It’s always a challenging task to make predictions given the unpredictability of the sport of soccer. One mistake or one piece of brilliance can be the difference between losing and winning. But make predictions we must, and we’ve assembled an all-star crew of World Soccer Talk writers to share their predictions with you.
Plus, we urge you to share your won predictions in the comments section below so we can see how well you did against the experts. Just let us know who will win it and who your dark horse (surprise pick) is.
Matt Jones; World Soccer Talk writer
The US Women’s National Team are going to come up short again.
While they have the finest squad in the tournament, the core of this group will still be scarred by the near-misses of tournaments gone by.
Players like Christie Rampone, Heather O’Reilly and Abby Wambach are all fine footballers, but I think the loss in Germany to Japan four years ago really left a mark on them mentally.
Winners: Even though they have some injury problems, I think Germany are going to do it. Ever since failing on home soil in 2011, they’ve made major strides. They’ve looked brilliant in qualifying and there’s a renewed sense of belief about the group.
Dark horse: England (obviously, as an Englishman!). Mark Sampson’s team have a tough group, but some excellent flair players in attack. There’s been a lot of tinkering in the build-up to the finals. But if the likes of Eniola Aluko, Jodie Taylor and Fran Kirby are afforded freedom up front, they can cause teams major problems. Keeping it tight at the back will be their biggest test.
Earl Reed; World Soccer Talk writer
This will most certainly be Abby Wambach’s last chance to add a World Cup victory to her final list of career accomplishments. Derailed by drama and bad luck in past installments, will this confluence of the old guard (Wambach, Lloyd, Boxx, Solo) and young guns (Morgan, Press, LeRoux, Brian) make the push to final glory?
My prediction: After some early Group Stage uneasiness, the US uses their near-home turf advantage to hoist the trophy.
Dark horse: Brazil (if you can consider them a dark horse).
Caitlin O’Connell; World Soccer Talk writer and managing editor
I think four years is plenty of time to wipe away any lingering doubts the USWNT may have about their performance in Germany and this is the team that’s going to win it all. Despite some troubles they’ve had running up to Canada, these women are ready to go and the energy surrounding them is palpable.
Prediction: Although Alex Morgan is taking it easy with the injury, she has the luxury of coming back when she’s 100% and Abby Wambach will want to make a big mark on her last World Cup. If this team can stay motivated throughout the tournament they’re only going to improve as a team the more time they play together.
Dark horse: France.
Jacquelyn Brazzale; World Soccer Talk writer
I believed that 2011 was the best chance for the U.S. to win the World Cup. I enter the 2015 with more uncertainty then I did four years ago, but I have never doubted the fact that the U.S. plays their best games when the lights are the brightest.
Even with lingering questions heading into this tournament, the U.S. always finds a way to win. Always.
Prediction: I think the U.S. will take second in the group stage. From there, they will be propelled though a difficult knockout round, likely facing Brazil in the quarterfinals, Japan in the semifinals and my guess would be Canada in the semifinals. In the finals against Germany, I have the U.S. winning it all and capturing a third title.
Dark horse: Canada. The Canadian side have been preparing for this tournament since they were announced as host in 2011. Home field advantage will play a huge factor in this team’s performance and the players will be feeding off the energy of their 12th man.
No longer does the performance of this team fall on the shoulders of Christine Sinclair. Her supporting cast is better then ever, giving us a well-rounded team that we have never seen before. Canada is a skilled and hungry team. Talent may get this team far into the tournament but determination and passion might help get them a title.
Kartik Krishnaiyer; World Soccer Talk Senior Writer
Prediction: I believe the USWNT have a deep midfield that can compete with and beat anyone in the game. However, question marks at the back and about fitness up top have me believing the US will not win the group (Sweden will) and might be fortunate to make the semifinals. Alex Morgan’s injury and Abby Wambach’s lack of match sharpness will force goals from midfield, something the US can provide but cannot count on.
Dark horse: I think the Dutch could surprise. Certainly they were fortunate to qualify in some regards, coming behind Norway in their qualifying group and have a relatively young team that should begin to peak in the next few years. This tournament could be the start of that.
Robert Hay; World Soccer Talk writer
Prediction: In the largest women’s World Cup ever, the U.S. will face their most challenging test. Despite a glut of talent, the world is catching up to us and the American women will have to fight harder than ever to advance. Despite a tough group, Abby Wambach and co. will finish first in the group and dispatch Mexico (3F), Switzerland (2C), and probably France before being upset in the final game, most likely to the host nation.
Dark horse: Sweden.
Christopher Harris; World Soccer Talk founder and publisher
Prediction: Last but not least, I’m giving my vote and prediction to France to win this tournament. They’ve gained considerable confidence in their 2-0 win against the USA in February, and I believe that their style of play which thrives on attacks down the wings and perfectly aimed crosses will pay dividends for this team that’s exciting to watch.
Dark horse: Australia. Despite injury problems, I’m predicting them to go far in this tournament.
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