Saturday 04 August 2018, 09:20

Hosts and champions feature on opening day

  • France 2018 set to raise the curtain with four games on Sunday

  • Hosts France meet Ghana, while holders Korea DPR take on England

  • Mexico and Brazil clash in a battle of regional champions​

MATCHDAY PREVIEW – Brittany is ready to raise the curtain on the ninth edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, with the opening set of France 2018 matches featuring Groups A and B on Sunday.

The Stade de la Rabine in Vannes will be the venue for both encounters in Group A, with New Zealand taking on tournament debutants in the Netherlands before hosts France meet African qualifiers Ghana. Group B will be the focus at the Stade du Clos Gastel in Dinan/Lehon, with Mexico facing Brazil before defending champions Korea DPR take on England.

The games Group A: New Zealand-Netherlands | France-Ghana Group B: Mexico-Brazil | Korea DPR-England

What you need to know 1. We meet again: France’s first opponents at this U-20 Women’s World Cup will be familiar faces. At Papua New Guinea 2016, Les Bleuettes drew 2-2 with Ghana in Group C. Substitute Clara Mateo denied the Black Princesses all three points with a late equaliser for the French.

2. Clash of champions: The opening game in Dinan/Lehon sees CONCACAF champions Mexico meet South American champions Brazil for the third time in this competition. The previous two encounters (2002 and 2008) resulted in resounding victories for La Canarinha, with Brazil outscoring their Mexican counterparts 10-3.

3. Dutch debut: While New Zealand are regular participants at the U-20 Women’s World Cup, the Netherlands will look to make their mark for the first time in France. Inspired by their senior counterparts, who won the UEFA Women's EURO 2017 on home soil, the Oranje scored two or more goals in each of their matches at last year’s UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship to secure qualification.

4. Looking to repeat: Over the previous eight editions of the U-20 Women’s World Cup, no team has been successful in defending the title won two years earlier. Current holders Korea DPR will look to change that trend in Brittany by making a bright start to their campaign when they face England, who are considered a dark horse to win this competition themselves.