The Women’s World Cup enters its fourth day of fixtures with some of the tournament heavyweights kicking off their campaigns.
Here’s what to look out for as these six teams begin their summer of football.
How to watch
In the US, games will be aired on FOX Sports, while Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage.
Seven Network and Optus Sport are broadcasting matches in Australia and the BBC and ITV have the rights in the United Kingdom.
A full breakdown of media rights holders in each country is available on the FIFA website.
Sweden vs South Africa starts at 1 a.m. ET (6 a.m. BST), Netherlands vs Portugal kicks off at 3:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. BST) and France takes on Jamaica at 6 a.m. ET (11 a.m. BST).
Sweden vs South Africa
Sweden comes into its opening group stage game against South Africa as the heavy favorite.
The 2003 runner-up are one of just seven teams to feature in every single Women’s World Cup and has qualified from the group stage in all but one of these campaigns.
In the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Sweden finished third after an impressive tournament, defeating England in the third-place playoff.
Kosovare Asllani, who scored in that victory and was brilliant throughout Euro 2022, will lead her side out against South Africa as captain, and will once again be key if Sweden are to go even better this time around.
However, Sweden is on its worst run of form since November 2019 to March 2020, a rut that will offer South Africa confidence.
Banyana Banyana made its Women’s World Cup debut in 2019, losing all three of its group stage games, but will be buoyed by its form since. In 2022, South Africa won the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in the nation’s history.
Netherlands vs Portugal
Portugal is one of the eight teams playing in its first ever Women’s World Cup and faces a tricky test against the Netherlands in the opener.
Netherlands finished as runner-up in 2019 and will be hoping to go just one step further this year, but will be without star player Vivianne Miedema as it attempts to get its hands on the World Cup trophy.
The Oranje’s record goal scorer is just one of a number of players missing the tournament after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in December.
In Miedema’s absence, Lieke Martens will be one of the Netherlands players looking to star and add to the three World Cup goals she has already scored in her career.
Portugal will be looking to capitalize against the Miedema-less Netherlands but has only ever won one game in a major tournament.
France vs Jamaica
France vs Jamaica will see a brilliant battle between the star players of the two teams.
Wendie Renard is a France legend and, after declaring she would not play in the 2023 World Cup to preserve her mental health, the defender reversed her decision after former head coach Corinne Diacre was relieved of her duties.
The Olympique Lyonnais Féminin is also set to become the first French player to play in four World Cup tournaments – possibly alongside fellow veteran Eugénie Le Sommer – during this campaign.
Now coached by Hervé Renard, no relation to Wendie, the French national team will look to their stalwart in defense to help thwart opposition attacks – starting with the threat of Khadija “Bunny” Shaw.
Shaw has been tearing up the Women’s Super League in England for her club Manchester City and will be hoping to transfer her form to the World Cup.
She finished second in the WSL top scorer charts last season with 20 goals in just 22 games – if The Reggae Girlz are to win their first ever World Cup game, Shaw will have to be at her very best.