Women’s World Cup 2023 favourites: Who are the best countries at this summer's tournament?

Women's World Cup 2023 Favourites: USA
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The standout from the Women’s World Cup 2023 favourites are undoubtedly the United States. The Americans have long been the powerhouses of women's football and the bookies are heavily backing them to win a fifth World Cup title.

But it's far from a foregone conclusion in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

Not since 2007 has the Women's World Cup been won by a European team but there are a number who will fancy their chances against a USWNT in flux – not least Euro 2022 winners England.

Meanwhile, Australia will be hoping they can be the first hosts since the USA in 1999 to win the tournament in front of their own fans.

Here, FourFourTwo runs through some of the World Cup favourites going into the tournament.

Women’s World Cup 2023 favourites: United States

USA Women

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No team has won more editions of the Women’s World Cup than the USA. 

Having won back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019, they have at least made the semi-finals every time the tournament has been played. However, this is a new look United States World Cup squad with mainstays like Megan Rapinoe (the World Cup top scorer last time around) likely to play a peripheral role if they are included in the squad at all. If they do go on to win again, it will be down to a fresh crop of American talent.


England women

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The Euro 2022 winners would likely have been seen as close favourites for World Cup success until their injuries racked up, taking their toll on the England World Cup squad

England will be without three of their starting line up from the Euro 2022 final after Ellen White retired and Beth Mead and captain Leah Williamson both suffered ACL injuries. There are also concerns about the fitness of Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze. However Sarina Wiegman has still only lost one game as a manager at international tournaments - the 2019 World Cup final.


Australia Women

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The hosts might not be as highly ranked as some of the other favourites on this list but the backing of a home crowd could prove a big boost for them. 

In Sam Kerr, they have one of the world’s best strikers who is capable of changing a game by herself, while Tony Gustavsson has shown he can manage an upset. Their 2-0 win over England in April – the first loss the Lionesses had suffered under Wiegman – was evidence of an Australia team who can play to their strengths to beat better opponents.


Germany Women

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The Euro 2022 runners-up demonstrated their crop of young talent is ready to compete at the highest level by reaching the final. 

Despite losing to England in extra time, players like Lena Oberdorf and Giulia Gwinn were standout stars of the tournament, while Alexandra Popp showed how deadly she could be as she scored in every game Germany played except for the final when she was unavailable through injury. She'll return to the Germany World Cup squad this time around.

England and Germany are set to potentially meet at the quarter-final stage – whoever comes out on top there might become the favourites to win the whole tournament.


France Women

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France’s off-field chaos has in the past impacted their ability to truly compete at international tournaments in the way you would expect their talent pool would enable them to. 

That looks to be over with the appointment of former Saudi Arabia men’s manager Herve Renard. 

Renard has already brought back previously exiled Lyon players like Eugenie LeSommer into the fold, with Amandine Henry joining her. But with Marie-Antoinette Katoto missing out on the France World Cup squad with fitness issues, they may lack firepower.


Spain Women

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If France have ended their off-field chaos, Spain are very much still going through it. 

Criticism of Jorge Vilda led to 15 players resigning from the national team including highly rated Barcelona players Mapi Leon, Aitana Bonmati and Patri Guijarro. It is still unclear whether any of these players will make it into the Spain World Cup squad

All eyes will be on Alexia Putellas, though. She has returned from an ACL injury suffered on the eve of the Euros, but is closely aligned with the players who have been protesting. But there is still enough talent in and around this Spain team to potentially progress in this World Cup.


Sweden Women

(Image credit: Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Sweden’s Euro 2022 came to a rather humiliating end as they were beaten 4-0 by England in the semi-finals. 

Peter Gerhardsson’s team have looked shaky to say the least with some of their older stars ageing out of the Sweden World Cup squad, with those remaining struggling to take control of recent games. 

There is no doubt of the quality of players like Fridolina Rolfö, Magdalena Eriksson or Kosovare Asllani, but they will need to find some greater defensive fortitude if they are truly to be a favourite for the World Cup.


Netherlands Women

(Image credit: Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Runners-up at the 2019 World Cup, the Netherlands have struggled to replace Sarina Wiegman. An experiment with Mark Parsons ended miserably and he has since been replaced by former Louis Van Gaal assistant Andries Jonker. 

The Netherlands World Cup squad will have the experience of progressing far in the tournament previously, but they will be without Vivianne Miedema who suffered an ACL injury. They’ve got a lot of exciting young players but it might be a step too far with Miedema’s injury.

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Jessy Parker Humphreys is a freelance women's football writer. A Chelsea fan, Jessy has been following the women's game since being taken to the 2003/04 FA Cup final at Loftus Road and seeing Arsenal thrash Jessy's local side Charlton. Fortunately, Arsenal don't win quite as much as they used to – although Jessy hopes Charlton will also be back at the top of the women's game one day.