About two decades ago, China PR was considered one of the best teams in the world and they proved that by coming in as finalists at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. After that run, the team started to spiral downward and have only recently started to re-establish themselves in the women's game.
A potentially potent attack is primed to star in Group B
China PR have some very capable players going forward, most noticeably Wang Shuang who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain. During her first season in Paris, Wang scored seven goals but was instrumental in creating a lot more goals for her teammates. When given the chance, Wang is an incisive passer of the ball who also has an eye for goal. Against the likes of Spain and South Africa, Wang should be able to stamp her mark on the game, helping China to progress into the knock-out stages.
Against Germany, Wang will probably have a tougher time of it but again, she has the ability to move into the right spaces and then be effective going forward. If Wang gets her chances to push the ball forward, then someone like Yang Li will look yo profit in and around the area. Yang is currently leading the scoring charts for China PR and will look to add to her tally this summer.
China PR's backline remains an unknown quantity
Where China PR could struggle is the ability to contain their opponents. Head coach Jia Xiuquan has decided to leave out one of China PR's more well-known names in goalkeeper Wang Fei. Whether that is a smart decision or not remains to be seen as the 'Steel Roses' begin their World Cup campaign.
China PR's biggest concern going into the tournament is their backline as a whole. South Africa may not prove too much of a test for the team but Germany and Spain are more than capable of opening up most backlines in the world. In previous big tournaments, China PR relied on sitting back and using the counter as their main tactic. That could work against Spain who tend to play a slower, possession-style of play but Germany are a team able to speed up play easily and thus, make life difficult for the Chinese.
Goalkeepers: Bi Xiaolin, Peng Shimeng, Xu Huan.
Defenders: Li Jiayue, Li Wen, Lin Yuping, Liu Shanshan, Wang Yan, Wang Ying, Wu Haiyan.
Midfielders: Han Peng, Liu Yanqiu, Luo Guiping, Tan Ruyin, Yao Wei, Zhang Rui.
Forwards: Gu Yasha, Li Ying, Lou Jiahui, Song Duan, Wang Shanshan, Wang Shuang, Yang Li.