Arsenal stars learn about World Cup qualifying opponents
The 2023 World Cup qualifying draw took place ahead of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Arsenal players have gathered in anticipation to see who they will play on the road to the best competition in world football, the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
England have been trained in Group D with Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Beth Mead learning from their opponents which are Austria, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia and North Macedonia.
It’s also the start of Sarina Wiegman’s first qualifying campaign with the Lionesses as she takes the helm in September.
This means Manuela Zinsberger and Viktoria Schnaderbeck, who represent Austria, will meet their Gunners team-mates when England meet Austria in what are expected to be two intriguing matches in the squad.
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England faced Northern Ireland in a friendly in February as Northern Ireland prepared for their historic Euro 2022 qualification, with England winning 6-0 in a match where Wubben-Moy made his international debut.
Jill Roord, Danielle van de Donk and Vivianne Miedema will face Iceland, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Cyprus with the Netherlands.
The Dutch are very favorites to win the group and they were finalists in the 2019 tournament in France as they lost in the final to the United States.
Katie McCabe’s Republic of Ireland team were drawn in Group A against Finland, Sweden, Slovakia and Georgia.
Sweden is ranked fifth in the Fifa World Rankings, Finland is 24th and Ireland is 34th. Slovakia, meanwhile, is ranked 46th and Georgia is 126th.
McCabe recently won his 50th selection for his country in Belgium.
Lisa Evans, Jennifer Beattie and Scottish team Kim Little were drawn in Group B alongside Spain, Ukraine, Hungary and the Faroe Islands.
All four nations are familiar opponents for Scotland, most notably the world-ranked 13th seed Spain, whom they most recently faced at Euro 2017, winning 1-0 with a strike from Caroline Weir.
Swiss trio Lia Wälti, Malin Gut and Noelle Maritz, who helped their Switzerland qualify for Euro 2022 last month, will face Italy, Romania, Croatia, Moldova and Lithuania in Group G.
Romania, Croatia and Lithuania were opponents of the Swiss group for Euro 2022 qualification and will fight again for a place on the world stage.
Leonie Maier’s German side will face Portugal, Serbia, Israel, Turkey and Bulgaria on their way to the tournament.
Germany are definitely the favorites to win the group as they go in search of their third Women’s World Cup trophy.
The nine group winners qualify directly for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The group’s nine finalists will then play play-offs in October 2022 to determine the remaining two direct places, as well as the place for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup play-offs tournament.