World Cup diary: Sabrina Delannoy

Ex-France star Sabrina Delannoy gives her take on the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in the first edition of a daily diary dedicated to the competition.

THE FAVOURITES

"France, of course. Corinne Diacre has done a lot of work and made some bold choices since she took over as coach. Now, she has a united squad. She's been working with that squad a number of weeks now and I think she has found a balance between the experience players, those who have played at the top level and in international competitions, and the young players, who have that insouciance and freshness that brings something extra. Also, the fact it's in France, with the fans providing a real atmosphere inside and outside the stadiums, can give a little extra source of motivation and carry them to victory.

/media/26446/papier-1.jpg

Other than that, I think the USA have had a great build-up and seem to be in very good physical shape. They're going to be ready for it. Also, there's Germany. It's a bit cliche to talk about those three teams, but they're the ones with the best chance."

THE PARISIANS TO FOLLOW

"Jordyn [Huitema] will play a lot with Canada and she'll be able to show why Paris Saint-Germain have signed her. The other summer recruit, Sara [Däbritz] is also going to play for Germany. We're going to see her in competition, and she has a key role as an attacking midfielder. We're going to be able to appreciate her technique and elegance during the whole World Cup."

/media/26447/papier-2.jpg

I also want to talk about Formiga as she has had a great career. What she has brought to the club and her national team is exceptional. Record number of caps, World Cup and international competitions...the three are all key players for their nations." 

LES BLEUES' BUILD-UP

"It's very positive. France have strung together very good performances. They're just going to have to manage their fatigue. There are a lot of tired bodies, notably the Lyon players, who played in the Champions League final. It's the end of the season, and of course there are athletic considerations to take into account. But when you start a competition like this one in front of 48,000 at the Parc des Princes, you forget all about being tired.

"They've been looking forward to this game for several weeks, the build-up has been long and with all the anticipation around the match, it's going to be a fantastic experience."

THE OPENING GAME AT THE PARC DES PRINCES

"It's going to be very emotional. Most have already played in international competiton, but a tournament on home soil is rare and will be a first for all of them. There will be a lot of anticipation, the whole stadium will be blue and behind the girls. Their families will also be there. The girls work a lot to experience these sorts of moments, so they'll be looking forward to it. They'll have to handle the pressure in a positive way. It'll be unforgettable for them.

/media/26448/papier-3.jpg

"The game will be really special for the three Parisians. It's going to be historic, because the Parc des Princes is a monument when you wear the Paris Saint-Germain shirt. Of course, there will be high emotions. It's a stade that breathes football, which has a history. It'll be something extra special for the Paris Saint-Germain players who will experience these moments in this stadium.

"South Korea are very well structured, organised. Their tactics will really be very simple: they will be a compact bloc and defend deep. Les Bleues will have to use their imagination to get around them. They'll need inidividual talent and a good team display to come through, but I still see France winning 2-0."