Women’s World Cup: The Reds who could win it

Thursday 22 June 2023 16:53

The countdown to the 2023 Women’s World Cup is officially on, with the showpiece tournament set to commence on 20 July.

Manchester United hold a keen interest in the tournament with as many eight Reds set to take part, although four of them are on provisional lists and therefore waiting to find out whether they will be selected in the final 23-player squads for their respective nations. 

We could be in store for one of the most open competitions to date, with plenty of teams in the mix to claim the most coveted prize in women's football. 

Can the USA record a historic three-peat? Or will there be a new name on the trophy? Below, we assess who could be in with a chance of winning the World Cup final in Sydney on 20 August.

Which Reds are going to the Women’s World Cup?


Eight players are in contention to represent their countries in Australia and New Zealand this summer.


A trio of Reds are hoping to help the Lionesses bring football home for a second successive summer this year. After winning the European Championships in 2022, Mary Earps and Ella Toone will be eyeing silverware once more, and England coach Sarina Wiegman has added Reds midfielder Katie Zelem to her ranks for this one, too. There are injury concerns though, with Beth Mead and Leah Williamson both out of action having sustained long-term ACL injuries last season, and Fran Kirby completes a trio of notable absences that could put a significant dent in their hopes. 


It goes without saying that the USA will come into this tournament as one of the favourites given their incredible history in the World Cup. They are currently the holders, having lifted the trophy in 2019, as well as back in 2015, meaning a potential three-peat is on the cards. Under coach Vlatko Andonovski, who leads them for the first time in this competition, their squad looks significantly different. While defender and captain Becky Sauerbrunn is a significant loss due to a foot injury, the return of Julie Ertz could be key for their campaign. They also boast an exciting attack, with the likes of Alex Morgan, Sophia Smith and youngster Alyssa Thompson. 

Brazil may not be the obvious choice heading into the summer, but the possibility of winning a World Cup in what could be Marta’s final major tournament is the thing of dreams. After Lionel Messi’s fairytale of winning the World Cup with Argentina at Qatar 2022, who knows what is possible? And it isn’t a campaign built on hopes either, as the South American nation boasts plenty of talented forwards in particular, such as Kerolin, Geyse and Debinha, as well as the legend herself, Marta. 


Germany are another team to watch as the national squads descend on Australia and New Zealand next month. Despite being without their captain Alexandra Popp, they pushed England to extra time in the final of the European Championships last year. Popp will be hoping for better luck on the injury front this time around, enabling her to link up with talented attacking duo Klara Bühl and Jule Brand. Lena Oberdorf in midfield is arguably their game-changer, though, as she looks to build on being named Young Player of the Tournament at Euro 2022. 

How to watch the Reds at the 2023 World Cup


United Women have plenty of interest in the 2023 World Cup - here's how you can follow it.

Those are just four potential favourites going into the World Cup, but there are plenty of teams that could have their say, including the Netherlands, Spain, France - who United's Aissatou Tounkara and Estelle Cascarino could represent - and Sweden.

Canada - who named Reds duo Jayde Riviere and Adriana Leon in their provisional squad - are also in with a chance of lifting the trophy, having won Gold at the 2020 Olympics, held in 2021, beating Sweden in the final and foes USA on the way. 

Vilde Boe Risa’s Norway had a disappointing campaign at Euro 2022 but will look to return to the world stage with a bang as our midfielder, as well as the likes of Guro Reiten, Caroline Graham Hansen and Ada Hegerberg, hopes to make a splash down under. 

And, of course, there are the hosts Australia and New Zealand who would both love to round off the tournament in the best way possible by being crowned world champions. Of the two, the former has the better chance this time round.