2015 Women’s World Cup Canada: Group F Preview

June 4, 2015

It isn’t exactly saving the best for last, but Group F, like Group E, could get very interesting. A couple of heavy hitters are joined by a tournament newbie and a squad whose federation has worked very hard to assure that its team is competitive on a stage such as this one.

Here is the final group preview for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Remember the Name

Louisa Nécib, France midfielder

Nécib is the linchpin of a very strong French team that has its sights set on winning the entire tournament. Known as “the female Zidane” in her home country, Nécib is almost always involved in some way when Les Bleues scores. She has superb touch, great vision and now the experience of playing on the most important stage. France can be aggressive offensively and Nécib is at least partially responsible for the team’s confidence in playing that way as well. Her 32 international goals are a testament to the multitude of ways she helps her squad.

It is likely that fans in the United States will become familiar with Nécib near the tail end of the tournament. France is the No. 3 team in the world according to FIFA’s rankings and has played as well as any country over the past calendar year. She is also the most gifted midfielder in the tournament, so it is likely that her skill will be showcased in the morning highlight reels throughout June and July.

Group Bully


It wouldn’t be surprising if the French football federation believes that Les Bleues should steamroll through Group F without any problem at all. While they would be grossly underestimating the talent of teams such as England and to a lesser degree Mexico, it makes sense why the French are excited about the team’s chances in Canada. It’s difficult to find many weaknesses in this squad, with a wealth of goal scorers and a capable defensive unit to slow down some of the other offensively aggressive teams.

France opens the World Cup campaign with its most difficult group test, England, so we will find out rather quickly just how well prepared the team is to build upon its 2011 showing. Anything less than a semifinals appearance would be considered a disappointment and no other team in Group F can say that with a straight face. Thus, meet your Group Bully.

Group Underdog


Similar to a lot of the other group underdogs in this preview series, there just isn’t a lot in terms of scouting reports to assess the strength of the Colombian squad. Las Cafeteras are fairly young, do not have a proven goal scorer (midfielder Catalina Usme leads the team with 19 international goals) and must face not one but two teams inside the top eight of the FIFA rankings.

What’s further working against Colombia is the fact that the closest thing to an evenly matched opponent in group play, Mexico, has improved significantly and are hungry to break through to the next level. No game will be easy for this side, and any points in the group will be considered an accomplishment.

Games to Watch

France vs. England (June 9, 1:00 PM ET – FOX)

Both teams should move on to the knockout round, but each team has a lot of pride and won’t want to start off the 2015 World Cup campaign with a loss.

England vs. Mexico (June 13, 4:00 PM ET – FOX)

Just how far has Mexico come? We’ll find out when El Tri takes on England in a game that the English may need to win to feel comfortable heading into the third match.

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

1. England – 7 points

2. France – 7 points

3. Mexico – 3 points

4. Colombia – 0 points

– K. Becks

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