Group D: Auld foes to face Japan, Argentina


Key Game England-Scotland (9 June 2019, Stade de Nice, Nice) A game steeped in history that is itself historic. Scotland's first game at the FIFA Women's World Cup, the first for the nation at a senior global finals for more than two decades, is against their oldest foe: England. The Lionesses were the first opposition in the Scots' inaugural official match, a 3-2 win for the English back in 1972. The sides' most recent competitive meeting was a comprehensive 6-0 victory for England at the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 - also a tournament opener for both sides - but Shelley Kerr's side at France 2019 will likely be unrecognisable from the injury-depleted squad of that 2017 defeat.

What you need to know

  • A crucial clash in this difficult group will be a re-match of a Canada 2015 semi-final. England and Japan face off in their final group game, in Nice on 19 June, a repeat of the dramatic final four clash in the most recent Women's World Cup. That intense knockout game saw the Nadeshiko claim a stoppage time winner, courtesy of Laura Bassett's unfortunate own goal, to win 2-1 and progress to the finale.

  • This group is technically the most difficult, going off the December 2018 FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking (the ranking used for the draw pots). England (4), Scotland (20), Argentina (36) and Japan (8) give an average ranking of 17, slightly higher than the next most difficult group: Group A (17.25).

  • Argentina will be hoping to banish the group stage ghosts of Women's World Cup past. They faced Japan in 2003's Group C and were soundly beaten 6-0. They did score against England in their Group A clash at their most recent global finals appearance: China 2007, but also conceded six times in another comprehensive defeat. Will it be third time lucky for La Albiceleste?

The stat 4 – In all of their previous four Women's World Cup appearances, England made it through the group stage on every occasion. After reaching the quarter-finals in their first three tournaments (1995, 2007 and 2011), the Lionesses achieved their best position of third at Canada 2015. Will they finish higher in France?