bet365 Women’s World Cup 2023 Betting Preview: Group B Futures Bets

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is just days away, and we’re coming at you with previews of every group in the tournament, featuring odds from our friends at bet365. In anticipation of that opening match and each to follow, Canada Sports Betting will continue to spotlight each match day’s fixtures with daily previews!

When the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on Thursday, two of the three opening day matches will be from Group B.

Comprised of tournament co-hosts Australia (FIFA World ranking 10), perennial contenders Canada (7), European upstarts the Republic of Ireland (22), and African powerhouse Nigeria (40), Group B will be one of the more intriguing groupings.

To Win GroupTo QualifyTo Not Qualify
Republic of Ireland+1600+350-550

Group B Team Previews


Mired in an ongoing battle with the cash-strapped Canadian Soccer Association over financial matters, Bev Priestman’s side will be hoping to put those troubles aside as they venture into the World Cup.

Defending Olympic Champions, Canada too will be making an eighth-straight appearance at the World Cup, earning their place by finishing top of Group B in the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. Canada would defeat Jamaica in the semi-finals, only to lose 1-0 to the USA in the final.

Canada’s best-ever finish, fourth-place, came in 2003, when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sweden in the semi-finals. In 2019, they again lost to Sweden in the Round of 16.

Recent results have been disappointing – losses to the USA and Japan at the SheBelieves Cup in February – and a 2-1 defeat away to France in April, but Priestman has been sly in choosing opponents designed to challenge Canada. The USA, Japan, and France are all top teams in the women’s game and a 0-0 draw against potential World Cup-winners England, a team Canada may meet in the knockout stage, on the eve of the competition means the Canadians are battle-tested.

Interestingly, they have played both Australia and Nigeria twice in the last 15 months, winning three and drawing one, so those experiences too will be fresh in the mind.

Player to Watch: Christine Sinclair

The 40-year-old forward holds the record for most goals scored by an international player, men’s or women’s, with 190 goals in 323 appearances. She will be leading Canada into her sixth World Cup appearance.

No longer the leading-the-line-type forward she used to be, Sinclair has adapted her game to make use of her passing and vision to create opportunities for teammates.

A new generation of Canadian talent has come along. Two-time Canadian Player of the Year Jessie Fleming has been a key cog in the midfield for Chelsea’s dominant side, while Julia Grosso has excelled with Juventus in Italy, named Serie A midfielder of the season and awarded a spot in the Team of the Season. And with goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and defenders Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence considered some of the best in the world at their positions, Canada will be hard to break down.

It may be Sinclair’s last tournament for Canada, and while it is unfair to ask any player to step into those boots, two names to watch out for in Australia are Jordyn Huitema, 22, and Olivia Smith, 18, a surprise last-minute addition to the squad.

Canada to win Group B


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The Matildas prepare to host the first Women’s World Cup being held outside of Europe, North America, and Asia with a spring in their step.

Australia, who qualified automatically as co-hosts, will be playing in their eighth-straight World Cup, appearing in every tournament since 1995 – they did not qualify for the inaugural edition in 1991.

Over that history they have never advanced past the quarter-finals stage, reaching that milestone three times in a row between 2007 and 2015. In 2019, they fell in the Round of 16, losing a shootout 4-1 to Norway after a 1-1 draw.

Tony Gustavsson’s side are riding a wave of optimism into 2023. With just one loss in 2023 – 1-0 against Scotland in London, England on April 7 – and one defeat in their last 10 matches, including impressive wins over Spain, the Czech Republic, and Jamaica at the 2023 Cup of Nations held in Australia, the Matildas are aiming to combine that strong form with the benefits of playing at home in the World Cup.

Player to Watch: Sam Kerr

Kerr, 29, is undoubtedly Australia’s biggest star. The Chelsea forward is her nation’s all-time leading scorer with 63 goals in 121 appearances. She’s scored goals wherever she has played throughout her illustrious career.

With too many accolades to list for both club and country, Kerr helped lead Australia to a fourth-place finish at the 2020 Summer Olympics and has been a key part of Chelsea’s dominance of the Women’s Super League in England, lifting the last three titles as a member of the squad.

She scored five goals in the 2019 Women’s World Cup, including a four-goal outburst over Jamaica, and will be counted on to be the talisman for Australia again at home.

What bodes well for the Aussies is that there is a supporting cast around Kerr that will take some of the pressure off, provide support, and help create opportunities. Fellow attackers Mary Fowler of Manchester City, Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord, and Kyah Simon of Tottenham Hotspur each have solid goal-scoring records, as does midfielder Emily van Egmond.

Australia to win Group B


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Republic of Ireland

The Girls in Green earned their first-appearance at a Women’s World Cup in dramatic fashion, defeating Scotland 1-0 in Glasgow last October in the second round of the UEFA Playoffs with Amber Barrett scoring in the 72nd minute. The scenes of celebration after the final whistle were just a small indication of what it meant to the team and the nation.

Having finished second in Group A behind Sweden, losing 1-0 at home and drawing 1-1 away against the Swedes, Ireland were forced into the second round to secure their berth.

It will be their first appearance at a major tournament, having never qualified for a UEFA Women’s Championship either.

Though Vera Pauw’s side scored 26 goals in qualification and conceded only four, half of those against Sweden, expect them to keep things simple in Australia: be hard to beat and look to create chances from set-piece situations, something they excelled at in European action.

Results leading into the World Cup have been rough – just one win in five matches this calendar year, but having faced China, the USA twice, Zambia, and France, Ireland have been bracing for the challenges of stepping up to the top level.

Player to Watch: Katie McCabe

Captain, Arsenal midfielder, and her club’s Player of the Year this season, the 27-year-old Dubliner is one to watch for Ireland in Australia. A left-sided player who can feature anywhere on that flank, exactly what her role will be remains to be seen, but if Ireland are to find some joy in this group she will be involved in it.

McCabe and 29-year-old midfield playmaker, Denise O’Sullivan, combined for 13 goals and 11 assists through UEFA qualification. Cork-native O’Sullivan plies her trade for the North Carolina Courage of the NWSL.

With 73 and 102 caps, respectively, only one other player in midfield and attack has anywhere near their level of experience, though the back line makes up for that with four players over or near a century of appearances.

Republic of Ireland to Advance to Knockout Stage


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The Super Falcons enter their ninth-straight FIFA World Cup under a cloud of uncertainty.

American coach Randy Waldrum, who is the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh’s women’s soccer team as well, has brought some of the pain upon himself with squad selection, but is also contending with the inconsistencies of the Nigerian Football Federation including the choice of who will wear the armband.

Long a dominant force on the continent, Nigeria have won 11 of the 14 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. They qualified for Australia by winning a quarter-finals matchup 1-0 over Cameroon. They would then bow out at the next hurdle, falling 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw with Morocco in the semi-finals, but given the high expectations around the team a loss to South Africa in the group stage, and then to Zambia in the third-place playoff, were signs that their time of domination may be coming to an end.

Despite appearing at every World Cup, Nigeria have never advanced past the quarter-finals stage, reaching them in 1999, where they lost to Brazil on a golden goal in the 104th minute. In 2019, they were dispatched by Germany in the Round of 16.

Results leading into the Finals have been mixed. That defeat to Zambia was the first of six straight, falling twice to the USA, as well as to Japan, Mexico, and Colombia – the last two at the 2023 Women’s Revelations Cup in Mexico in February. But a win over Costa Rica in their final outing of that competition heralded a turn, and since then, they have added wins over Haiti and New Zealand in April. Is that enough to battle with Australia and Canada for a ticket to the knockout rounds?

With players spread throughout Europe, North America, and beyond, as well as a handful of domestic talents, the quality is there, the question will be can they put aside the turmoil and find a way on the pitch.

Player to Watch: Asisat Oshoala

The 28-year-old Barcelona forward is coming off an excellent season where she scored 26 goals in 37 matches, helping her club lift the UEFA Champions League trophy. Oshoala scored five goals and registered three assists on the way to that title.

The four-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year has 30 goals in 41 appearances for the Super Falcons. That is the kind of production one can build a team around, but she was stripped of the captaincy. Instead that honour will go to Onome Ebi, the 40-year-old goalkeeper with 107 caps and, interestingly enough, three goals to her name. This will be Ebi’s sixth World Cup.

Nigeria to Advance to Knockout Stage


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Group B Winner Odds

To Win GroupTo QualifyTo Not Qualify
Republic of Ireland+1600+350-550

Australia are the favourites to win the group with Canada also projected by oddsmakers to qualify for the knockout rounds. Ireland could play spoiler, while Nigeria likely won’t be a threat to the other three nations in the group.

Group B World Cup Winner Odds

2023 World Cup Outright Odds
Republic of Ireland+25000

The Aussies have the sixth-shortest outright odds to win the touranment, while the Canadians have the 11th-shortest odds. Ireland and Nigeria are long shots.