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Women's World Cup

England to face Scotland and Japan at Women's World Cup, United States to meet Sweden

6:48 PM GMT 08/12/2018
Womens World Cup trophy - cropped
Australia's group features Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, while Germany will face China, Spain and South Africa

England will meet Scotland, Argentina and Japan in the group stages of the 2019 Women's World Cup, while holders the United States will face Thailand, Chile and Sweden.

Having topped a group that featured Wales in qualifying, Phil Neville's Lionesses will face another home nation in the finals in Scotland, who England beat 6-0 in their opening game of Euro 2017, while 2011 Women's World Cup champions Japan are also in their pool.

Holders USA, who beat Japan in the final in Canada three years ago, will start the defence of their title against Thailand in Reims.

Germany, semi-finalists in 2015, have been handed a group that includes China, Spain and South Africa, with hosts France drawn alongside South Korea, Norway and Nigeria.

Australia's group features Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, while Group E matches up Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand and Netherlands.

The tournament begins on June 7 next year in France.

Reflecting on the draw, Neville told Goal: "We can play Scotland or Argentina, in a particular context, it’s only three points.

"If I told my players that we’re only going to France to win the bronze medal they would say I’m the wrong manager because my players are ambitious and they want to be challenged.

"They want to win the World Cup so it’s starting now. We’re going to spend a lot of time on aeroplanes, in hotels, training pitches. To play two games in the same place is an advantage for us."

Norway, meanwhile, may well be without Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg for the tournament in France.

The Lyon forward has not played for her country since taking a break from international football back in 2017, and head coach Martin Sjogren is unsure if she'll be available for selection in 2019.

"You'll have to ask her," he added. "At the moment the situation is locked. She's very clear that she doesn't want to play for the national team. We have to respect that. We'll see. We've had no dialogue with her at the moment."

On Norway's chances, Sjogren added: "The big favourite [in the group] will be France. it's quite open between the other three. We have a decent chance, we just have to work hard, do a good job. We'll be well prepared and hopefully we can do well."