Nine months ago, Amber Barrett rocketed a searing right-foot strike into the bottom corner of Scotland’s goal, and in doing so, secured Ireland’s qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The 1-0 victory over Scotland ensured that for the first time in over 20 years for both the men’s and women’s teams, Ireland will have a representative at a World Cup. Now, as the tournament approaches, we look at what chances the girls in green have ahead of their first match.
For context, let’s take a look at the betting markets to see how the bookies are rating Ireland’s chances at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The numbers from most major bookmakers paint a stark reality for Ireland—they are heavy underdogs in Australia. Favourites USA pays 9/4 (3.25) to win, closely followed by England on 7/2 (4.50) and Spain on 11/2 (6.50). Ireland, however, is well behind at 200/1 (201.00). While they may not have the longest odds—these belong to the Philippines, who pay an incredible 3000/1 (3001.00) to win the tournament, Ireland is rated a humble 16th favourite to win the tournament.
While various special offers and promotions will no doubt be offered by bookies on popular Ireland to do well, the girls in green will need more than that if they’re to have success at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Looking at the options for Ireland heading into this tournament, they may not have the big names of other nations but still have plenty of depth to choose from. Here’s how we see their starting XI shaping up for the opening game of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup:
1. Courtney Brosnan – Goalkeeper
2. Louise Quinn – Centre defender
3. Diane Caldwell – Left defender
4. Aoife Mannion – Right defender
5. Megan Campbell – Left midfielder
6. Sinead Farrelly – Right midfielder
7. Denise Sullivan – Centre midfielder
8. Lily Aff – Centre midfielder
9. Katie McCabe – Left wing
10. Aine O’Gorman – Right win
11. Kyra Carusa – Centre striker
While there’s been plenty of chopping and changing to the starting lineup in Ireland’s squad, we say this is the most settled version of the XI that will be fielded in Australia. Expect a 5-4-1 formation used on defense, switching to 3-4-2-1 on attack.
Irish teams thrive in the underdog position, and there’s certainly how the women’s team will need to play at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Vera Pauw will need to employ some astute tactics if her side is to overcome the deficit in talent and experience on the pitch. One approach that will be critical is their adaptability when it comes to possession. Against weaker sides, Ireland will need to play direct and hold onto the ball. However, when playing more talented teams, Ireland’s ability to take their chances and go for broke will be pivotal.
As they’ve shown over their path to the World Cup, Ireland will be willing to give up big swings in possession if it means having success on the scoreboard.