open menulivescore

Women's World Cup Group G predictions: Sweden and Italy look too strong
Copy icon

Simon Barlow
Peter Gerhardsson's Sweden have one or two issues to contend with but are strong group favourites
Peter Gerhardsson's Sweden have one or two issues to contend with but are strong group favourites

Ultra-consistent Sweden can usually be relied upon to go deep in the biggest tournaments and an experienced squad will not lower their ambitions going into the Women's World Cup.

The 2/11 Group G favourites with Livescore Bet take on African champions South Africa (66/1) in their opening game before facing more formidable rivals in Italy (5/1) and Argentina (16/1).

Reliable Sweden seek another deep run

There are a few lingering doubts surrounding the squad assembled by Peter Gerhardsson.

Arsenal forward Lina Hurtig struggled with injuries last season and defender Hanna Glas, a key component of the squad that finished third in France four years ago, is missing due to a knee problem.

There is still plenty of experience in defence, but Gerhardsson has not yet stated his preferred choice in goal between BK Hacken starter Jennifer Falk and Chelsea back-up Zecira Musovic.

Skipper Caroline Seger is now 38 and coming to the end of her career, but Hurtig, Stina Blackstenius, Fridolina Rolfo and Kosovare Asllani are still in their prime.

That nucleus should carry them through to the final four — which is usually the limit of their progress because no team has lost more World Cup semi-finals than the Blue and Yellow, although on each occasion they picked themselves back up in time to clinch third place.

Le Azzurre intend to show their true colours

Italy will look to bounce back from a dismal Euro 2022 finals showing and recapture the magic of their run to the last eight in 2019.

Milena Bertolini's side carry a four-game unbeaten run into the tournament and were only narrowly beaten by England back in February, albeit it was almost a second-string side that was fielded by Sarina Wiegman that day.

They have the organisation and creative spark to cause problems for most teams, but will need to be at their best from matchday one when they face a parsimonious Argentina side.

It may be too soon to rely on talented midfielder Giulia Dragoni, but Bertolini clearly has faith in the 16-year-old and should afford her the stage to demonstrate her potential to a larger audience than she gets when playing for Barcelona Femeni's B team.

Milena Bertolini's Italy are looking for a vastly improved performance on last year's Euros
Milena Bertolini's Italy are looking for a vastly improved performance on last year's Euros

Albiceleste seek breakthrough finals win

Reaching the finals has been an impressive enough achievement for a nation that dropped out of FIFA's rankings in 2017 due to two years of inactivity, but recent displays have raised hopes that Argentina can make their mark in New Zealand.

The Albiceleste beat the Football Ferns in back-to-back friendlies back in February, outplaying the tournament hosts in both games and will now go in search of their first-ever World Cup finals win.

Five clean sheets in their last six internationals underline where the strength of German Portanova's squad lies, but striker Mariano Larroquette was recently snapped up by National Women's Soccer League outfit Orlando Pride and can be a handful.

South Africa can spice up the group

A pay dispute with the national association disrupted South Africa’s preparations and led to a shadow squad facing Botswana in a recent friendly.

But the intervention of a billionaire businessman broke the strike and ensured the reigning African champions arrived in New Zealand in time to beat fellow qualifiers Costa Rica in a final dress rehearsal.

Coach Desiree Ellis used to work in a butchery, mixing spices and she will hope that with potential stars like Glasgow City's Linda Motlhalo and Sassuolo’s Refiloe Jane harnessed in a counter-attacking system, her team has all the ingredients to make this a tournament to relish for Banyana Banyana fans.

Although they might catch one of their rivals momentarily off guard, they are 4/9 with Livescore Bet to finish bottom of the group and it is hard to envisage a scenario where they avoid that fate.

Group G best bet - Italy stage of elimination - Round of 16

Le Azzurre should finish second in the group and therefore face the likely Group E winners the United States, whom they have previously neither beaten nor scored against.

Even if Italy, who are 3/4 with LiveScore Bet to go out at the last-16 stage, somehow outshine the heavily-fancied Swedes in their section, they will likely set-up a clash with the Netherlands and the Dutch have the clout to ensure they go no further.

Group G long shots - Sweden stage of elimination - semi-finals

The odds on Sweden reaching but going no further than the last four are an enticing 5/1 with Livescore Bet.

Gerhardsson's squad surely must avoid the United States in the last-16, but the draw could open up for them after that with only New Zealand, Norway or Canada likely standing between them and a semi-final berth.

The Swedes have plenty of scope to pick up momentum during the tournament, but a last-four exit would seem likely if the US make it that far too.


Sweden WItaly WArgentina WSouth Africa WWomen's World Cup
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play