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2023 Women's World Cup

Who will win the 2023 World Cup? Assessing contenders after the final international break

The hosts, the favorites and the outsiders. A preview of the top international teams.

Photo Copyright Jeff Curry for USA TODAY Sports

This year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be the biggest yet. There will be eight more teams and two more groups than was seen at the 2019 edition in France.

Coming out of the international break and with just over three months until the World Cup kicks off, we at The Equalizer will break down the main contenders of the 32 teams, starting off with one of the host nations.

Australia: Are the hosts peaking?

This time last year, Australia had just exited the Asian Cup at the quarterfinal stage, and were struggling to get past New Zealand in friendlies. Now, they are serious contenders for the World Cup on home soil. The outlook has changed drastically, based on stunning form. In the last six months, they have defeated some of the world’s best, including Sweden and Spain. Their latest win, 2-0 away to end England’s long unbeaten run, is the most significant of the lot.

Sam Kerr leads the forward line, and she is supported brilliantly by Caitlin Foord, Hayley Raso, the lightning-quick Cortnee Vine, plus attacking fullbacks Ellie Carpenter and Steph Catley. There is also Holly McNamara, an exciting prospect who could sub in for Vine or Raso. The front four is packed with quality and speed, and head coach Tony Gustavsson has developed them into a fine counter-attacking force. England are the latest side to pay a heavy price for their mistakes playing out from the back.

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