Key players, fixtures and tournament favourites: Everything you need to know about the Women's World Cup

20 July 2023, 12:00 | Updated: 20 July 2023, 12:15

The Women's World Cup 2023 is taking place in Australia and New Zealand
The Women's World Cup 2023 is taking place in Australia and New Zealand. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Women's World Cup got underway this morning, debuting an expanded 32-team format, delighting fans with a full month of football.

Moments before the opening match between Australia and the Republic of Ireland, players observed a minute's silence for three victims of a shooting that took place in Auckland, New Zealand, hours before the tournament began.

Now that the Women's World Cup is under way, here's everything you need to know:

Where is the World Cup being hosted?

Players of Australia and Republic of Ireland observe a minute of silence for the victims of the Auckland shooting prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup
Players of Australia and Republic of Ireland observe a minute of silence for the victims of the Auckland shooting prior to the FIFA Women's World Cup. Picture: Getty

This year's Women's World Cup - the ninth iteration - will take place in Australia and New Zealand.

There are 10 stadiums across nine cities available for games.

Sydney will offer two venues: Sydney Football Stadium and Stadium Australia (which will host the final).

Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will host the remaining fixtures in Australia, while In New Zealand, games will take place in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, and Hamilton.

Read More: Three killed in New Zealand shooting ahead of Women's World Cup opening match

Key players

Eight teams are making their World Cup debut this year after the tournament was expanding, offering dozens of players a chance to show off their skills on the world stage.

Meanwhile, the likes of Alex Morgan and Alexia Putellas will hope to use their experience to help guide their team to glory.

Here are some key players who could contribute to their team's success at the tournament.

Alex Morgan (USA)

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan. Picture: Getty

One of the USA's most talented players is striker Alex Morgan, who goes into the tournament in fine form with nine goal involvements in 11 games so far this season.

Aged 34, she is considered to be a seasoned pro, having won back-to-back World Cups with the USA in 2015 and 2019.

If USA are to make it three for three, Morgan will likely play a key role.

Sam Kerr (Australia)

Sam Kerr of Australia
Sam Kerr of Australia. Picture: Getty

Chelsea's Sam Kerr also comes off the back of a terrific domestic campaign, having helped her club to the domestic double.

Across 2022/23, Kerr bagged 31 goals in 40 appearances, on top of seven assists.

Kerr will likely be galvanised by appearing for her country at the World Cup on home soil, so while Australia might not be favourites, she will certainly play a key role if they are to put up a fight.

Alexia Putellas (Spain)

Alexia Putellas
Alexia Putellas. Picture: Getty

Spain, another team expected to go far in the tournament, will be relying, in part, on Alexia Putellas, a seven-time league winner with Barcelona.

She also won the Champions League trophy twice with and is a back-to-back Ballon d’Or winner, meaning her experience will prove vital as Spain look to clinch their first World Cup title.

Teams to watch out for

USA supporters prior the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand
USA supporters prior the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand. Picture: Getty

We've already looked at which players could stamp their authority on this year's World Cup, but as we all know, football is a team game.

As mentioned, the USA are back-to-back winners, so will be looking to win a record three tournaments in a row.

Spain are also expected to go deep into the competition, as are England, who come of the back of a successful European championships campaign.

England are missing a number of key players, however, including Beth Mead and Leah Williamson, both of which have ruptured their ACL.

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