Olympics: Team Previews (Overview)

Below, there are linked posts which provide some final notes on all twelve teams in the women’s soccer tournament at the London Olympics. Each post includes thoughts on the team’s chances of advancing out of the groups, known injury issues, summary of recent matches, and probable line-ups.

If you find any errors or want to share any additional useful information, please note that in a comment on the relevant post.

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Each team name in these lists link to the team’s preview notes, which is where more discussion of a team’s chances can be found.

Group E
1. Great Britain
2. Brazil
3. New Zealand
4. Cameroon

Group F
1. Japan
2. Sweden
3. Canada
4. South Africa

Group G
1. United States
2. France
3. North Korea
4. Colombia

Within each group, there are thousands of ways that the teams could theoretically finish, when considering points plus goal differential and other tie-breakers, so a predicted range of probabilities seems a more useful way to quickly present an opinion rather than a simple list. Plus, it’s a nice way of hedging one’s bet so that wrong predictions do not look so bad.

TABLE: Not-So-Scientific Group Finish Likelihoods

GROUP E          1st     2nd     3rd     4th
Great Britain    45%     40%     10%      5%
Brazil           40%     35%     20%      5%
New Zealand      10%     15%     50%     25%
Cameroon          5%     10%     20%     65%

GROUP F          1st     2nd     3rd     4th
Japan            55%     30%     13%      2%
Sweden           33%     45%     17%      5%
Canada           10%     20%     50%     20%
South Africa      2%      5%     20%     73%

GROUP G          1st     2nd     3rd     4th
United State     60%     25%     13%      2%
France           30%     50%     15%      5%
North Korea       5%     15%     50%     30%
Colombia          5%     10%     22%     63%

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About each team’s group chances: The format of the woman’s tournament allows the two best third-place teams from the groups to advance as wild-cards, so a top two finish is not an imperative, compared to the previous Women’s World Cups. But, to reasonable assure themselves a ticket to the quarterfinals, each team needs to get a minimum number of points, ideally 4, via one win (3 points) and a draw (1 point).

In all likelihood, four points should be enough. But, there are some scenarios possible where all four teams in a group have 4 points (4-4-4-4) and other scenarios where three teams are all tied on a higher number of points, namely 5-5-5-0 and 6-6-6-0. So, even having two wins, and thus 6 points, that does not give one a mathematical guarantee to advance to the quarterfinals, because all three groups might end up with 6-6-6-0 point distributions. However, reality is usually more skewed, as one or two teams typically end up dominating the group.

In the 2008 tournament (FIFA.com), the two third-placed teams that advanced, Canada and Japan both had 4 points via a win and a draw. The other third-placed team, North Korea, only had 3 points via a single win.

Sources for the team’s tune-up matches: Source links for information about the teams’ tune-up matches have been omitted in most instances as there is an earlier post which lists every team’s recent international matches, going back to late May. So, for more information about a particular match, please check out that post.

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