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2023 World Cup preview: Spain looks to make waves in their third appearance

Here’s a look at Spain ahead of the competition.

Spain v Panama - Women´s International Friendly Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The 2023 FIFA women’s World Cup gets started on July 20 from Australia and New Zealand, marking the first time the tournament has been hosted by more than one nation simultaneously. Spain will be making their third appearance after qualifying in 2015 and 2019, making it out of the group stage last time around as they have their sights set on a deeper run this year.

Ahead of the action, let’s take a closer look at what lies ahead for Spain in the World Cup. with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Spain World Cup 2023 Preview

Odds to win World Cup: +450

Spain are in the running to be the favorites at this year’s WWC, sitting only behind USA (+250) and England (+350) in the odds to win the entire tournament. La Roja have somewhat of a different look than they have in the past as many of their usual choices walked away from the national team in protest against coach Jorge Vilda and the staff.

Now that a few of them have returned and reconciliation has been in the works, Spain find themselves with a string of positive results, a No. 6 world ranking, and a lot of momentum heading down under for their third-ever World Cup appearance.

Odds to win/advance from Group C: -650 to win, -20000 to advance

La Roja are heavily favored to come out on top in Group C as they’ve been drawn with Japan, Zambia, and Costa Rica. Spain shouldn’t have any trouble getting out of the group at the very least, but it would be a fairly big surprise if they didn’t take first place after the group stage wraps up. While they’ve only won one match through their previous two WWC appearances, Vilda’s side has become a world powerhouse in women’s soccer and a fixture in the top 10.

Expectations

Spain is expected to top Group C, especially given the gap in quality between them and the rest of the teams in their group. With a renewed energy heading into their third consecutive World Cup, they’re expected to surpass their performance at the last two tournaments and at least make it past the round of 16, if not see a run through all the way to the final.

Key player: Alexia Putellas

The 29-year-old midfielder comes into this tournament as Spain’s superstar. Putellas has been with FC Barcelona since 2012, appearing in 281 matches while racking up 126 goals for the Spanish side. She’s a highly-decorated player, winning the Ballon d’Or in back-to-back years in 2021 and 2022, as well as a host of other awards including multiple UEFA Women’s Player of the Year honors.

While an ACL tear ruled her out of the Euros last year, Putellas will be ready to lead the charge for her side in this year’s World Cup as she looks to help make history for her nation.