Women's World Cup: France v South Korea Preview, Prediction and Where to Watch
The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off tonight at Parc des Princes in Paris, with hosts France taking on South Korea in their opening Group A fixture.
On the eve of the tournament, the hosts have been placed as favourites alongside defending champions, USA, and will be eager to prove a point in front of an adoring home crowd, who will be looking forward to a repeat of 1998, when the men won their first ever FIFA World Cup, on home soil.
Kickoff time: 21:00 local time (00:15 IST, 20:00 BST)
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris
Live telecast: Sony Pictures Network (in India), BBC One (in UK)
With seven players in their 23-strong squad plying their trade for all-conquering European champions Olympique Lyonnais, the French will be confident of their chances.
South Korea will be looking to progress past the group stages for a second consecutive World Cup, having been knocked out of the 2015 tournament in Canada, at the Round of 16, when the lost to their opponents on opening day in 2019, France.
Completing Group A is Norway and Nigeria, who meet in Reims on Saturday night.
The hosts will be well aware of the threat posed by Norway, even without Ballon D'Or winner Ada Hegeberg, and will go into their opener with the mindset that only a win on Friday night will suffice.
French manager Corinne Diacre will have a fully fit squad to choose from. Players like Lyon's Eugenie Le Sommer, Wendie Renard and Amandine Henry will be well-aware of the plucky nature of the threat posed by the Koreans but will also be aware of the fact that they have got enough quality in their own side to hurt the Asian side.
Korean manager Yoon Deok-yeo, too, has a fully fit to choose from.
Even though the Koreans will be plucky and look to stave off any French threat, it is likely the hosts will have too much quality for Korea. It will take a miracle to avoid a repeat of the 3-0 loss the French handed out to Korea in the Round of 16 in 2015.
Prediction - France 3-0 South Korea