Australia and Brazil will be favored to finish in the top half of Group C at the Women's World Cup, but both face their fair share of questions.

By 90Min
May 29, 2019

Group C at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup appears to have a very clear divide. On one half of the line resides tournament stalwarts Australia and Brazil, while on the other is an upstart Italian side and a debutant in Jamaica.

The two favorites bring their own set of questions, though, with Australia adapting to a new coach and looking to get over the quarterfinal hump at last, while Brazil's veteran-laden side boasts experience but also exposes the lack of true development in the post-Marta generation.

Here's a closer look at the four-team group.


Australia

JASON CONNOLLY/GettyImages

FIFA Ranking: Sixth

Best World Cup: Quaterfinals (2007, 2011, 2015)

Coach: Ante Milicic - The 45-year-old was only instated as the head coach of the national side back in February, following the controversial firing of Alen Stajcic. Milicic was given a deal through to the end of the 2019 World Cup. When the tournament finishes, he will become the inaugural head coach for new A-League club Macarthur FC, having previously played for the national side himself between 2002-2005.

Player to Watch: Sam Kerr - Look no further than the side's captain, who has already netted four times this year in the build up to the event. At only 25, the forward is the all-time leading scorer in the NWSL and the player Milicic will be looking for to provide the goals in the Australia side.

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Rising Star: Amy Harrison, 23 - Upon winning the W-League with Sydney FC, Harrison signed with the Washington Spirit in the NWSL following some excellent displays from midfield. She is likely to feature in the heart of midfield where Milicic will hope she can dictate play from the center of the park.

Expectations: With such a strong lineup for this year's event, few will expect Australia to lift the crown, although being the top seed in the group, there will be hopes of finish Group C as winners.

Miscellaneous: Australia has only failed to qualify for the tournament once, during the first edition of the Women's World Cup back in 1991, yet has fallen at the quarterfinal stage on three occasions.


Italy

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FIFA Ranking: 15th

Best World Cup: Quarterfinals (1991)

Coach: Milena Bertolini - One of only two females to have had a coaching role with a men's Serie A side, Bertolini has been at the helm of the international fold since 2017. Led her side to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years, winning seven of their eight qualifying matches to catapult the Italians to 15th in the world rankings.

Player to Watch: Sara Gama - With 95 international outings, the central defender is the most capped player in the side and plies her trade for Italian giants Juventus. The 30-year-old also has five goals for her country and is an integral part of Bertolini's side.

Tullio M. Puglia/GettyImages

Rising Star: Manuela Giugliano, 21 - Standing at just over five feet, Giugliano is the creative force in the heart of the Italian midfield, having netted her first international goal back in 2015.

Expectations: It has been a torrid time for Italy on the international stage, but it has discovered a renewed vigor under Bertolini. The challenge set to the coach was to qualify for the competition, therefore anything better than that will be a bonus for the Italians.

Miscellaneous: All but one of their entire squad plays for an Italian side, with defender Elena Linari plying her trade with Atletico Madrid in Spain.


Brazil

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/GettyImages

FIFA Ranking: 10th

Best World Cup: Runner-Up (2007)

Coach: Vadao - The 62-year-old has been in charge of the national team since 2017, leading the side to the 2018 Copa América Femenina title shortly after his arrival. He previously was in charge of the national side between 2014-2016, but opted to take over at Guarani briefly before returning to manage Brazil.

Player to Watch: Marta - One of the stars of the tournament, Marta has been the face of women's football for many years. With 110 goals in 133 national appearances, this summer's edition could well be her last, with the 33-year-old's Brazil future unsure beyond France.

MAURO PIMENTEL/GettyImages

Rising Star: Ludmila, 24 - Her blistering pace led her to be dubbed 'Road Runner', as the winger looks set to be her nation's speed merchant for the tournament. Her first and only goal for Brazil came in a friendly match against Germany in 2017.

Expectations: 2015 was a really disappointing competition for Brazil, as a round-of-16 exit to Australia put an end to its World Cup hopes. How it performs this year remains to be seen, but it is certainly up there with the favorites of making it all the way.

Miscellaneous: Stalwarts of the competition, Brazil have never failed to reach a World Cup, while they also have one of the oldest squad, with just six of their 23-player squad aged 24 or under.


Jamaica

Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

FIFA Ranking: 53rd

Best World Cup: N/A

Coach: Hue Menzies - Acts as both Jamaica's head coach and technical director, having been appointed to the role in 2015 after the country's failed attempts to qualify for that year's World Cup. He was awarded the Concacaf Women's Coach of the Year award in 2018 after leading his side to this year's World Cup.

Player to Watch: Khadija Shaw - With an outstanding goal rate of 29 goals in 21 outings for her country, Shaw will lead the line for Jamaica and could put herself in the shop window of watching clubs due to currently not being on the books at a club side.

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Rising Star: Konya Plummer, 21 - Despite her young age, the defender captains Menzies' side with some impressive displays at both the club and international levels. She guided Jamaica to an impressive third-place finish at the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship.

Expectations: In the nation's maiden World Cup campaign, little to no expectations will be set on Jamaica for this summer's showpiece. A tough group awaits, so any kind of positive result will be rightfully lauded as a victory for Menzies' team.

Miscellaneous: Known as the 'Reggae Girlz', Jamaica is the first Caribbean side ever to qualify for the Women's World Cup.


Group A Fixtures

Date Teams Kick-Off Venue
June 9 Australia vs Italy 7 a.m. Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
June 9 Brazil vs Jamaica 9:30 a.m. Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
June 13 Australia vs Brazil 12 p.m. Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
June 14 Jamaica vs Italy 12 p.m. Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
June 18 Jamaica vs Australia 3 p.m. Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
June 18 Italy vs Brazil 3 p.m. Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes

*All times Eastern

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