Preview – FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011
This weekend sees the start of the Women’s World Cup, which takes place in Germany. The group stage kicks off on Sunday afternoon and previous campaigns tell us that we will have a great deal to look forward to. This is a chance to see some of the very best players from around the world take part in a massive competition. BBC will be showing highlights and I recommend you tune in, the standard is always very high and the entertainment top notch.
So who are in the groups and which teams stand out? Let’s take a look (match listing here). The defending champions and hosts take up group A with Canada, Nigeria and France. This is a tough group to call but you’d have to fancy Germany to top it, with the others fighting for second.
England are in group B and I will be cheering them on. They are choc full of Arsenal links and I can’t wait to see the lady gooners show them how it is done. It’s a tough enough group but I think if England fail to qualify it would amount to a fairly big upset.
The team to watch out for in group C has to be the USA who have won the competition on two previous occasions. Not only that but they are the reigning Olympic champions and ranked one in the world. They are not infallible, loosing to England, Mexico and group C opponents Sweden, in the not to distant past, but you’d have to put your house on them getting out of this group.
Group D sees the wonderful Brazil take on Australia, Norway and Equatorial Guinea. This is the most interesting group in my opinion. Norway are no walk over with great pedigree in the own game, and with Equatorial Guinea making their debut you can’t right them off. Australia have a decent team too, so this could be interesting. Brazil’s striker, Marta (pictured left), is the player to watch. She has won FIFA Women’s Player of the Year no less then five times (in a row) and is something very special. Top scorer in the last World Cup I am really excited to see her play this time around.
I am not alone, 700,000 tickets have already been sold for the competition, with half the games expecting 20,000 or more spectators. The hosts first game has sold 74,000 tickets and why not, these women are at the very top of their sport and I’d love to be there.
The cup will comprise of 32 games and every single one will be broadcast live in Germany by the two public television channels. All of England’s games will be live on the BBC Sport website (UK only) with highlights on BBC 2. You can also catch the English games on BBC Radio 5 live. You can read the views of some of the English experts here.
I will be back with some match reports as the competition goes on but right now I am really excited to see the group stages unfold. Pride weekend and the Women’s World Cup starting with Wimbledon underway, what more could a lesbian ask for?
Here are some magic moments to get you in the mood (don’t ask me why it starts with them doing their hair!)
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