2015 Women’s World Cup: Group E Preview

(Throughout the week, we will go through every group and let you know what to look for and what to expect in the Women’s World Cup)

Group E looks to be like it could be anybody’s race for second. Brazil looks like the one that could top theç group, but other than that, the rest of the three teams could really make a competition to nab the other automatic spot. With Spain, South Korea (aka Korea Republic), and Costa Rica really impressing in the qualifying stages, not to mention with the growth of their youth systems, you could even say that they could give Brazil a run for their money as well.

Group E Teams:

Brazil (7th in FIFA Rankings), Spain (14th in FIFA Rankings); Korea Republic (18th in FIFA Rankings); Costa Rica (37th in FIFA Rankings)

 

Group E Schedule (All Games on FOX Networks):

Tuesday, June 8 — Spain vs. Costa Rica — 4:00 PM ET, FOX Sports 1

Tuesday, June 8 — Brazil vs. Korea Republic — 7:00 PM ET, FOX Sports 1

Saturday, June 13 — Brazil vs. Spain — 4:00 PM ET, FOX Sports 1

Saturday, June 13 — Costa Rica vs. Korea Republic — 7:00 PM ET, FOX Sports 2

Wednesday, June 17 — Costa Rica vs. Brazil — 7:00 PM ET, FOX Sports 1

Wednesday, June 17 — Korea Republic vs. Spain — 7:00 PM ET, FOX Sports 2

 

Player to Watch in Group E: Natalia Pablos, Spain

VICENZA, ITALY - APRIL 05: Natalia Pablos Sanchon of Spain in action during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 qualifier between Italy and Spain at Stadio Romeo Menti on April 5, 2014 in Vicenza, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

VICENZA, ITALY – APRIL 05: Natalia Pablos Sanchon of Spain in action during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifier between Italy and Spain at Stadio Romeo Menti on April 5, 2014 in Vicenza, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

With Brazil being stacked with strikers and ladies who can score like Marta and Cristiane, many may overlook other scorers such as Natalia Pablos from Spain. Pablos plays for the Arsenal Ladies in England, just recently transferred from Bristol Academy. She burst into the scene in the qualifiers for the 2015 Women’s World Cup as she scored 12 goals in 10 games to lead Spain to the top of Group 2 in the European qualifiers for Spain’s first ever appearance in the Women’s World Cup. Pablos has proven she can score when she is needed most, and now it is her time to shine on the world’s biggest stage.

 

X-Factor in Group E: Is Brazil still as deadly even with their aging superstars?

It’s no doubt that Brazil is one of the stronger teams in Group E, but the fact of the matter is that Brazil’s superstars are aging, with several superstars such as Marta (29), Cristiane (30), Rosana (32) and Formiga (37) already at or almost reaching the age of 30. Meanwhile, most of the other squads in the group are relying on young talent to boost their performances as the rest of the three squads combined only have one player that’s over the age of 30. So the question is will the Brazilian ladies be able to keep up with a young, quick, and talented team such as Costa Rica? Or will experience truly win over inexperience and be a valuable asset for the Brazil ladies to move on in search of their first Women’s World Cup title?

 

Odds of Winning Women’s World Cup (Westgate):  Brazil (5/1), Spain (40/1), Korea Republic (60/1), Costa Rica (250/1)

 

Most Important Game: Korea Republic vs. Spain

This is going to be the game, in my opinion, that decides second place of Group E and that is why the match day three of Group E will be the most important game. It is really a toss up between Korea and Spain to battle it out for the second automatic spot in the group and this match up will be the deciding factor, that is if they both get a result as expected against Costa Rica. It will pit two high scoring offenses and stingy defenses, and it will probably be the most entertaining game of the group, so I say keep an eye on the last game of the group stage.

 

Teams To Automatically Move On: Brazil and Spain

Brazil is an automatic (presumably) lock to at least advance to the knockout stages of the tournament so that leaves one spot open and that spot is going to Spain. Costa Rica might surprise people, but with mostly a young squad to work with, I don’t expect the Costa Ricans to move on. Korea Republic looks like a force to be reckoned with, but I believe that Spain is too strong on both sides of the ball to not advance to the next round. I have Spain beating Korea in the last game to gain the one-up on the Asian team, in what I called the crucial match up to decide who advances, and with proven leaders like Vero Boquete and newcomers like Natalia Pablos; Spain looks like a lock for second place of the group.

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.

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