The Women’s World Cup group stage is right around the corner. As the tournament progresses, there will be many great games for soccer fans to watch live or enjoy in postgame highlights. Due to the time difference between the United States and Australia/New Zealand, many of these games will take place in the early hours of the morning Eastern U.S. time, so set your alarms or make sure you don’t accidentally learn the scores if you record them to watch later in the day.

The USWNT starting lineup looks as strong as ever, but teams such as England, Spain, and France will be determined to spoil the Americans’ bid for a three-peat. We are about to witness the biggest Women’s World Cup tournament of all time, so bring it on. 

When is the Women’s World Cup?

The Women’s World Cup started on Thursday, July 20, and the United States women’s national soccer team will play its first game on Friday, July 21, when the Americans face Vietnam at 9 p.m. ET.

Where is the Women’s World Cup?

The Women’s World Cup 2023, the ninth installment of this competition, is being held in New Zealand and Australia. Both nations are sharing the scheduled games, with the final set for Sydney Olympic Park Stadium in Australia.

The USWNT games begin at Eden Park, a 50,000-capacity stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.

How to watch the Women’s World Cup

Televised Women’s World Cup coverage in the U.S. will air on the FOX network of channels. The big games, including knockout-stage games, will likely air on FOX’s main channel, with the group-stage games being spread across FS1 and FS2.

If you’re wondering how to watch the USWNT, the team’s opener against Vietnam will air live on FOX on July 21 at 9 p.m. ET. The two-time defending champion Americans currently have the best odds to win the Women’s World Cup as they look become the first team in either men’s or women’s World Cup history to achieve a three-peat.

Following their opener against Vietnam, the Americans have a big game against the Netherlands on July 26. Their final game of the group stage will be played against Portugal on Aug. 1.

The 10 Best FIFA Women’s World Cup Group-Stage Games to Watch

  1. Portugal vs. Vietnam (Group E)

Date: Thursday, July 27, at 3:30 a.m. ET
FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand

There are eight nations making Women’s World Cup debuts this year, and the only two facing each other in the group stage are Portugal and Vietnam. Both teams are competing in the USWNT’s Group E, and one of these two debutants could secure the first Women’s World Cup win in its nation’s history.

Vietnam will be the underdog in this one, because Portugal has some talent and is a team whose performance could certainly impact Group E’s final standings. Keep an eye on striker Jessica Silva and talented young attacking midfielder Kika Nazareth, who is considered one of the rising stars of Portuguese soccer.

  1. Italy vs. Argentina (Group G)

Date: Monday, July 24, at 2 a.m. ET
Venue: Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand

Sweden’s Women’s World Cup odds are among the strongest of any team in the tournament, and the Swedes are favored to advance to the knockout rounds in a powerful position after claiming the top spot in Group G.

Apart from Sweden, however, the other Round of 16 berth from this group is up for grabs. It will likely be Italy and Argentina fighting over that remaining automatic qualification spot.

Argentina has only loss since July 2022, and that came in a tight contest with Venezuela that ended in a penalty shootout. Italy will pose a threat to the Argentine squad, and this opening game for both teams will be critical in determining the group’s final standings.

  1. China vs. Denmark (Group D)

Date: Saturday, July 22, at 8 a.m. ET
Venue: Perth Rectangular Stadium in Perth, Australia

Unless something crazy happens, England’s Lionesses should have no problem winning Group D. The European champions are the favorite team to threaten the USWNT for the overall title, and those who watch women’s soccer regularly will understand why.

England beat Latvia 20-0 in a qualifying game for this year's World Cup. They won all 10 of their qualifier games -- scoring 80 total goals without conceding a single goal to their opponents. England is a very strong team that will be dangerous.

While England is expected to take one of Group D’s two automatic berths in the Round of 16, the other one is up for grabs. Denmark is favored to claim that spot, but it could prove fatal for the Danes if they open the door to China. These two teams begin their World Cup group-stage play against one another, and both realize the importance of this game.

This game will be televised on Saturday morning in the U.S., offering American viewers an exciting and highly competitive start to the weekend.

  1. Spain vs. Japan (Group C)

Date: Monday, July 31, at 3 a.m. ET
Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand 

This will be the third and final group-stage game for both Spain and Japan, and it could therefore decide which of these two teams wins Group C.

Spain is a potential favorite to win the Women’s World Cup, having entered the tournament sixth in the women’s FIFA rankings. In our recent interview with former USWNT player, Leslie Osborne, she stated "Spain, as much as are going through off the field, I still believe that they can make a deep run." 

The Europeans are expected to win this group, but both Spain and Japan could easily enter their game with six points apiece after both teams face Costa Rica and Zambia in their opening two matches.

Japan is one of just four nations to win a Women’s World Cup championship, having done it in 2011. Although the Japanese roster might not seem quite as strong this year, Spain should still take Japan very seriously.

  1. New Zealand vs. Switzerland (Group A) 

Date: Sunday, July 30, at 3 a.m. ET
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand 

New Zealand, one of the two host nations, has an outside shot to advance from Group A, although Norway is the clear group favorite with fellow European squad Switzerland ranked the second-best team in this group.

While Norway and Switzerland advancing might be the most likely scenario, a stadium full of Kiwi supporters could swing the odds. 

New Zealand needs to defeat the Philippines to keep its dream alive, but if it does, then there is a very good chance that this third and final game of the New Zealand schedule between the co-hosts and Switzerland will have serious implications as far as who advances from Group A.

If that transpires, this could be one of the most intense and atmospheric games of the entire competition and must-watch soccer for all fans of the game. 

  1. Netherlands vs. Portugal (Group E)

Date: Sunday, July 23, at 3:30 a.m. ET
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand 

Portugal battled hard to qualify for its first Women’s World Cup tournament, and its opener provides an opportunity to cause chaos in Group E. The U.S. women are clear favorites to win Group E, as we explained in our Women’s World Cup Group Stage predictions, but the Netherlands and Portugal are two teams that could threaten the USWNT during the group stage.

The Portuguese women racked up 22 points in their 10 qualifying games, but because Germany had 27, Portugal landed in second place and was forced to compete in a playoff tournament to qualify. Despite winning their two games in that tournament, Portugal finished third and was sent into yet another qualifying tournament to reach the World Cup. 

Portugal finally qualified via the inter-confederation playoffs, defeating Cameroon to make it to the promised land.

Facing the Netherlands at the 2023 Women’s World Cup marks the beginning of a challenging journey for Portugal. However, it would be premature to dismiss the nation’s potential or underestimate its capability during this tournament. 

The Dutch are expected to join the Americans in advancing to the Round of 16, but they have some chinks in their armor. If Portugal plays its best soccer, the Portuguese could be a big threat to expose the Netherlands’ weaknesses.

  1. New Zealand vs. Norway (Group A)

Date: Thursday, July 20, at 3 a.m. ET
Venue: Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand 

The opening game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 schedule pits one of its two host nations, New Zealand, against Group A favorite Norway.

Norway is heavily favored in this game, but New Zealand will have a very overpowering home-nation advantage. Could the crowd propel the Kiwis to a win or draw against one of women’s soccer’s best teams? 

New Zealand is looking for its first ever World Cup win, and what better stage to achieve that feat on than the tournament opener against a team no one expects it to beat?

Anything can happen in these international tournaments, which is why we love them so much. On top of that, the opening ceremony that precedes the game is always a huge hit to get fans in the mood for World Cup soccer.

  1. Australia vs. Canada (Group B)

Date: Thursday, July 20, at 6 a.m. ET
Venue: Sydney Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia 

The site of the 2023 Women’s World Cup final is also the setting for the co-host nation Australian Matildas’ opener.

Local fans will flood the stadium for this first game -- a very important one against Canada.

The Matildas beat England and France earlier this year in preparation for the tournament. Each of these wins was very impressive, especially the victory over England, the current European champions who dismantled every team they faced in World Cup qualifying.

Those earlier results have increased the level of belief in Australia’s squad, but it's Canada that poses the biggest threat to steal the top spot in Group B away from the Matildas. If Australia wins this game, the co-hosts will be on track to finish atop Group B and advance to the Round of 16, which would result in quite the celebration in Sydney. 

Australia is one of our Women’s World Cup sleepers, and if it can put on an impressive performance in its opener, then the hype surrounding the Matildas to make a deep run in the tournament will only increase.

  1. France vs. Brazil (Group F)

Date: Saturday, July 29, at 6 a.m. ET
Venue: Suncorp Stadium in Milton, Australia 

Their starting lineup is missing a few key players due to injury as the French head into the 2023 tournament, but France is still the favorite to win Group F and reach the knockout rounds in a strong position.

That said, Brazil is a major threat to that potential outcome, and the second scheduled group-stage game for each of these teams has them facing one another at Suncorp Stadium in Milton, Australia.

Experienced and well coached, the Brazilians are looking to make a run as their legendary star, Marta, plays in her final World Cup tournament. There are some questions as to whether Brazil can jell correctly at this competition, but if it can, there is no limit to this team’s potential.

So, both France and Brazil have some question marks, and only one of them is going to emerge as the champion of Group F. This particular game could well decide first place, making it one of the greatest group-stage matchups as a result.

  1. USA vs. Netherlands (Group E)

Date: Wednesday, July 26, at 9 p.m. ET
Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand 

This is, in my view, is without a doubt the best scheduled group-stage game at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. We all know that the Americans are taking on the world at this tournament, as the USWNT fights for its third straight World Cup win. Because so much is on the line, all eyes will be on this rematch of the 2019 World Cup final.

Women’s soccer fans understand just how good the Americans are, and in 2019 the Netherlands became the latest of the four nations that have fallen to the U.S. in a Women’s World Cup final. With that in mind, it's safe to say that the Dutch will be looking for redemption in this game. If they come up with their desired result, they could steal the Group E top spot away from the tournament favorite.

That said, this USWNT World Cup roster has so much experience in players such as Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, as well as some talented young players who have broken into the lineup. This mixture of experience and youth on women’s soccer’s most storied team could be the perfect recipe for achieving a three-peat. We’ll find out just how good this team is when the Americans face their toughest group-stage test against the Netherlands. 

Parameters for rankings

These games have been ranked based on the importance of each game in its respective group, as well as the competitive balance between the teams involved. Several great teams, in particular England and Germany, are heavy favorites in all three of their group-stage games, which is why none of their games are mentioned in this list. The 10 games ranked here should be competitive and intense with a lot on the line. They will offer some great viewing for women’s soccer fans.

Women’s World Cup Odds at Betway

Find Women's World Cup odds on the Betway sportsbook. You'll find all the latest moneylines, over/under, 1st half results, parlays, prop bets, and soccer live betting. All your World Cup betting needs will be covered in our online sportsbook.

Visit Betway’s Women's World Cup predictions page for expert picks throughout the tournament. 

Women's World Cup Betting Explained

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