USA players celebrate with the Women's World Cup trophyUnited States won the Women’s World Cup in 2019 by beating Netherlands 2-0 in the final in France

The United States have won the past two Women’s World Cups - and there is a strong chance they could complete an unprecedented hat-trick in 2023.

Using Gracenote’s forecasting methodology, the Americans have emerged as the favourites to triumph in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

Gracenote uses data from the Fifa women’s world rankings to estimate the results of every match, and ran approximately one million simulations of the whole tournament.

It says the United States are favoured to repeat their successes in 2015 and 2019 - however, they are far from overwhelming favourites in what looks to be a wide open tournament.

How far will England go?

Graphic showing most likely winners of matchesGracenote Nielsen’s predictions for the tournament

England are in one of the most competitive groups at the World Cup. Group D also features Denmark and China - making it the only group containing three sides in the top 15 of the world rankings - alongside debutants Haiti.

However, in rating their chances of progressing from the group stage at 88%, Gracenote feel the Lionesses should have little trouble navigating their way through to the knock-outs.

The closeness of Group D is demonstrated by Denmark and China being separated by only 4% in Gracenote’s predictions. The Danes are slight favourites with a 57% chance of going through, while China are on 53%.

Gracenote predicts that after winning Group D, England will narrowly beat Canada in the last 16.

However, they then estimate the Lionesses will meet Germany, who will avenge their Euro 2022 final loss.

Who are the World Cup favourites?

According to Gracenote, the United States have an 18% chance of winning what would be their fifth Women’s World Cup.

However, it estimates their strongest challengers come in the same half of their draw. Sweden , ranked third in the world by Fifa, are rated as having an 11% chance of lifting the World Cup for the first time.

Sweden beat United States 3-0 in the group stage at the 2020 Olympic women’s football tournament. The pair could meet in the last 16 should one win their group and the other finish second, while a semi-final match is also possible.

Germany and France are also highly favoured, with their chances of winning rated at 11% and 9% respectively.

Chances of winning the 2023 F.ifa Women’s World Cup (Source: Nielsen’s Gracenote)

Team| Quarter-final chance| Semi-final| Final| Winner
United States| 67%| 49%| 31%| 18%
Sweden| 56%| 36%| 21%| 11%
Germany| 57%| 34%| 19%| 11%
France| 61%| 34%| 18%| 9%
England| 53%| 29%| 16%| 8%
Spain| 68%| 32%| 17%| 8%
Australia| 54%| 29%| 15%| 8%
Brazil| 55%| 27%| 13%| 7%
Canada| 49%| 25%| 12%| 6%
Netherlands| 45%| 26%| 12%| 5%

European champions England are given an 8% chance of winning major tournaments in back-to-back years.

Spain are also given an 8% chance of a first Women’s World Cup triumph, to match the men’s success in 2010. Co-hosts Australia are also rated at 8%, with Brazil at 7% while Canada are said to have a 6% chance of doing the double of Olympic and world champions.

How about the Republic of Ireland?

Ireland's chances of reaching the 2023 World Cup knock-out stage, according to Gracenote

Which teams will make the final?

According to Gracenote, the five most likely scenarios for the 2023 World Cup final all feature the United States.

They estimate there is a near 5% chance of a USA v England final. Wouldn’t that be a blockbuster?

Most likely 2023 World Cup final scenarios, according to Gracenote

Could we expect some big scorelines?

The Women’s World Cup features 32 teams for the first time this year, expanding from 24 teams in 2019. The tournament will operate like the men’s tournament in Qatar last year, with eight groups of four. The top two sides in each pool will reach the last 16.

Coincidentally for a tournament with eight more teams, there are eight World Cup debutants in 2023 - Haiti, Republic of Ireland, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Vietnam and Zambia.

As a result, there is the greatest disparity in Fifa world rankings ever seen at the tournament. The highest ranked side are the United States, while the lowest ranked side are Zambia, at number 77.

Whether this leads to lopsided games in Australia and New Zealand remains to be seen. In 2019, the United States beat Thailand 13-0 to set the record winning margin for any Fifa World Cup finals match, male or female.

Alex Morgan playing for USA against Thailand at the 2019 World CupAlex Morgan scored five goals in the United States’ record-breaking 13-0 win over Thailand at the 2019 World Cup

A Women’s World Cup like no other

  • This is the ninth edition of the Women’s World Cup, and the first held in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Approximately 5,370km separates Perth in Australia and Hamilton in New Zealand, the biggest distance between venues in tournament history, according to Opta.
  • If Australia are to win their maiden World Cup on home soil, they will have to break tradition. Only one host nation has won the tournament - USA in 1999.
  • New Zealand, meanwhile, are looking to break new ground on home turf just by winning a game. They have never triumphed in 15 previous women’s World Cup matches, a record winless run.
  • The United States remain the team to beat - they have won their past 12 Women’s World Cup matches, and have never finished outside the top three at the tournament.
  • Seven teams are maintaining their record of playing in every single Women’s World Cup finals - USA, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Brazil, Japan and Nigeria.
  • United States and Germany have reached the knock-out rounds every time, while Nigeria have, by contrast, got past the group stage just twice in eight attempts.