My Ones To Watch At The FIFAWWC 2019

Finally the world cup is only a day away and I can't wait to say goodbye to everything for a whole month and become totally engrossed in the tournament. It is hopefully going to be the biggest tournament yet for the women's game and the talent on show is going to be bigger than 2015 in Canada as the game is growing in all countries. But today we are going to take a look at my top picks for the ones to watch this world cup.

Tobin Heath
Tobin is a player who has had her fair share of wins, winning the Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, and also winning the world cup in 2015. She has also proved vital in the progress of the Portland Thorns who won the NWSL championship in 2017, where she came back from injury to help them pick up the trophy. Her form has been brilliant over recent months and not only can she score goals herself, but she can assist too, her crosses and set pieces can be lethal especially when linking up with fellow Thorn Lindsey Horan. Tobin is definitely an all rounder and one of the main ones to watch but please Jill Ellis don't play her in the wrong position and make the most of what you have.

Lindsey Horan
Lindsey won MVP for the NWSL last season and you can easily tell why her play in midfield is absolutely fantastic, she can hold up play when required but is even better at pushing forward and becoming an attacking threat. As I said about Tobin, if played together Horan and Heath could prove vital as they have that understanding of playing together along with that seemingly now natural chemistry on the pitch. Horan can hit a ball well when attacking but it is her lethal headers that the opposition needs to watch out for. It has literally full circle for Lindsey as she started her professional playing career in France, where she is now going to be partaking in her first ever world cup.

Christine Sinclair
I honestly consider Christine Sinclair as the G.O.A.T of women's football and I am looking forward to see what performances she puts in this world cup. I have no doubt that all of Sinclair's concentration will be on helping Canada progress through the tournament however, you can't help but wonder how much she will be thinking about breaking Abby Wambach's goal scoring record with only 4 goals to go I can honestly see her doing it at this world cup and what better stage to break the record on.

Erin Cuthbert
Erin was one of the stand out players for me at Chelsea last season and at just 20 years old she hopefully has a long career ahead of her. It is going to be interesting to see how she does on the big stage. I think her ability as a player is going to be vital for the Scotland team throughout the competition and she could be a real danger for oppositions especially with how she can seemingly take shots from a variety of distances and angles really putting the keeper and defences under threat. I think she is going to really help Scotland advance past the group stages.

Hayley Raso
Not even a broken back can hold Raso back and under a year since breaking it here she is about to represent Australia on the big stage. I honestly think with Australia it is going to become a bit of a Sam Kerr show but seriously don't write Hayley off, she has proved just how influential she can be for the Thorns and honestly I can see her playing a big part in Australia progressing through the competition. Raso is definitely a threat who should not be taken lightly and who will definitely give the opposition a run for their money.

Georgia Stanway
Stanway had an absolutely fantastic season for Man City last season and is really starting to make an impression on everyone, she clearly has made a great impression on Phil for him to call her up to the England squad for this tournament. Another youngster who I hope the pressure doesn't end up getting to but it seems Stanway doesn't suffer from that as she does so well in the big games for her club. The best thing with Georgia is she isn't afraid to get stuck into a tackle and her shots are like absolute rockets which could really put added pressure on opposition defences and keepers. Imagine the scenes if she was to score a last minute winner to send England to the final.

Ellie Carpenter
Ellie has really begun to make a name for herself over in the NWSL with the Thorns and is proving to be an absolutely outstanding right back. One of the main things I love about Ellie is her ability to press forward, not all right backs want to go forward every time but when Ellie thinks she is capable of helping her team get into a better position she isn't afraid to do just that. Her pace is also fantastic and even though she is so young she fits nicely into the Australian set up, in fact I can see her becoming an even bigger name in the women's game in the future.

Jessie Fleming
I was lucky enough to go see England vs Canada the other month as part of the road to France series and one player that really stood out for me was Jessie Fleming, Jessie really held her own against the strong English side and really showed off just why she should be in the world cup. I didn't expect her to be charging at the English midfield and defence the way she did really putting on a show against some of the best names in the game. If she can repeat that performance out in France the opposition won't know what has hit them. Hopefully if she stays injury free this won't be her last big competition either and she could be on her way to being a huge name just like Christine Sinclair.

Millie Bright
Now one defender I would never want to come up against is Millie Bright, a real no nonsense defender and when paired with Houghton that is a back line you really wouldn't want to face. Not only is Millie absolutely solid in defence but she can be a force to be reckoned with in an attacking sense too. Her shots look as hard as she tackles making them even harder for the keeper to save and her headers are just as lethal. It would be absolutely brilliant if not only can she stop the opposition scoring goals but also grabbing a few goals herself.

Becky Sauerbrunn
Becky is like Millie but a lot more experienced, she has been part of that backline for the USWNT for a while now and hopefully won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Becky was part of the team in 2015 who won the world cup and in all honesty I think she has even improved from then (not like she really needed to) making it harder to get passed her once again. What is going to be interesting to see is who Jill pairs Becky with in the CB pairing as this could prove critical in their progression. Not only that but if it is someone with a little less experience it is going to be great to see how Becky helps them cope through the tournament and how she shows off her leadership/motivational side. Whoever is paired alongside her definitely is going to have a fantastic mentor. 

So there you have it those are the 10 players to keep an eye on throughout the competition but I couldn't do this post without including Beth Mead, who has definitely become a fan favourite of late and it is know wonder with her skill and that she can literally score from the touchline, Beth is definitely one to watch as she is a great addition to Phil's squad. I also have to mention Fran Kirby who has unfortunately been hit by injuries lately but is still putting in some great performances. There is a lot of pressure going into this tournament on Fran due to how she has improved as a player since 2015 but honestly it really isn't fair, just remember this is a team sport and just not down to 1 player. 1 player doesn't make the team, everyone on that pitch has to perform to get a result. I just hope the pressure doesn't effect her as it seemingly did to Sterling in the men's world cup last year, it can really effect your performance if you think the whole country is just relying on you and honestly I don't see why us as fans do this to the individuals. Yes so the player may miss some chances, but what about that player who played in a bad pass? Or the one who got beat in the backline and the opposition got around to score a goal. Let's lay off that personal pressure and just get behind the teams we support. It makes it more enjoyable in the long run for both players and fans.

This definitely wasn't an easy choice for me making this list as I have said previously the talent is forever growing but these are definitely the players to keep an eye on as they could provide a major impact for their countries and their progression throughout the competition. Who are your ones to watch?

See you soon

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