Teo Pellizzeri: What the draw can mean for the Westfield Matildas

Fox Sports Football commentator Teo Pellizzeri goes through the dynamics of Sunday's World Cup draw.

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup draw coming up on Sunday morning (4am AEDT), there are some interesting outcomes that will present themselves.

There are some small factors which may end up being obvious once the draw takes place, or once the tournament starts. Namely, the number of days break being drawn in an earlier group, or the unbalanced draw with four group winners on one side (B, C, E & F) and only two on the other (A & D).

It would not be the worst if Australia were drawn into Group D, as topping the group would mean they would only face a USA or Germany earlier than the Final if one of those powerhouses was to not win their own group.

It may be counter intuitive to want to draw Brazil in any World Cup, but given Australia’s recent record has dispelled the fear factor of facing them, they may be the best choice of the nations in Pot 2.

Not least because all the possible alternatives are European countries, and the South American nation may be the best option. Even though Australia is on a winning streak against Brazil, none of the results have really been adequate payback for the 2016 Rio Olympics exit in that dramatic penalty shoot-out.

And, looking at things from a promotional point of view, the hype surrounding the match would also be the ideal way to open the tournament.

READ: When and how to watch Sunday morning's FIFA Women's World Cup draw

Given the other AFC nations in Pot 3, Australia can only draw New Zealand, Italy or Scotland. The Football Ferns have always shown themselves to be capable of rising to the occasion to face Australia, so my preference here would be one of the other two.

Kim Little should be back from her broken leg to play for Scotland at the World Cup, and her and Jen Beattie are well known to Australian audiences after featuring in the Westfield W-League at Melbourne City, while Rachel Corsie is at Canberra United right now.

In Pot 4 the easy preference would be for Jamaica given the number of players that are not full-time professionals, and there’s not necessarily a bad option among all the possibilities. The individual brilliance of Rhoda Mulaudzi (South Africa) or Francisca Ordega (Nigeria), or the collective spirit of Chile, have shown what is possible even though the Matildas would be favoured to win any given match-up against the Pot 4 opponents.

It is reasonably difficult to manufacture a ‘Group of Death’ given Australia is in Pot 1, but a group of ‘less than ideal’ for me would be if the Matildas get the Netherlands or Spain, New Zealand and Nigeria.

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This article was originally published on the Westfield Matildas website.
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