The opening match of the Women’s World Cup 2023 is between Italy Women and Argentina Women on Monday at Auckland’s Eden Park.
Argentina will be looking to reach the knockout stages for the first time, while Italy will be hoping to make it out of the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup.
Le Azzurre are competing in their fourth World Cup after appearing in the competition in 1991, 1999, and 2019.
Italy’s performance in France four years ago, where they advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual runners-up Netherlands, would have made Italy proud.
Italy will be looking to perform better in a challenging World Cup group that includes Argentina, South Africa, and Sweden after enduring a disappointing group-stage elimination at the European Championships last year.
Milena Bertolini’s team enters the competition in respectable shape, having won three and drawn one of their previous four matches.
They will also take heart from the fact that they have won two and lost one of their past three World Cup openers.
Argentina is participating in the World Cup for the fourth time, having done so in 2003, 2007, and 2019. They previously did so in 2019.
After drawing two and losing seven of their nine World Cup games, the South Americans are still looking for their first victory at the competition
Argentina, who is currently rated 28th in the world, is aware that they will need to fight hard to advance to the knockout rounds because Sweden and Italy are currently positioned inside of them in the FIFA World Rankings.
La Albiceleste have gained momentum as the tournament approaches, winning five of their previous six games.
Argentina will be seeking to achieve a shutout at the World Cup for just the second time in their history after all five of those triumphs resulted in clean sheets.