Women's World Cup: Group B Preview

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
Women's World Cup: Group B Preview

The 2023 Women's World Cup starts on July 20th, so we're not far from the global sporting event.

Let's keep our group previews rolling by diving into this tournament's "Group of Death" -- Group B.

All betting odds come from the Women's World Cup odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Women's World Cup Group B

(FIFA ranking in parenthesis)

  • Canada (7th)
  • Australia (10th)
  • Ireland (22nd)
  • Nigeria (40th)

Women's World Cup Outright Winner Odds

  • Australia: +1100
  • Canada: +3400
  • Ireland: +10000
  • Nigeria: +19000

Odds to Win Group B

  • Australia: -185
  • Canada: +200
  • Ireland: +1900
  • Nigeria: +3500

Odds to Advance Out of Group B

  • Australia: -1450
  • Canada: -430
  • Ireland: +350
  • Nigeria: +600

Odds to Reach the Quarterfinals

  • Australia: -240
  • Canada: +170
  • Ireland: +1400
  • Nigeria: +3400

Group B Schedule

  • Matchday 1
    • Australia vs. Ireland, July 20th, 6 a.m. EST
    • Nigeria vs. Canada, July 20th, 10 p.m. EST
  • Matchday 2
    • Canada vs. Ireland, July 26th, 8 a.m. EST
    • Australia vs. Nigeria, July 27th, 6 a.m. EST
  • Matchday 3
    • Canada vs. Australia, July 31st, 5 a.m. EST
    • Ireland vs. Nigeria, July 31st, 5 a.m. EST

Group B Team-by-Team Outlook


While host nation Australia may not have the best FIFA World Ranking in Group B, they are a considerable favorite to win the group at their odds of -170. They'll likely get a huge boost from their home crowd with an expected 80,000 fans in attendance for their opener against Ireland on the 20th.

Those fans have high hopes for their Matildas. Despite having never advanced past the quarterfinals, Australia has the fifth-best odds to win the 2023 World Cup (+1100).

Because they are the host nation, Australia automatically qualified for the World Cup. They've played a slew of international friendlies over the last two years -- going 7-1-4 (W-L-T) since 2022. Though they did lose twice to Canada at home last summer (0-1, 1-2), the Matildas ended the year strong with four consecutive wins, including a 4-0 result against third-ranked Sweden.

Australia dropped a stunner to Scotland earlier this year but carries a ton of positive momentum into the World Cup following their 2-0 win against fourth-ranked England in April. Sam Kerr scored the first goal and assisted the second tally in that win as she continues to cement herself as one of the greatest women's players of all time.

Kerr led the way for Australia in their last World Cup appearance in 2019, scoring five goals in just four matches. Australia's all-time leader in international goals, Kerr's list of honors is extensive. At 29, she is in the prime of her career and a serious candidate for the Golden Boot (+1100; tied for sixth-best odds).

With Kerr drawing so much attention, fellow forward Mary Fowler will see a lot of action playing alongside Kerr in their 4-4-2 system. The 20-year-old could be a huge X-factor as the Matildas look for any sort of production outside of Kerr.

Defensively, Australia features strong fullbacks, but their lack of a set goalkeeper may be cause for concern -- though, their options are plentiful.

Australia did notably lose one of their top midfielders, Elise Kellond-Knight, to a ruptured Achilles back in March.

The Matildas have an enormous ceiling, but their inconsistency can be a serious issue. Between hosting the World Cup and having their most accomplished player of all time at the apex of her career, Australia enters this tourney with sky-high expectations. They have to get through Group B first, but the host nation is an intriguing longshot at +1100 to lift the trophy.


Despite winning gold at the 2020 Olympics and coming in as the No. 7 team in the world, Canada sits at a distant second to win Group B. Make no mistake, however, the Canadian women have the experience and talent to play with anyone.

The grit and grind Canadians play a defensive style of football that features one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Kailen Sheridan. Under manager Bev Priestman, Canada is very comfortable gutting out low-scoring affairs thanks to their uncanny ability to keep clean sheets regardless of opponent.

That was a winning strategy at the 2020 Olympics when Canada took home gold thanks to allowing just a single goal in three knockout matches. Since that win, Canada has continued to play well -- winning Group B in last summer's CONCACAF Championship to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.

Though they eventually lost in the final to the United States, Canada had an impressive international season in 2022, going 10-2-2. That included two games apiece against Australia and Nigeria. Canada came to Australia and defeated the Matildas twice (1-0 and 2-1). Against Nigeria, they won once (2-0) and drew (2-2) in Canada.

Canada features a veteran squad that has questions about its future but still has enough in the tank to compete for this year's World Cup.

Chief among those veterans, Christine Sinclair enters her sixth World Cup at 40 years old. She has one of the lengthiest international resumes of all time with a record 190 goals in 323 appearances. Sinclair doesn't score as much as she used to, but she is arguably still Canada's most important player.

Jessie Fleming has become one of the better midfielders in the world after winning three consecutive FA Cups with Chelsea. She's twice been named Canadian Player of the Year (2021 and 2022) and cemented her place in history after two massive penalties in the semifinals and finals of the 2020 Olympics.

Outside of Fleming, however, the midfield is a question mark. Julia Grosso, a 22-year-old, is a breakout player to keep an eye on after she won Serie A Midfielder of the Year with Juventus this past season.

Canada will be playing without one of the key contributors from their gold-medal team as forward Janine Becky tore her ACL in March and remains out for the World Cup.

At +3400, Canada is the definition of a long shot to win the 2023 World Cup. Group B won't do them any favors, but their defensive style of play would make them a tantalizing Cinderella candidate in the knockout stage -- if they can get there.


The bad news for Ireland is that they drew one of the three groups with multiple teams ranked in FIFA's top 10.

The good news for Ireland is that both of the top 10 teams in Group B have shown a tendency to drop games to lesser-ranked opponents.

Ireland may be making their first World Cup appearance, but they're doing so with their most talented and experienced team to date.

They took down Finland twice (2-1; 1-0) and drew versus Sweden (1-1) en route to finishing second in their World Cup qualifying group. From there, they took down Scotland 1-0 to earn their first World Cup berth.

Ireland turned some heads when they held the United States to just three goals across two friendlies this spring. However, going scoreless in those matches and then again in a 3-0 loss to France earlier this month certainly raises questions about their attack at the World Cup.

Central midfield is Ireland's biggest strength. Arsenal player of the year Katie McCabe stars there, although she will play all across the pitch. McCabe and Denise O'Sullivan provide the bulk of their offense as they combined for 13 goals and 11 assists over Ireland's nine qualifying matches.

Ireland's defense is a strength, too, with center-back Louise Quinn holding down the fort. They have a ton of experience on that end, and manager Vera Pauw's conservative philosophy leads Ireland to more than their fair of low-scoring affairs.

Being one of the more established teams in the field is a real advantage for Ireland. While Ireland is making their World Cup debut, nerves shouldn't be a huge factor. The defense will likely keep Ireland close with Australia and Canada, but they'll have to figure out how to score a couple of goals if they want to advance.


Nigeria has a rich history in women's soccer as the Super Falcons are one of just seven teams to appear in all eight FIFA Women's World Cups. Despite that, Nigeria has made it to the knockout stage just twice. They did so in 2019 but lost 3-0 to Germany in the Round of 16.

Since then, Nigeria has faced a rocky road, to say the least.

Nigeria failed to win the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) for just the third time (dating back to 1991). Between that and Nigeria's 0-1-4 record in friendlies, 2022 wasn't exactly a successful year for Nigerian soccer.

They did notably draw with Canada (2-2), and their 2-1 loss to the United States was nothing to be ashamed about. Additionally, Nigeria bounced back with wins over Haiti (2-1) and New Zealand (3-0) this spring.

Nigeria is the biggest underdog to advance out of the group (+600), but they do have a plethora of offensive talent.

That starts with striker Osisat Oshoala, arguably the greatest female African soccer player of all time. Having won African Women's Footballer of the Year a record five times, Osisat is the heart and soul of this Nigeria team. Fresh off a Champions League title with Barcelona, Osisat is in excellent form and looking to build off a stellar 2019 World Cup -- where her 75th-minute goal against South Korea was nominated for Goal of the Tournament.

Onome Ebi is Nigeria's captain and veteran, having appeared in six previous World Cups. It remains to be seen how much the 40-year-old has left in the tank, but her experience alone is a strong advantage for Nigeria.

Nigeria faces an uphill battle to survive such a talented group. However, their strong attack could give defensive-minded Ireland and Canada trouble.

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.