Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Phil Neville's England are motivated, fresh and fearless

Phil Neville's England are motivated, fresh and fearless

France are ranked number four in the world and have the advantage of playing at home.

- Rivalries are as much a part of soccer as the ball and the grass, and numerous fiercest rivalries in the 2019 Women's World Cup date back to before the game was even invented.

The pressure is on France to live up to their status as one of the favourites as the host nation kick off their World Cup on Friday when they take on South Korea in the opening game before a sell-out crowd in Paris.

'I was involved in the women's game as a player when there was no interest.

The French, captained by Lyon star Amandine Henry, will get the chance to showcase their credentials when they run out before 47,000 fans at the Parc des Princes to face the South Koreans at 1900 GMT in the first match in Group A, which also contains Norway and Nigeria.

England Women get their World Cup campaign underway in Nice this weekend, with Neville's side looking to build on their SheBelieves Cup victory in March.

'I still see a lot of the players now.

"If we get to the final, the atmosphere I know is going to be wonderful, and for me personally it is definitely going to be a little bit more special". I think, for me, you've done nearly enough when you qualified for the World Cup for the first time - irrespective as to what happens or transpires at the World Cup. I moved to Lyon knowing the semi-final and the final were going to be played in my kind of home city.

The USWNT arrived in France Thursday, following a week-long training camp in England and begins training Saturday in Reims leading to its opening Group F match Tuesday at 3 p.m. against Thailand.

Team USA first lifted the trophy in 1991.

Germany are also serious contenders and they open their campaign on Saturday against China in Rennes in Group B.

One of those threats is in the same group - Sweden, the team that knocked the US out of the 2016 Olympics in the quarterfinals and gave other teams a defensive roadmap to beat the defending World Cup champs.

Much has been made of the fact that Lyon's Norwegian striker, Ada Hegerberg, will not be here. For me, an global trophy is the missing piece.

The 52-year-old, who managed the side at six tournaments during a 15-year spell as national team manager, believes the women's game in this country is in a better place than ever before.

Here are some of the top rivalries everyone will be looking out for as some of the world's best athletes represent their countries this summer in France.

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