2015 Women's World Cup Draw: Predictions and Odds Ahead of Groups Reveal

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2014

Team Canada's Christine Sinclair takes a photo with young soccer fans as FIFA unveils the official emblem for the 2015 Women's World Cup soccer tournament during a ceremony in downtown Vancouver,  British Columbia Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
Jonathan Hayward/Associated Press

The draw of the 2015 Women's World Cup will take place in Canada's capital of Ottawa on Saturday, with all previous champions present among the 24 teams who have qualified for the final tournament.

The cup itself will take place in June and July 2015 across six of Canada's greatest cities, and as reported by Reuters' Steve Keating, the controversy surrounding the use of artificial pitches in some venues will not will not stand in the way of the tournament taking place.

Oddschecker have released their first odds for the 2015 Women's World Cup ahead of the draw:

2015 Women's World Cup Odds
TeamOddsTeamOdds
USA5/2Australia40/1
Germany7/2Spain40/1
Brazil5/1China50/1
Japan6/1Netherlands50/1
Sweden8/1Sweden50/1
France9/1South Korea66/1
Canada10/1Colombia150/1
England20/1Mexico150/1
Norway25/1Thailand250/1
Oddschecker.com

With the draw taking place in less than a week, here are some predictions regarding Saturday's event.

 

Europe Will Lose Third Seed to Brazil

HARTLEPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 3: Karen Carney (C) of England shoots to score during the Women's International Friendly match between England and Sweden at Victoria Park on August 3, 2014 in Hartlepool, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

FIFA have yet to release the official seedings for the draw, as reported by the Equalizer's Jeff Kassouf, with one of the organisation's spokespersons confirming the procedure will be announced during a press conference on Friday.

The teams will be split into six groups of four teams, meaning the top six teams will be seeded for the draw. Hosts Canada will receive the top seed, and according to FIFA's latest rankings, the remaining seeds should go to the USA, Japan, Germany, France and Sweden.

Eraldo Peres/Associated Press

It's highly unlikely FIFA will move forward with three seeds going to the top European teams and none to a team from South America, however. Brazil are next on the list, and it's possible the organising committee passes over the Swedes to hand the sixth seed to the Brazilians.

Avoiding an early exit for some of the top nations not based in Europe will be one of FIFA's top priorities—giving the Brazilians a top seed makes sense from that perspective.

 

Artificial Turf Will Be a Thing

Christof Koepsel/Associated Press

Reigning FIFA Player of the Year Nadine Angerer confirmed the players are focused on the ongoing lawsuit regarding the use of artificial turf at the tournament, but a boycott is not in order, via Keating:

Our focus right now is on the lawsuit, none of us talked about anything beyond that.

FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association should give us the best opportunity to play our game. But we have never ever talked about a boycott of the World Cup.

The controversy arose when it became clear several of the venues will be using artificial turf as opposed to natural grass, something the players are opposed to due to the higher risk of injury.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09:  Saki Kumagai #4 of Japan attempts a shot against Carli Lloyd #10 Abby Wambach #14 and Amy LePeilbet #6 of the United States during the Women's Football gold medal match on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley St
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The matter was further complicated when it became clear not all venues would have the turf—questions regarding an unfair competitive advantage arose, as some of the players have no experience on the new surface whatsoever.

Most importantly, however, the players see it as a case of discrimination, as explained by one of the attorneys for the women's lawsuit, David Wright (per Keating):

We feel this is a clear-cut case of discrimination. Most fundamentally it is simply a differential degrading treatment to the women. Elite men play on grass, elite women are being told turf is good enough for them.

The discussion has lost some of its intensity in the past few weeks, but after the conclusion of the draw, expect said intensity to return. At least one or two of the top teams will be drawn into a group which will play its matches on the turf, and if the USA or Germany are among the unlucky few, the top players will make their opinions clear.