Women's World Cup Guide, Group D: England, China, Denmark, Haiti

One of the title favorites, England should top the group. That would leave China and Denmark to battle for the final spot in the second round, though the Haitians — who are competing in their first World Cup — will hope to spring an upset or two.

Here's a look at all four teams:


Coach: Shui Qingxia
Highest finish: Runner-up (1999)
2019 finish: Round of 16
Key players: Zhang Rui, Wang Shuang, Wang Shanshan

What we're excited to watch: Racing Louisville attacker Shuang, the lone member of China's roster who plays her club soccer in the U.S.-based NWSL.

What success looks like: After losing to Italy in the round of 16 four years ago, The Steel Roses will look to at least match their quarterfinal run from 2015.

Achilles' heel: Scoring. China was held goalless in four of its first six games in 2023. 

X-Factor: If anyone can find the net it's veteran striker Shanshan, China's captain and active top scorer.

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Coach: Lars Sondergaard
Highest finish: Quarterfinals (1991, 1995)
2019 finish: Did not qualify
Key players: Pernille Harder, Sanne Troelsgaard, Katrine Veje

What we're excited to watch: It's nice just to see the Danes back on the biggest stage for the first time since 2007.

What success looks like: Knockout stage

Achilles' heel: Elite opponents. Since the beginning of last year, Denmark has lost to Australia, Spain (twice), France, and the Netherlands, though the Red and White did beat Japan in April.

X-Factor: Harder. The 30-year-ol, Denmark's all-time scoring leader, averages a goal every other game at the international level.

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Coach: Sarina Wiegman
Highest finish: Third (2015)
2019 finish: Fourth
Key players: Lucy Bronze, Rachel Daly, Millie Bright

What we're excited to watch: Can England follow the European title it claimed last summer by winning its first World Cup, men's or women's, since 1966?

What success looks like: After reaching the semis at the last two World Cups, anything less than an appearance in the final would be disappointing for the Lionesses.

Achilles' heel: Depth. Defender Leah Williamson, midfielder Fran Kirby and forward Beth Mead played a huge role at the Euros, but all three starters will miss this World Cup because of injury.

X-Factor: Lauren James. The electrifying 21-year-old forward will spell Mead up front and could become one of the breakout young players at the tournament.


Coach: Nicolas Delépine
Highest finish: First appearance
2019 finish: Did not qualify
Key players: Roselord Borgella, Batcheba Louis, Nérilia Mondésir

What we're excited to watch: The Haitians, who beat Senegal and 2019 World Cup participant Chile to qualify, are one of the best feel-good stories of the expanded tournament.

What success looks like: A respectable showing, especially against England, has to be the goal for the debutants.

Achilles' heel: Current form. Les Grenadières lost five of its final six preparation games before the World Cup, including each of its last four.

X-Factor: Borgella. At 30, the veteran forward is both the oldest and most experienced player on Delépine's roster, and only Louis has more than her 20 international goals.

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Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports, and he has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter at @ByDougMcIntyre.