The Women’s World Cup gets underway Friday afternoon from the beautiful country of France and it’s the host nation that will kick this exciting month-long tournament off with a key Group A showdown vs. South Korea. As we’ve done for past major soccer tournaments, we’ll have daily write-ups and picks on the majority of the games over the next month, so stay tuned to TheSportsGeek to get daily picks and advice if you’re looking to wager on this exciting competition.
In 2019 the pressure is squarely on the French women as they prepare for what is expected to be a very lengthy run. Les Bleus are essentially the co-favourites in this tournament, along with the American squad – but the time is right for France’s youth to step up and win a major international title.
It is also worth noting that following the French World Cup triumph last summer with the men’s squad – it could be the first time in international soccer history that world titles are currently held by both nation’s respective men’s and women’s teams. France is littered with talent and they’ll enter their first game against a pesky, yet surprisingly skilled Korean side. Following years of disappointment and what many would perceive to be a lack of unfulfilled potential – the French are vowing to be hungry and not complacent on home soil. Read on below to see how Friday’s curtain raiser between the French and Koreans will go.
France vs. South Korea Betting Odds:
South Korea (+875)
France -2 (-141)
South Korea +2 (+121)
Over 2.5 (-165)
Under 2.5 (+145)
France vs. South Korea Pick:
Expect the French to start the tournament with the proverbial bang, as they’ll certainly be looking to make a big statement on their home turf. As mentioned above, a lot of previous tournaments this talented French group has fallen short of expectations,
France’s new manager Corinne Diacre has her squad focused and hungrier than past tournaments, and she has been blessed with an array of elite-level talent. The French will be led in this one by captain Amandine Henry who will absolute control the midfield against a weaker South Korean side. She’s pivotal at winning balls both in the air and on the ground, and will be a key distributor up top to her Lyon teammate Eugenie Le-Sommer.
Expect the South Koreans to play especially conservative, as has been their recent model when they’ve gone against sides that are clearly more talented than them. The Koreans will be disciplined, but eventually expect them to simply just get outplayed due to a vast skill disparity. France however cannot sleep entirely on the Koreans when they possess the ball, as they too have a dangerous scorer in Ji Soyun – who has featured prominently at Chelsea and could be able to score anywhere from 30 yards out.
Four years ago at the 2015 World Cup, these two squads met and the Koreans lost by a 3-0 scoreline. This time around expect a similar vibe, with the French controlling much of the ball and chances – though Korea is a more developed group and many pundits would agree that is their ‘golden generation’ of women’s soccer. I think the Koreans will be responsible enough to keep the loss margin respectable, and look for them to play a fairly conservative 4-1-4-1 formation that could limit a nervy French side. Ultimately, look for France’s skill out wide and up front to break through and net them a 2-0 victory, but the play is a juiced-up under in game one.