s World Cup medals, including a silver in 2003 to add to two other third place finishes in 1991 and 2011, however a gold is still there to play for.
— Svensk Fotboll (@svenskfotboll) July 13, 2023
Sweden qualified for their eighth Women’s World Cup in stylish fashion, winning seven from eight qualifying games, drawing just one and remaining undefeated.
In the qualifying group awaited the Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Georgia and Finland, in a pack where the Swedes scored a monstrous 32 goals and conceded just two in a dominant display to pave their way to Australasia. A draw to the Republic of Ireland was the only occasion that points were dropped, with a qualification high of beating Georgia 15-0 in a telling of their strength.
Gehardsson’s team will be joined by Italy, who are second favourites in the group and looking to build on their journey of 2019. The Italians have featured at just three Women’s World Cup tournaments, with their first being in 1991, followed by an appearance in 1999. It took 20 years for Le Azzurre to make their return to the competition, with their third appearance coming in 2019, after years of failing to qualify. In France, Milena Bertolini’s side reached the quarter-final and will hope to build on such highs this summer in Australasia.
Joining Italy and Sweden in Group G will be Argentina and South Africa, who both fall as the less likely side’s to graduate further into the competition.
The 2019 Women’s World Cup was historical for South Africa, who marked their first appearance at the tournament. Despite being a monumental occasion for the country, it was a tournament that also marked the need for progression, with South Africa losing all three group games leading to an early exit.
Please don't miss the first game of Banyana Banyana against Sweden in the FIFA Woman's World Cup… Very important game! 🇿🇦💪🏿😍
All Banyana Banyana games will be televised on SABC and SuperSport. pic.twitter.com/mRxJtRjgP9
— Cellular® (@Cellular_jnr) July 13, 2023
For Argentina, the squad will be hoping to emulate some success to align with the highs set by the men’s World Cup win in December, however securing a single win would be a celebration for German Portanova’s side. La Albiceleste are yet to record a win at the Women’s World Cup, making three appearances at the tournament and going out at the group stage each time, in 2003, 2007 and 2019.
It won’t by any means be an easy ride for South Africa and Argentina, however with football comes surprises, and anything can happen in the beautiful game.
Women’s World Cup Group G Odds:
South Africa: 50/1
Women’s World Cup Group G Predictions:
It would be unrealistic for one to predict anything but a Swedish and Italian progression from the group stage. The two sides are superior to their opponents in South Africa and Argentina, however as highlighted, there’s always room to break the norm. A smart prediction would be for Sweden to take the top spot of the group, with Italy to follow, leaving Argentina to claim third and South Africa to take up the last position in the Group G standings.