It’s been a week of joy for the Home Nations, with both England and Scotland qualifying for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in recent days.
There are now just nine places to fill, with 15 sides having booked their spot in next summer’s expanded 24-team tournament in France.
And following qualification success on both sides of the border, we take a look at next summer’s competition:
Who’s qualified so far?
Nearly two-thirds of the spots are booked up, including seven of the nine UEFA places. Spain were the only European side to qualify with a 100% record, winning all eight games and scoring 25 goals.
However, England boasted the continent’s best defensive record. Phil Neville’s Lionesses conceded just a single goal en route to qualification.
Scotland are one of just two debutants (alongside Chile). Shelley Kerr’s side were hugely impressive at home in qualifying, and have one of the game’s brightest talents in Chelsea youngster Erin Cuthbert.
Elsewhere in the world, beaten 2015 World Cup finalists Japan have booked their place again. So too former runners-up China.
Brazil are back, and they boast five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta. This could be the 32-year-old’s final World Cup. She’s scored 110 goals in 133 internationals, so glory next summer could be the perfect send off.
As it stands, the USA haven’t yet book their place in an eighth consecutive World Cup. However, they’re on course to do so. As holders and three time winners, they remain the benchmark – with legends like Carli Lloyd in their ranks.
Where’s it being held?
Next summer’s tournament takes place entirely in France – with the hosts having automatically qualified.
Lyon’s Parc Olympique Lyonnais is the biggest stadium involved, with a capacity of 59,186. The swanky new ground will also be hosting the final.
However, there’ll also be games at Paris Saint Germain’s Parc Des Princes and Le Havre’s state-to-the-art Stade Oceane.
There are nine stadiums in total, ranging from Valenciennes in the far north to Montpelllier on the south coast.
When is it taking place?
The action begins on 7th June 2019, with the hosts involved in the curtain-raiser at Parc des Princes.
The group stages finish on 20th June. Each of the top two sides in the groups qualify, as well as the four best third-placed sides.
It’s onto the knockouts on 22nd June, with just over a fortnight of action leading up to the final in Lyon on 7th July.
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