Women's World Cup: Group C Preview

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere
Women's World Cup: Group C Preview

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

Let's get prepped for the action by diving into Group C.

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

Women's World Cup Group C

(FIFA ranking in parenthesis)

  • Spain (6th)
  • Japan (11th)
  • Costa Rica (36th)
  • Zambia (77th)

Women's World Cup Outright Winner Odds

  • Spain: +550
  • Japan: +3400
  • Zambia: +43000
  • Costa Rica: +43000

Odds to Win Group C

  • Spain: -340
  • Japan: +290
  • Zambia: +4900
  • Costa Rica: +10000

Odds to Advance Out of Group C

  • Spain: -7000
  • Japan: -900
  • Zambia : +550
  • Costa Rica: +3300

Odds to Reach the Quarterfinals

  • Spain: -450
  • Japan: -140
  • Zambia: +2100
  • Costa Rica: +10000

Group C Schedule

  • Matchday 1
    • Spain vs. Costa Rica, July 21st, 3:30 a.m. EST
    • Zambia vs. Japan, July 22nd, 3 a.m. EST
  • Matchday 2
    • Japan vs. Costa Rica, July 26th, 1 a.m. EST
    • Spain vs. Zambia, July 26th, 3:30 a.m. EST
  • Matchday 3
    • Japan vs. Spain, July 31st, 3 a.m. EST
    • Costa Rica vs. Zambia, July 31st, 3 a.m. EST

Group C Team-by-Team Outlook


La Roja are the headliners in this group, and their -450 odds to top Group C back that up.

Eliminated by England in the Quarterfinals of the European Championship in 2022, Spain went through a significant period of unrest, with numerous players walking away from the team in protest of manager Jorge Vilda. Vilda remains in charge, and the results since then have been excellent. After collecting a pair of wins in friendlies against the United States and Japan, Spain concluded a dominant run in qualifying, winning all eight of their games with 53 goals scored and 0 goals conceded.

In qualifying, Amaiur Sarriegi led Spain in goals with 11. Esther Gonzalez's (14) and Mariona Caldentey (12) paced the side in combined goals plus assists. Gonzalez has the second-best odds to win the FIFA Golden Boot (+750).

In qualifying, 14 different players scored for Spain, with 7 different players netting at least 4 goals. Included in that group is Alexia Putellas, winner of consecutive Ballon d’Ors in 2021 and 2022. Putellas missed out on the 2022 European Championships after suffering an ACL injury last July. She featured in a match for her club team, Barcelona, in April and is included in Spain's roster.

Spain are a true world-class side -- listed at -7000 to advance out of the group stages -- and they are expected to be one of the final teams in contention when the knockout stages reach their conclusion. Their +550 odds to win it all rank third-best.


Winners of the 2011 Women's World Cup, Japan have been a staple at the top of the game for over a decade, but they have been trending in the wrong direction since their 2011 triumph. Following their win in 2011, Japan finished as runners-up to the United States in 2015 and was eliminated in the Round of 16 by the Netherlands in 2019.

Japan qualified for the World Cup by reaching the semifinals of the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup. They topped their group with two wins and one draw before clinching their World Cup spot with a seven-goal victory over Thailand in the quarterfinals. However, they lost their semifinals on penalty kicks to eventual champions China PR.

They followed that up with a second-place finish at the four-team SheBelieves Cup in February. Losing by one-goal margins to both the United States and Brazil before recording a three-goal victory over Canada.

Forward Mina Tanaka is expected to lead the way for the Nadeshiko. With 24 career goals, she is the leading scorer on the current roster, and her 63 caps rank third-most. Her odds to win the FIFA Golden Boot (+2300) are tied for 19th. Riko Ueki, a 23-year-old forward, could also play a key role. Her Golden Boot odds (+2900) are tied for 26th. Despite having only 18 caps, her 8 goals rank third-most on Japan's World Cup roster.

Looking to return to the top of the summit, Japan are expected to advance from Group C (-900) without much trouble, but their odds to win it all are tied for just 10th (+3400).


An exciting side on the rise, Zambia will be making its World Cup debut in 2023.

They qualified for the first time by reaching the semis of the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations. After opening the tournament with a 0-0 draw against Cameroon, they recorded back-to-back victories against Tunisia and Togo to win their group. In the quarters, they defeated Senegal on penalties to secure their place in the World Cup. A one-goal loss to eventual champions South Africa ended their tournament, which they finished with a combined total of six goals scored and three goals conceded.

They accomplished that without their top strikers, Barbra Banda and Racheal Kundananji, who were disqualified from the tournament due to failed hormone tests. Both players are back in action for the World Cup.

Banda and Kundananji are an exciting duo. Kundananji scored 25 goals for Madrid CFF this season, second-most in Liga F, and was the youngest player (22 years old) inside the top 12 in goals scored. Banda scored back-to-back hat tricks at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the first player ever to do. The 23-year-old has 14 goals in 11 matches played for Zambia. Together, they are hoping to lead Zambia to success in their first World Cup appearance.

With Spain and Japan in the group, it will be a difficult task for Zambia to advance. Facing off against two extremely experienced sides, Zambia's odds to advance from the group are +550. If they do so, it will be a monumental accomplishment.

They open their tournament against Japan on July 22nd and will have a chance to make a statement against the former champions. Given Spain's standing as the overwhelming group favorite, that Zambia-Japan opener will play a huge role in determining who else advances out of the group.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica will be making its second appearance at the Women's World Cup in 2023 after making their debut in 2015 and then failing to qualify in 2019. In 2015, they were eliminated in the group stage after earning two draws (versus Spain and South Korea) and one loss (against Brazil).

They secured their spot in this tourney by reaching the semifinals of the 2022 CONCACAF Women's Championship. They finished second in their group, earning victories over Panama and Trinidad and Tobago before losing their final group stage match to Canada. In the semis, they suffered a three-goal defeat to eventual champions USA.

Raquel Rodríguez leads the way for Costa Rica. The second overall pick in the 2016 NWSL draft scored Costa Rica's first-ever World Cup goal and is their all-time leading goal scorer.

Despite sitting third in the group by FIFA rankings (36th), Costa Rica has -- by far -- the worst odds to advance (+3300).

Opening the tournament with back-to-back games against Spain and Japan, Costa Rica will need to produce an early upset to keep their unlikely path to the Round of 16 alive. Against Spain in the opener, Costa Rica are +6000 underdogs to win and +3100 to earn a draw.

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.