Women's World Cup Power Rankings: Who is the favourite now that we are down to eight?

Women's World Cup Power Rankings: Who is the favourite now that we are down to eight?
Japan are still in the mix and have impressed greatly so far
Japan are still in the mix and have impressed greatly so far
We're down to the final eight at the Women's World Cup and it's not the eight most would have expected at the start of the tournament, with USA, Germany and Brazil all out. Who's most likely to take advantage of their absences to become the new World Champions? And who's most likely to fall at the next hurdle?

Here are Flashscore's Power Rankings ahead of the quarter-finals. 

8. Colombia 

Outplaying South Korea, shocking Germany and becoming the first team of the tournament to score against a Jamaica backline that France and Brazil couldn't breach, Colombia have impressed more than anyone expected and deserve their place in the last eight.

However, it's difficult to see them getting any further. Their vulnerabilities were clear to see in their defeat to Morocco and it would be a big surprise if England didn't expose them to bring one of the stories of the tournament to an end.

7. Sweden

Yes, Sweden are the team that knocked out favourites and back-to-back champions USA but that doesn't make them the new top dogs. 

It's fair to say they were lucky in their penalty shootout victory over the Americans, with only the heroics of goalkeeper Zecira Musovic keeping them alive in a match in which they were second-best throughout. 

There was little in that performance to suggest they have what it takes to knock out another top side in Japan, although the team does have plenty of big-match experience having reached two major semi-finals and an Olympic final in the last four years. 

6. Australia

After their first two matches - a narrow win over Ireland and a loss to Nigeria - it looked like Australia could well fall at the first hurdle on home turf but they've very much grown into the tournament since then. 

They played well in their 4-0 win over Canada and their 2-0 win over Denmark and those wins were made all the more impressive by the fact that star player Sam Kerr didn't play a part in them, only coming off the bench late on in the latter. 

With Kerr likely starting from the off in the quarter-finals, they'll be stronger than ever, but whether they'll be as strong as five of the best sides in the world is another matter.

5. Netherlands

Most didn't give the 2019 finalists much hope of getting that far again this time around but the Dutch have done well down under, even if they haven't exactly dazzled. 

They did so in their 7-0 win over Vietnam but the other three performances - a 1-0 win over Portugal, a 1-1 draw with USA and a 2-0 win over South Africa - were very business-like, with the side comfortably doing enough to get the results they needed but not much else. 

It's unclear if they've been staying in second gear by choice or just don't have much more in their locker. That will become clear in the standout quarter-final matchup - their clash with Spain.

4. Spain

It's been an odd tournament for Spain. They looked like champions in waiting in three of their matches but were torn apart and humiliated in the other. 

Taking the 4-0 loss to Japan out of the equation, things have been mightily impressive, with the side boasting a record of 13 goals scored and one conceded. However, in the one match that they played against a top team, they were destroyed on the break, being completely incapable of dealing with Japan's rapid counter-attacks.

They should have learned their lessons from that game, and given the Netherlands have the pace to cause problems on the break themselves, whether they have or not will determine whether they make it through to the final four. 

Follow Spain vs. the Netherlands live on Flashscore.

3. France

France made a hugely disappointing start to their campaign - drawing 0-0 with Jamaica - but have bounced back in style since then, scoring 12 goals in three matches on their way to the last eight. 

They've been a joy to watch at times in all of those matches and the way in which they deservedly defeated Brazil was impressive. On the flip side, conceding three goals to Panama - even if it was in a 6-3 win - is cause for concern.

With their frontline of Eugenie Le Sommer and Kadidiatou Diani though, they have the firepower to cause problems for anyone, as well as a manager in Herve Renard who knows a thing or two about winning in knockout football. 

Follow Australia vs. France live on Flashscore.

2. England

England were seen as the biggest threat to the USA at the start of the tournament and while they haven't done well enough to now be considered outright favourites, it would still be brave to bet against them winning their first World Cup.

They showed just how good they can be in their 6-1 thrashing of China and displayed impressive resilience and organisation to take their game against Nigeria to penalties given they played the entirety of extra-time with a player fewer.

They haven't played too well in three of their four matches and the loss of star player Lauren James through suspension will hurt them. However, with a squad full of plenty of other top players and the best manager at the tournament in Sarina Wiegman, their title chances are still very much alive.

Follow England vs. Colombia live on Flashscore.

1. Japan

Japan's Hinata Miyazawa is the tournament's top scorer (5 goals) going into the quarter-finals
Kyodo via Reuters

14 goals scored. One goal conceded. Four convincing victories. Simply put, Japan have been the best team at the World Cup thus far and it's not particularly close.

Spearheaded by tournament top scorer Hinata Miyazawa, their attack has been simply stunning, cutting through backlines with a lethal combination of pace and precision. They've stood firm at the back too, keeping a clean sheet against an impressive Spain frontline despite seeing just 23% possession.

Their biggest tests are yet to come but all signs suggest that they have what it takes to handle them. 

Follow Japan vs. Sweden live on Flashscore.


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