We look ahead to the opening game of the 2023 Women’s World Cup at Eden Park, Auckland with our New Zealand vs Norway preview and prediction.
New Zealand vs Norway Stats: Quick Hits
- Norway are the Opta supercomputer’s favourites to win the first match in Group A at 52.4%.
- New Zealand have played more matches at the Women’s World Cup without winning a game than any other nation (15).
- Norway defeated New Zealand 2-0 in a friendly back in June 2022 – their last international meeting.
Co-hosts New Zealand may enter as rank outsiders to win the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but they’ll be very hopeful of ending a woeful record in the competition at the very least.
They have played more matches without winning a single game at the Women’s World Cup than any other nation in the competition’s history (15 games, zero wins). They are also the only side to have ever made five appearances in the tournament without reaching the knockout stages.
The opening game of the 2023 finals is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf.
Something will have to give, however. New Zealand must end their dreadful run of losing the opening match at all five of their tournament participations (1991, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019), while they face a Norway side who have won on matchday one in each of their last seven World Cups.
Norway have good pedigree at this level but aren’t expected to pick up their second Women’s World Cup title in 2023, with the Opta supercomputer ranking them as only the 12th most likely to go all the way. Despite that, they stand a good chance of winning Group A ahead of the co-hosts, Switzerland and Philippines, so will be optimistic of a strong start.
New Zealand vs Norway Head-to-Head
New Zealand and Norway have met once at the FIFA Women’s World Cup before this match. This meeting was during the second matchday of the first edition of the tournament in 1991, with a win 4-0 for the Norwegians. The current head coach of Norway, Hege Riise, scored the first of her nine Women’s World Cup goals as a player during that game.
The last meeting between Norway and New Zealand came just over a year ago, in June 2022. Norway enjoyed a 2-0 victory over Jitka Klimková’s side thanks to goals from Ada Hegerberg and Guro Bergsvand.
New Zealand vs Norway Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is predicting more Women’s World Cup woe for New Zealand ahead of kick-off in this match, with Norway the favourites for the victory at 52.4%. This would mean New Zealand’s winless run at the Women’s World Cup would stretch to 16 matches.
The co-hosts have a 21.8% chance of winning at the WWC for the first time, and doing so in front of their own fans. The draw – while not a terrible result for either side – is being given a 25.8% chance of occurring.
New Zealand vs Norway Squads
New Zealand: Erin Nayler, Ria Percival, Claudia Bunge, CJ Bott, Michaela Foster, Malia Steinmetz, Ali Riley, Daisy Cleverley, Gabi Rennie, Annalie Longo, Olivia Chance, Betsy Hassett, Rebekah Stott, Katie Bowen, Paige Satchell, Jacqui Hand, Hannah Wilkinson, Grace Jale, Elizabeth Anton, Indiah-Paige Riley, Victoria Esson, Milly Clegg, Anna Leat.
Norway: Cecilie Fiskerstrand, Anja Sønstevold, Sara Hørte, Tuva Hansen, Guro Bergsvand, Maren Mjelde, Ingrid Syrstad Engen, Vilde Bøe Risa, Karina Sævik, Caroline Graham Hansen, Guro Reiten, Guro Pettersen, Thea Bjelde, Ada Hegerberg, Amalie Eikeland, Mathilde Harviken, Julie Blakstad, Frida Maanum, Marit Bratberg Lund, Emilie Haavi, Anna Jøsendal, Sophie Román Haug, Aurora Mikalsen.