FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™

FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™

FIFA Women's World Cup

Dark horses poised as auld enemies clash

Steph Houghton of England scores their sixth goal to make it England 6 Scotland 0 as Caroline Weir of Scotland looks on
© imago
  • Sunday’s programme features the oldest rivalry in football
  • Potential title contenders Australia and England among the teams in action
  • THE LATEST: #AUSITA, #BRAJAM & #ENGSCO Live Blogs updating now

Matchday 3 at France 2019 pits samba against reggae and renews the oldest rivalry in international football. Australia will also be out to confirm that they are genuine title contenders against an Italy side returning after a 20-year absence.

Australia-Italy: Group C, Valenciennes, 13:00

Team reporter analysis

Peter Smith (AUS)
After three consecutive quarter-final appearances, the Aussies are quietly optimistic of reaching a new milestone in France. They have enjoyed some spectacular success in recent years, but their results in the last few months – including defeats to USA and Netherlands in their past two outings – have been more mixed. Plenty of interest will focus on the team’s playing style and formation, with some recent tinkering around the edges from new coach Ante Milicic, who took charge in February.

Sonja Nikcevic (ITA)
Italy go into their first World Cup match in 20 years in high spirits. The run up of positive results in World Cup qualifying and friendly matches means coach Milena Bertolini’s team are confident in their style of attacking play, even against opponents as dangerous as Australia. Facing one of the tournament favourites after so many years away also means the pressure is off for Gli Azzurre.

Brazil-Jamaica: Group C, Grenoble, 15:30

Team reporter analysis

Giancarlo Giampietro (BRA)
Brazil’s World Cup challenge started way before their first match, dealing with a series of injuries that even preceded Vadao’s announcement of the squad. Marta’s rehabilitation process is now obviously one of the tournament’s main news topics. But regardless of whether their star player is declared fit, A Seleção will be able to field a highly talented team to face the physical, athletic but inexperienced Jamaicans.

Kayon Davis (JAM)
Jamaica’s youthful Reggae Girlz are set to create quite a buzz at the Women’s World Cup. Much like the Jamaican Bobsled team in the '88 Winter Olympics, they have defied the odds simply to get here. And they intend to make the most of their historic debut. They face South American champions Brazil, who have qualified for every World Cup since 1991. But the Brazilians have won just one of ten games since qualifying, while Jamaica have won three of their last five.

England-Scotland: Group D, Nice, 18:00

Team reporter analysis

Laure James (ENG)
Make no mistake: this opening game has everything. A historic rivalry, two dynamic teams with winning mentalities and coaches who have left nothing to chance in their preparation. England will be out for goals, and are expected to field a strong starting XI. As head coach Phil Neville told FIFA TV, a win in this match will help his players to settle confidently into tournament mode.

Aileen Larkin (SCO)
For some teams, a debut against one of the highest-ranked teams in the world might represent a disconcerting prospect. But after several successful warm up matches, Scotland are confident and ready to take England on. Shelley Kerr will be looking to combat the Lionesses’ strong attack with a solid defensive framework, possibly lining up with Kim Little and Caroline Weir in holding midfield roles. But there will also be plenty of creativity up front, with Erin Cuthbert a player to watch.

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