3️⃣ key points as Women's World Cup qualifiers begin 🌍 | OneFootball

3️⃣ key points as Women's World Cup qualifiers begin 🌍

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Emily Wilson

A record 51 nations begin their quest on Thursday to take one of 12 Uefa spots for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

It’s sure to be a lively round of qualifying fixtures so here are some key talking points as everything gets underway,

Will new managers settle in quickly?

A few countries will play their first round of official matches under the guidance of new managers.

England are now being led by former Dutch national team manager Sarina Wiegman.

The vacancy over in the Netherlands has now been filled by Portland Thorns manager, Mark Parsons.

Both heavyweights in the competition, ranked eighth and fourth in the world respectively, will England and the Netherlands start their new eras strongly?

Can Sweden continue their good form from the Olympics?

The Scandinavian nation put on an impressive performance in Tokyo with the likes of Stina Blackstenius and Hanna Bennison making a name for themselves on the international stage alongside always impressive veterans.

But after just falling short to Canada for the gold medal, all eyes will be on the Blue and Yellow to see if they can regroup and get back to their best.

It will undoubtedly be a tough task as Group A sees them drawn alongside Finland, Georgia, Ireland and Slovakia.

What teams could make a surprise run for top spot?

Of all the teams battling for a spot, 39 of them have never qualified for the World Cup. So who are the nations who might cause some upsets?

After significant growth in women’s football, Spain have cracked into the top 10 of world rankings for the first time and they’ll certainly be ones to watch out for.

Belgium are another nation on the rise and could cause some problems while Iceland and Denmark have also improved.

Then the three nations who qualified for the final EURO 2022 spots – Northern Ireland, Switzerland and Russia – will all be looking to force some upsets.