The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on Friday, and Arsenal are well represented, with 10 players having been called up for their squads. All matches can be watched in America on Fox, Fox Sports 1, or the FoxSportsGo App, as well as Telemundo. In the UK, the BBC will be covering the entirety of the World Cup.
Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, goalkeeper
Arsenal’s #1 goalkeeper, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin made her debut for France this year. Peyraud-Magnin is the clear backup to Sarah Bouhaddi, who has 139 caps. While France has a straightforward group, it is not absolutely likely that France is in a position to rotate in the third group match, meaning Peyraud-Magnin may not get game time.
France v South Korea
June 7, 2019, 9:00 PM CEST/3:00 PM EDT/12:00 PM PDT
France v Norway
June 12, 2019, 9:00 PM CEST/3:00 PM EDT/12:00 PM PDT
Nigeria v France
June 17, 2019, 9:00 PM CEST/3:00 PM EDT/12:00 PM PDT
Leonie Maier, defender
Leonie Maier, who finalized her move to Arsenal from Bayern Munich last month, is an experienced defender, with 69 caps for Germany. Maier, primarily a right back, played 92 times for Bayern Munich over 6 seasons, faces competition to start, with Giulua Gwinn, a 19-year old, starting at right back in Germany’s sole pre-World Cup friendly. Indeed, Maier hasn’t played for Germany since November, when she started in midfield in a 0-0 draw with Spain. Germany are one of the favourites to go far in this year’s World Cup.
Germany v China PR
June 8, 2019 3:00 PM CEST/9:00 AM EDT/6:00 AM PDT
Germany v Spain
June 12, 2019 6:00 PM CEST/12:00 PM EDT/9:00 AM PDT
South Africa v Germany
June 117, 2019 6:00 PM CEST/12:00 PM EDT/9:00 AM PDT
Beth Mead, forward, and Leah Williamson, defender
Famously, Beth Mead was too nice, and then Phil Neville made her angry. That’s how the England manager explains her shot to prominence, going from a questionable squad player at the end of 2018 to pushing for a starting role at the World Cup. Yet, that ignores the progress Mead has made at Arsenal. Initially signed as a striker, Mead has had to move to a wide position to accommodate Vivianne Miedema, and she flourished this year, leading the FA WSL in assists, with 12, and scoring 7 goals, including the official goal of the season. Her trademark crot—a shot hit from a crossing angle—has seen some remarkable goals, against the USA in the SheBelieves Cup, and Liverpool in the league the week after, and Mead really is better suited to starting in a wide position than Nikita Parris or Toni Duggan. Whether Neville picks a side that has players better suited to their roles, or goes for just shoving in as many talented players as possible may decide if England live-up to their pre-World Cup billing as possible winners.
Leah Williamson is still underrated as a central defender. One of the best in the WSL last season, Williamson was excellent, both defensively, and as a ball-playing defender. Not satisfied with merely turning up and being around during a World Cup, Williamson will want to play, but Neville prefers the pairing of Steph Houghton and Millie Bright, with Abbie McManus also able to step in.
Lisa Evans, forward, Kim Little, midfielder, and Jennifer Beattie, defender
Arsenal’s Scottish contingent should all have a big role to play if Scotland are to advance from the group stages. Qualification is certainly possible; the best third-place teams advance, and Scotland are capable of getting a result from either or both England and Japan, as well as Argentina. In the Women’s Euros, in 2017, Scotland lost to Portgual and England, but beat Spain, but failed to qualify on goal difference, with the opening 6-0 loss to England particularly damaging. Scotland, though, have a new coach in Shelley Kerr, the former Arsenal manager, and have Kim Little available. Little is one of the best midfielders in the world, and will have a creative role, in setting up Erin Cuthbert and Jane Ross. Lisa Evans, so often a wingback or very attacking right back for Arsenal, will play on the right hand side of Scotland’s midfield, and Jen Beattie, who just re-signed for Arsenal, joining from Manchester City, will partner Rachel Corsie in defence.
England v Scotland
June 9, 2019 6:00 PM CEST/12 PM EDT/9 AM PDT
Japan v Scotland
June 14, 2019 3:00 PM CEST/9 AM EDT/6 AM PDT
England v Argentina
June 14, 2019 9:00 PM CEST/3 PM EDT/12 PM PDT
Japan v England
Scotland v Argentina
June 19, 2019 9:00 PM CEST/3 PM EDT/12 PM PDT
Danielle van de Donk, midfielder, Vivianne Miedema, forward, and Jill Roord, midfielder.
The Netherlands’ starting XI will be full of names familiar to Arsenal fans. Vivianne Miedema, who just collected her 75th international cup, at the age of 22, starts up front for the Dutch. Daniëlle van de Donk plays behind Miedema in a number 10 role, and Sari van Veenendaal and Dominque Bloodworth, who both left Arsenal at the end of the season, start, with van Veenendaal the number one, and Bloodworth playing in defence. In addition, Jill Roord, who joined the club in May, is an important squad player, able to deputise in any central midfield position. Miedema has become one of the best strikers in Europe, and having struggled in the last World Cup, will look to build on her success for the Netherlands in the Euros, where they won the competition, and at Arsenal. Miedema’s game, though, is based on more than just scoring: she was second in the league in assists, created the most big chances in the WSL, and in Lieke Martens, van de Donk, and Shanice van de Sanden, has midfielders who like to run beyond the centre forward, meaning Miedema can drop deep and create. The Netherlands’ have a straightforward group, and a possible round of 16 match up with the runners up of Group F, so either Sweden or the United States, or the runners up of Group D, so possibly England, Japan, or Scotland.
New Zealand v Netherlands
June 11, 2019 3:00 PM CEST/9 AM EDT/6 AM PDT
Netherlands v Cameroon
June 15, 2019 3:00 PM CEST/9 AM EDT/6 AM PDT
Netherlands v Canada
June 20, 2019 6:00 PM CEST/12:00 PM EDT/9 AM PDT