2015 Women’s World Cup Canada: Group B Preview

June 2, 2015

If Group A is the definition of balance, then Group B is the opposite. Be careful not to make rash judgments about the teams that come out of this next group, because round robin play here may not be an accurate gauge of strength.

Let’s take a look at Group B for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Remember the Name

Nadine Angerer, Germany goalkeeper

With its best offensive weapon, 2015 World Player of the Year Nadine Kessler, sidelined due to recurring knee issues, the German national team will turn to a defensive stalwart to lead the squad in Canada. Although Hope Solo has renowned fame in the United States for her goalkeeping prowess, Angerer is the only women’s net-minder to win the World Player of the Year award.

How much the loss of Kessler ultimately affects Germany remains to be seen, but chances are that the tournament’s top squad will still have no problem advancing to the knockout stage thanks to Angerer. Due to the obvious talent gap in Group B, it would be a surprise if she didn’t rack up at least one clean sheet during the group stage.

Group Bully


Calling Germany the bully of Group B is about as good a term as any to describe just how dominating this squad may be through its first three matches of the tournament. The current No. 1 in FIFA’s rankings, Germany has enough talent on the bench to dispatch of a couple of teams in the group. Even without Nadine Kessler, there are plenty of offensive weapons, most notably forwards Célia Šašić and Alexandra Popp. The defense is the one area of concern, but the combination of a quick strike mentality and the goalkeeping efforts of Angerer should prevent this from being an issue in group play.

Nothing is a lock, but if you don’t like losing money and had to place a bet on one team to move on to the knockout round, Germany is a rock solid choice.

Group Underdog


Changsuk (meaning “The War Elephants”) is making its debut appearance in the Women’s World Cup, so that should be enough to sustain excitement from the fans back home. It better be, at least, because excitement is unlikely to stem from the realistic shot at moving on to the next round. Thailand isn’t the lowest ranked country in the group (that honor belongs to No. 67 Ivory Coast), but being the fifth team from AFC doesn’t exactly raise a lot of eyebrows.

If you’re a fan of high scoring football affairs, it might be worth tuning into one of Thailand’s games. The War Elephants probably won’t be doing a lot of scoring, but teams like Germany and perhaps Norway could put on a clinic. Simply put, it would be nothing short of a miracle if Thailand were to make it through to the knockout round.

Games to Watch

Germany vs. Norway (June 11, 4:00 PM ET – FS1)

Really the only balanced match in Group B. As it turns out, the game is likely to decide which country wins the group as well.

Thailand vs. Germany (June 15, 4:00 PM ET – FOX)

As mentioned above, this one could get ugly. But people were buzzing the last time a German national team was pummeling an opponent, right?

How They’ll Finish (picks in bold move on to the Knockout Stage)

1. Germany – 9 points

2. Norway – 6 points

3. Ivory Coast – 1 point

4. Thailand – 1 point

– K. Becks

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