- 2011 champions take on Argentina at the Parc des Princes
- Cameroon look to keep out Christine Sinclair and Canada
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There is no doubting which teams start as favourites in Monday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™ matches.
Japan and Canada both begin their campaigns with hopes of taking home the trophy, while Cameroon and Argentina – the latter back after 12 years and still searching for their first point at this tournament – must upset heavy odds to make a winning start.
Argentina-Japan, Group D, Paris, 18:00
Team reporter analysis
Diego Zandrino (ARG)
Twelve years after their last FIFA Women’s World Cup™ appearance, Argentina return to the tournament against genuine title contenders in Japan. Carlos Borrello and his players know they will need to play a perfect match to compete against such a formidable team. The coach feels that Argentina can do this by focusing on ball possession, trying to avoid their opponents’ high press and profiting from aerial attacks. Another key factor: they can’t lose concentration for a second.
Ai Yoshiizumi (JPN)
Although Japan won the Women’s World Cup at Germany 2011, eight long years have passed since then. Their 2019 squad consists of a new head coach and many new players, with just five survivors from 2011. Indeed, the average age of the team makes them the second-youngest at France 2019, and vital to their prospects against Argentina will be whether the younger players adapt quickly to the unique conditions of a World Cup.
Canada-Cameroon, Group E, Montpellier, 21:00
Team reporter analysis
Mona Yeganegi (CAN)
Canada come into the tournament with a talented and versatile squad. They start among the favourites and are expected to come out on top against Cameroon. There is much speculation about what Kenneth Heiner-Moller’s approach will be and whether he will take an attacking approach with his star forwards or focus on catching Cameroon on the counter. This is also seen as a great opportunity for the captain Christine Sinclair to increase her chances of setting a new record for international goals. She is currently on 181 goals – three behind current record-holder Abby Wambach.
Cynthia Nzetia (CMR)
Cameroon have been waiting patiently for this day since exiting at the Round of 16 in Canada four years ago. Much has changed since then, most notably the coaching staff, but the playing squad remains largely unaltered. There are some questions, however, about Gaelle Enganamojit's form and match fitness, given that she hasn't played in an official game since January. And in central defence, who will play alongside the team’s ever-present captain Christine Manie? Aurelle Awona or Augustine Ejangue look to be the main contenders.