It was on 29 November 2010 that the draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ decided the fates of participating teams, and since then, all of the 16 qualified nations have been carefully studying their potential path to glory, hopeful of acquiring the label of ‘world champions’ for the next four years.

Frankfurt is the venue earmarked for the culmination of the global event on 17 July, and it was in this same city that the make-up of the four pools was originally determined. It was a day that mixed gasps of astonishment and respectful applause, as Lady Luck provided fans with some mouth-watering group-stage encounters and an array of unforgettable quotes.

Ahead of the curtain-raiser between Nigeria and France in Sinsheim on Sunday at 15.00 CET, why not reacquaint yourself with’s expert analysis of each group by clicking on the relevant link on the right-hand side? There you will find the names of players tipped to shine, key matches that could be decisive in the battle for the quarter-finals, as well as numerous other fascinating details.

Following that first match, the much-anticipated official opening ceremony of the sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place in Berlin’s Olympiastadion, subsequent to which the legendary stadium will stage a full women’s international – Germany versus Canada – for the very first time. Statistics appear to favour the host nation, as they have emerged victorious from their four previous meetings with the Canadians.

While Germany and Brazil, finalists from four years ago, will start out as clear favourites to top Groups A and D respectively, Group C appears more difficult to predict, given the recognised calibre of three of the teams involved, namely USA, Korea DPR and Sweden. Colombia, making their debut in the tournament, will have to be at their very best to have any possibility of progressing.

In Group D, Equatorial Guinea find themselves in a similar position, with former world champions Norway and the aforementioned Brazilians potentially barring their path to the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Japan and England will fancy their chances of advancing from an intriguing-looking Group B, but will need to be wary of the pair of dangerous outsiders that complete the section: New Zealand and Mexico.

The first week of competition will decide the outcome of the four groups, with eight days of top-level football producing what is certain to be an exciting quarter-final line-up. Please be sure to check the match schedule on the right so as not to miss any of these potentially thrilling encounters.

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Which FIFA Women’s World Cup group-stage match are you most looking forward to watching?