Sunday 16 June 2019, 04:11

Sextet in battle to join France and Germany

  • France, Germany already qualified for knockout stages

  • Remaining six teams in Groups A & B can still all reach last 16

  • THE LATEST: #CHNESP, #RSAGER, #NGAFRA, #KORNOR Live Blogs updating now

On a monumental day of action across Groups A and B, two more sides will be hoping to guarantee their spot in the France 2019 knockout spots and join the hosts and two-time champions Germany in the last 16. China PR and Spain will duke it out for the second automatic spot from Group B before Norway and Nigeria look to win their respective matches to join the French in the knockouts.

Korea Republic could, technically, reach the next round automatically but it would take victory against Norway and an eight-goal swing. In all scenarios, South Africa will have to hope for a best-third placed slot to keep their slim chances of progressing further in France alive.

China PR-Spain Group B, Le Havre, 18:00

Team Reporter analysis

Qian Sun (CHN) The narrow margin of their previous victory means China need to fight even harder this time in order to get to the next round. Their two main weaknesses are a lack of accuracy with their final pass and losses of focus - and these issues persisted against South Africa. Spain are a stronger opponent, who will require the team to be even more focused in keeping possession and not giving La Roja the opportunity to break against them.

Elisa Revuelta (ESP) Spain can still finish in any position in Group B, but either a draw or a win against China PR would see La Roja reach the round of 16. Finishing second could leave them facing USA, but the message is clear: Spain don’t want to speculate and will go for a win. Despite losing against Germany, Spain performed very well, and Jorge Vilda may well keep the 4-2-3-1 formation (he usually prefers 4-3-3) and personnel the same. The biggest concern is ensuring the team becomes more clinical in front of goal.

South Africa-Germany, Group B, Montpellier, 18:00

Team Reporter analysis

Busisiwe Mokwena (RSA) Banyana Banyana will be boosted by the return of Nothando Vilakazi at left-back as they take on Germany. Vilakazi brings experience and stability to the defence. South Africa have played far too deep inside their own half in their two group matches so far, resulting in mistakes that have cost them dearly. Adopting a more attacking stance against the Germans won't hurt if South Africa want to earn at least a point from their first Women's World Cup.

Steffen Potter (GER) Next stop Grenoble - at least that's the goal for Germany now, as the winners of Group B would open the round of 16 there against the best of the third-placed teams from groups A, C or D. All the matches in Group B have shown that this is an extremely tight pool, tighter than many might have expected beforehand, and the DFB Frauen are extremely pleased to have come away with six points so far. A draw against South Africa would be enough to achieve that goal, but I'm certain we'll see a more attack-minded German team than we did against Spain.

Nigeria-France, Group A, Rennes, 21:00

Team Reporter analysis

Ann Odong (NGA) With the vital win over Korea Republic, Nigeria have given themselves every chance of advancing from a highly competitive Group A. The Super Falcons enter the match full of confidence inside the camp and they plan to attack Les Bleues in a dynamic and fast-paced style. The last time they met, it was a comprehensive win for the French. But the Nigerian camp are determined that it will be a different result this time.

Emmanuelle Hingant (FRA) Already qualified for the round of 16, France are aiming to finish top but will have to decide if they will rest some players who need a breather. The risk is that the team's mainstays will lose some competitive rhythm because, if they are rested against Nigeria, it could mean they potentially go ten days without playing.

Korea Republic-Norway, Group A, Reims, 21:00

Team Reporter analysis

Hounche Chung (KOR) Encouraging the players to pull themselves together after two defeats seems to be the priority at the moment for coach Yoon Dukyeo, who has also discussed the wide gap of class between his side and European powerhouses. Korea Republic might need a miracle against Norway to keep their hopes alive, but if they can manage a spirited comeback we won’t be watching a repeat of the 7-1 defeat when the sides met at USA 2003.

Philip O'Connor (NOR)

Norway head into their final group game against Korea Republic full of confidence despite a narrow 2-1 loss in their most recent game to hosts France. The 1995 champions have two victories and one draw in their previous three games against the Koreans, and they will be looking to secure second spot in the group with a win in Reims.