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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019: Hosts France Eyeing a Strong Start


FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019: Hosts France Eyeing a Strong Start

France vs Korea Republic

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 is set to kick off as hosts France take on South Korea in a Group A matchup.

Most FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 odds have Les Bleues installed as the favourites to win the entire competition on home soil. But much like Brazil at the Copa America, they will have to overcome the pressure and the expectation that comes with having home-field advantage.

They can go some way toward easing that pressure by putting on a convincing performance in their opening match against Korea Republic.

As for the Koreans, they will be eager to put a poor build-up to the tournament behind them as they aim to deliver a shock right off the bat.

Talking Points

France overflowing with talent

France are right up there with the United States as the favourites to win the World Cup, and with good reason. Manager Corinne Diacre has a simply stacked squad full of talent and quality at her disposal.

Wendie Renard and Griedge Mbock, who helped Lyon win the Women’s Champions League, are rock-solid in the centre of the French defence.

Captain Amandine Henry is also as reliable as they come, while 33-year-old Elise Bussaglia provides a wealth of experience.

And up front, France possess a wealth of terrific options with Eugénie Le Sommer, Valérie Gauvin, Kadi Diani, Delphine Cascarino and Gaëtane Thiney.

Gauvin and Diani are in particularly fine form heading into the tournament as they’ve both netted four times in their last five matches, all of which France won. In total, Les Bleues have won 13 of their last 14 matches, conceding just five goals.

While they suffered defeat to Germany in a friendly back in March, they did record a convincing 3-1 victory over the United States back in January.

On paper, this should be a matchup where France can produce some FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 highlights. They’ve shown that they are fully capable of taking care of business against clearly inferior sides, and with the Koreans’ recent struggles, they should have few problems.

Korea Republic struggling

While France had pretty much a perfect build-up to the tournament, the South Koreans struggled mightily during their tune-up matches and could be short on confidence. They failed to win their previous three friendlies, losing to Iceland and Sweden and also drawing with Iceland.

This is perhaps the best chance for Korea’s “Golden Generation” to make it deep in the World Cup. That core group is led by midfielders Ji So-yun and  Cho So-hyun, who play their club football for Chelsea and West Ham United, respectively.

Ji is the country’s all-time leading goalscorer with 54 goals and will be tasked to lead the team’s capable attack. Meanwhile, Cho will provide timely contributions on both ends of the pitch.

However, there are major question marks about the Koreans’ defence. With their top two goalkeeping options out injured, they have been forced to turn to Kang Ga-ae, who has just nine international caps. Their defenders aren’t the most sure-footed, either, and can be prone to errors.

It goes without saying that they can’t afford to make too many mistakes against France, who have the quality forwards capable of capitalising on any miscue.

History

Korea Republic have featured in two World Cups in their history — in 2003 and 2015 — and they met France during both tournaments. France have won both of those meetings: 1-0 in 2003 and 3-0 in 2015 in the round of 16.

France still have several survivors of that 2015 side, with Renard, Henry, Le Sommer, Thiney, and Diani all playing a part in the win.

The South Koreans don’t have a particularly impressive record at the World Cup. They’ve just won once in seven matches, with one draw and five defeats with five goals scored and 19 goals conceded.

Betting Tip

France Asian Handicap -2.00 @ 1.78

It would be quite a shock if South Korea could somehow prevent France from starting the tournament out with a win. After all, SBOBET odds have the hosts priced at 1.14 to win their opening match with Korea at 9.75.

The wiser play figures to be the Asian Handicap market. With France likely to be fired up to put on a strong performance in front of their fans and the Koreans struggling for form, this easily has a chance to turn into a big win for Les Bleues, one with a margin of over two goals.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

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