FIFA Women’s World Cup, Group D Preview: WWC 2023 team news, analysis; The Lionesses aiming to dominate

A detailed look at Group D of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including star players, coaches, historical performances, and qualifications pathways. 

Published : Jul 12, 2023 21:11 IST , CHENNAI - 3 MINS READ

European champion England will be the undisputed favourite in Group D.
European champion England will be the undisputed favourite in Group D. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

European champion England will be the undisputed favourite in Group D. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Group D of the Women’s World Cup 2023 has a clear favourite in England, which is the defending European Champion after winning the title in 2022.

With Denmark, Haiti and China PR being the other three teams, on paper the Danes have the highest chance of qualifying to the next round, but it can expect a good fight from China PR.

It is a difficult equation for Haiti, which is making its World Cup debut, but world cups always springs its own surprises.

Here is a look at all four teams in Group D for the WWC.


England will start the tournament as one of the favourites. Boasting a star-studded squad, which helped the Lionesses win the European Championship last year, Sarina Weigman’s team is expected to steamroll the other three teams in the group - Haiti, Denmark and China PR.

The biggest strength of England is its squad depth, which gives Weigman the luxury of rotation and keeping the team fresh throughout the tournament. 

The only reason for concern for England is its injury problems that will see world-class players such as Fran Kirby, Beth Mead and Leah Williamson miss the tournament. Despite that, England will hope to lift its maiden World Cup title.

No of World Cups played: 5
No of World Cup matches played: 26
No of World Cup goals: 43
Current FIFA Ranking: 4 
Road to World Cup: UEFA qualification Group D winners
Coach: Sarina Weigman
Key player: Lauren James
England squad
Goalkeepers Mary Earps, Hannah Hampton, Ellie Roebuck
Defenders Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Alex Greenwood, Esme Morgan, Lotte Wubben-Moy
Midfielders Laura Coombs, Jordan Nobbs, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Katie Zelem
Forwards Rachel Daly, Bethany England, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Katie Robinson, Alessio Russo


Haiti wrote a glorious chapter in its footballing history by qualifying for the FIFA World Cup for the first time. A third-place finish in Group A at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship earned it a place at the inaugural Play-Off Tournament. In that tournament, it secured back-to-back wins against Senegal and Chile to book its place in the World Cup.

Having crossed the major hurdle of qualifying for the World Cup, Haiti finds itself in a group of heavyweights where it will have to face European champion England and 2017 Euro semifinalist Denmark. 

But, having beaten the odds already, Haiti will be hopeful of making a mark in the tournament. 

Haiti captain Nerilia Mondesir shortly after qualification, said, “I feel so much joy, and I’m incredibly proud.”

“People back home were counting on us. We were anxious not to let them down, so this is just a moment of great happiness.”

No of World Cups played: Debut
Current FIFA Ranking: 53 
Road to World Cup: Inter-confederation play-off Group B winners
Coach: Nicolas Delepine
Key player: Nerilia Mondesir
*Official squad not out*


Denmark is a rising power in women’s football. Returning to the World Cup after 16 years, the Ikasts, after a long time, have a power-packed squad, worthy enough to at least go deep in the tournament, if not win it.

Boasting the likes of Pernille Harder, Signe Bruun, Josefine Hasbo and Kathrine Moller Kuhl, head coach Lars Sondergaard has an excellent team to work with. 

The immediate target would be to qualify for the knockouts and it seems likely that the Danes will be the second team after England to qualify from Group D. If they do, the team will have achieved that for the first time since 1995.

No of World Cups played: 5
No of World Cup matches played: 14
No of World Cup goals: 19
Current FIFA Ranking: 13
Road to World Cup: UEFA qualification Group E winners
Coach: Lars Sondergaard
Key player: Pernille Harder
Denmark squad
Goalkeepers Maja Bay Lene Christensen Kathrine Larsen
Defenders Stine Ballisager Simone Boye Luna Gevitz Rikke Sevecke Sofie Svava Janni Thomsen Katrine Veje
Midfielders Josefine Hasbo Karen Holmgaard Sofie Junge Kathrine Kuhl Emma Snerle Nicoline Sorensen Frederikke Thogersen Sanne Troelsgaard
Forwards Signe Bruun Mille Gejl Pernille Harder Rikke Marie Madsen Amalie Vangsgaard

China PR

China’s golden time in women’s football came when it reached the 1999 World Cup final, where it lost against the USA in penalties. Since then, it has not qualified beyond the quarter-final stage, exiting at the last-eight phase in three of its four attempts since, complete with a Round of 16 defeat in 2019.

Heading into the World Cup, it has a difficult task ahead if it wants to break the jinx in the 2023 edition. Qualifying for the knockout stages will itself be a challenge due to the presence of heavyweights like England and Denmark.

The equation looks difficult for the Steel Roses. On paper, it is highly unlikely they would beat England, but positive results against Denmark and Haiti might just squeeze them through to the knockouts.

No of World Cups played: 7
No of World Cup matches played: 33
No of World Cup goals: 53
Current FIFA Ranking: 14
Road to World Cup: 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup champions
Coach: Shui Qingxia
Key player: Wang Shanshan
China squad
Goalkeeper Pan Hongyan Xu Huan Zhu Yu
Defenders Gao Chen Wu Haiyan Dou Jiaxing Wang Linlin Li Mengwen Chen Qiaozhu Yao Wei
Midfielders Wu Chengshu Yang Lina Yao Lingwei Zhang Linyan Shen Mengyu Zhang Rui Zhang Xin Gu Yasha
Forwards Lou Jiahui Tang Jiali Wang Shanshan Wang Shuang Xiao Yuyi
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