Who needs what? Women’s World Cup permutations

Who needs what? Women's World Cup permutations

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Australia are in danger of becoming the first ever Fifa Women’s World Cup hosts to be eliminated at the group stage

The group stages of the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup are rapidly approaching the sharp end – and there is still plenty to be decided.

Currently only three nations have guaranteed their place in the round of 16, while four teams are definitely heading out in the first round.

As ever at World Cups, the permutations as to who needs what are extensive and convoluted in many cases – with the fates of many teams also dependent on the other result in their group.

BBC Sport looks at the potential outcomes and who needs what…

The permutations for Groups F and H will be added once all teams have played two matches in those groups.

Group A

WWC 2023 Group A

30 July, 08.00 BST – Norway v Philippines, Switzerland v New Zealand

Switzerland will qualify if they avoid defeat against co-hosts New Zealand, and a win will guarantee they top Group A.

New Zealand will qualify with victory, but also if they draw and Norway v Philippines also ends in a tie. They will become the first Women’s World Cup hosts to be eliminated at the group stage if they lose.

Philippines will qualify for the round of 16 on their World Cup debut if they overcome former champions Norway. Victory would also earn them top spot if Switzerland v New Zealand finishes all square. They can qualify with a draw if New Zealand lose, but defeat means elimination.

Norway must beat the Philippines or they are out. If they win, they need one of the following to happen: Switzerland to win; New Zealand to win and a three goal swing in Norway’s favour over the Swiss; or New Zealand and Switzerland to draw and Norway win by two clear goals.

Group B

WWC Group B

31 July, 11.00 BST – Canada v Australia, Republic of Ireland v Nigeria

Nigeria and Canada will both qualify for the round of 16 if they avoid defeat. The Nigerians currently top the group on goals scored, which could prove the deciding factor if both they and the Canadians win their final group games.

Australia either must beat Canada, or draw and hope Nigeria suffer a two-goal defeat to Republic of Ireland, in order to avoid an ignominious first-round exit on home soil. The Matildas have not gone out in the group stage since 2003.

Republic of Ireland are already eliminated, but will seek a first Women’s World Cup win against Nigeria.

Group C

WWC 2023 Group C

31 July, 08.00 BST – Costa Rica v Zambia, Japan v Spain

Spain and Japan are already through to the round of 16. The Spanish have the superior goal difference so only need a draw to top Group C, while the Japanese must win to finish first.

Costa Rica and Zambia are both already out, but each will seek a first-ever Women’s World Cup success when they meet in the final group match.

Group D

WWC 2023 Group D

1 August, 12.00 BST – China v England, Haiti v Denmark

England require just a point against China to progress as Group D winners.

China and Denmark currently have the same points, goal difference and number of goals scored. The Danes are ranked higher in the group on head-to-head record after they beat the Asian side 1-0 so simply need to better the Chinese result to go through.

If China and Denmark win, they – and England – will all have six points. Goal difference, goals scored and head-to-head records could come into play. Or, if things are really tight, then also fair play points or drawing of lots.

This could similarly be the case if England and Haiti enjoy success, as it would leave Denmark, China and Haiti on three points.

Group E

WWC 2023 Group E

1 August, 08.00 BST – Portugal v United States, Vietnam v Netherlands

United States and the Netherlands will both qualify if they avoid defeat. USA are currently top on goal difference, so will win Group E if they equal or better the Dutch result.

Portugal will reach the round of 16 on their competition debut if they cause the biggest upset in Women’s World Cup history and beat reigning champions USA.

They can also qualify if they draw and Netherlands suffer an unlikely defeat to already-eliminated Vietnam.

Group G

WWC 2023 Group G

2 August, 08.00 BST – Argentina v Sweden, South Africa v Italy

Sweden have secured their place in the round of 16 and a point against Argentina will be enough to seal top spot.

Italy will progress to the knock-out stages if they beat South Africa, or if they draw and Argentina fail to beat Sweden.

Argentina and South Africa both need a win to have a chance of going through. If they are both victorious, it could come down to goal difference or even goals scored to determine who progresses.

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