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Women's World Cup outright predictions: Look out for Spain and France
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Steve Davies
Jorge Vilda will be hoping he can guide Spain to a first World Cup triumph
Jorge Vilda will be hoping he can guide Spain to a first World Cup triumph

- Defending champions USA are looking to win the World Cup for a fifth time but face serious challenges
- Recommended bets:
- Spain to win and each-way
- France to win and each-way

Women's football continues to rapidly improve and this summer's World Cup appears wide open with several genuine contenders.

As holders, the United States are favourites, while England will be confident they can overcome injuries and absences to prove their triumph at last Euro 2022 was no fluke.

Spain can strike gold

La Roja have never progressed beyond the last 16 at a World Cup and a few months ago you may have been hard pressed to make a case for them.

Having flopped when well fancied at the Euros and then victims of a player exodus over a number of issues, it looked like the Spanish were falling apart.

But peace has broken out through the camp and big players have come back, notably Alexia Putellas, who may be rusty after a long lay-off but remains a class act.

Aided by a galaxy of her Barcelona team-mates, including the outstanding Aitana Bonmati and teenager Salma Paralluelo — set to be one of this tournament's break-out stars — Spain boast tslent galore. 

They come into the tournament on a winning and free-scoring run with last October's 2-0 win over the US the perfect reminder of what a good side they are.

Spain will make light work of Group C. And if the draw maps out as the seedings suggest, they really should make the semis at the very least.

France to enjoy strong run

Herve Renard's appointment appears to have unified France
Herve Renard's appointment appears to have unified France

France are also missing one or two of their stars — notably Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Delphine Cascarino — but the Group F heavyweights are laden with talent.

Few players globally have as much as Kadidiatou Diani, who now has to deliver at the top end of a France side alongside the equally gifted Eugenie Le Sommer.

There is a confidence in the camp, despite France going through plenty of off-field dramas in recent months. 

Their issue was a virtual strike under former coach Corinne Diacre but the experienced Herve Renard, the man who oversaw Saudi Arabia's win over Argentina at the men's World Cup before Christmas, has broken down barriers and seen key women return.

Defender Wendi Renard, unrelated to the boss, is one who is back.

France will need to see off Brazil to win Group F because the runner-up faces an absolute minefield of a route in the knockout phase. 


Women's World CupSpainSpain WFranceFrance W
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