France Women begin their Women’s World Cup campaign on Sunday morning (11.00) at Sydney Football Stadium when they take on Jamaica Women.
France have made it through to the knockout phase at each of the last three final tournaments. The only time they did not qualify from their group was on their debut in 2003.
Meanwhile, Jamaica return to the Women’s World Cup, four years after making their debut appearance in the competition, this time with a more seasoned squad and a goal to put up more of a fight in terms of qualifying for the knockout stage.
France will be without Marie-Antoinette and Delphine Cascarino due to knee injuries, while Selma Bacha was stretchered off in Les Bleues’ final warm-up game against Australia.
As for Jamaica, their ambitions will rely on the quality of striker Khadija Shaw, who was one of only two players to score at least 20 goals in the Women’s Super League in 2022-23.
Correct score – France 3-0 @ 6/1
France have won their opening match without conceding a goal in each of their last three appearances at the finals – they beat Nigeria 1-0 in 2011, edged a 1-0 victory against England in 2015 and put four goals past South Korea in 2019.
Les Bleues have kept seven clean sheets in their last 11 Women’s World Cup group stage matches, and have only failed to score in two of their previous 19 Women’s World Cup matches.
France’s recent record across their opening World Cup fixtures is a formidable one and that is expected to continue here against an inferior Jamaican side on paper.
Eugenie Le Sommer to be first goalscorer @ 5/2
Le Sommer is France’s record goalscorer, and she will be a key component of this France side, if they are to go all the way.
The Lyon striker has scored three in her past five matches for club and country, and I can see her opening her account here.
She’s odds-on to score anytime on Sunday, which is why I’m backing her to be first goalscorer as there’s slightly more value in that price.
Le Sommer has had at least two shots in the aforementioned past five contests, so the stats suggest she will get chances against a Jamaica defence that may struggle to deal with her quality.