By Jonathan Dixon
BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Following is the FIFA Women's World Cup Group A Preview:
FIFA Ranking - 4th
Best World Cup finish - 4th (2011)
France will be hoping to add the nation's second World Cup trophy in 12 months after the men's triumph last year in Russia. Coming into the tournament as second favorites, the French side, buoyed by a strong domestic league and passionate home support could carry the side home to their first ever Women's World Cup title.
Eugenie Le Sommer - A star for her club, Lyon, Le Sommer has had quite the season in the run up to the tournament. Leading the line for the best club in Europe, Le Sommer recently lifted the Champion's League for a sixth time. With a strike rate of a goal every other game, the striker has the world at her feet and this could be the time for her to create her own legacy in the women's game.
FIFA Ranking - 14th
Best World Cup finish - Round of 16 (2015)
Replicating the result of the last tournament is the key for the Korean side. 2015 saw South Korea reach the knock out stage for the first time in their history and the minimum expectations for the side is that they escape the group by winning two of their three games. While a result in the opening game against home side France is unlikely, a win against a declining Norwegian side is definitely on the cards.
Ji So-yun - The Chelsea number 10 is the true star of the side. An attacking midfielder who can do it all, the Koreans will need her to show up and hit the form she showed at club level if they have any chance of a group stage escape. Question marks remain over whether South Korea can play her and another creative force in Lee Min-a in the side at the same time.
FIFA Ranking - 12th
Best World Cup finish - Champions (1995)
Long gone are the glory days of 1995. Norway have been in a managed decline for the past decade, much to the annoyance of the Ada Hegerberg. Hegerberg, this year's Balon D'or winner declined a call up to the squad, maintaining a boycott of the national side, in protest poor state of the women's game in Norway. For Norway, escaping the group and potentially getting to the quarter finals in what the side need to change the narrative that surrounds the team.
Isabell Herlovesen - With the inaugeral women's Balon D'or winner Hegerberg unavailable, the responsibility of driving the team forward rests on Isabell Herlovesen. While the team has the star power of the Wolfsburg, soon to be Barcelona, midfielder Caroline Graham Hansen, goals will be key for if Norway have any hope of achieving their goals. Herlovesen, who has spent time playing in China, is a constant goal threat and brings a lively spark to the side.
FIFA Ranking - 38th
Best World Cup finish - Quarter Finals (1999)
Despite being historically the best team in Africa, Nigeria still remain underdogs for the group. Like many African teams, the Super Falcons are hindered by poor organization and usually have to rely on the natural talent of their players rather than any successful system seen in European and Asian nations. While remaining as the top ranked African side, 2017's African Cup of Nations was the clearest side of their dominance being challenged after strong showings from South Africa and Cameroon. The aim for Nigeria this year should be to win at least one game, however, do not be surprised if the Super Falcons crash out without a single point.
Asisat Oshoala - Known as "Superzee," Oshoala is the star in the team. Named as the best player and top goal scorer at the 2014 U-20 Women's World Cup, Superzee has gone on to star for Liverpool and Arsenal as well as for Chinese side Dalian Quanjian, now plying her trade at Barcelona, this could be the year for Oshoala to make her mark in the senior game.