Women's World Cup: USA seeks more success against Sweden
The Women's World Cup group stage concludes Thursday in Group F when the United States faces Sweden. This is a battle of the top two teams in the group, and the outcome of this match will determine who wins Group F.(USA -485, Sweden +750, Draw +400)
World Cup free play: USA 3-0 (+775)The USWNT has been taking care of business so far in their title defense. The Americans defeated Thailand 13-0 and dispatched Chile 3-0 to form a +16 goal differential. That differential is what has them currently sitting atop the Group F standings over Sweden. This is the matchup everyone has been anticipating, as these two teams have met five times previously in World Cups.
The USWNT hold a 3-1-1 record over the Swedes in those matches. To defeat Sweden and win Group F, the USWNT will need to rely more on its back line to hold the pressure from Sweden's attackers, while the midfielders and forwards need to continue to be ruthless as they finish their chances. The Americans weren't as clinical against Chile, and Sweden will not give them as many chances. Finish the ones they have, and they can score some goals.
For Sweden this is a chance to get a win over a team that has become a rival over the years, particularly at the World Cup. To beat the defending champions and emerge as winners of the group will be a hard task. Sweden defeated Chile 2-0 and Thailand 5-1, so a draw won't give them first place because of goal differential. The Swedes will also need goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl to be great to give them a chance, allowing stars like captain Caroline Seger, Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson to flourish in the attacking third.
This will be a great competition between two of the top 10 teams in the world, one that's always good to watch if you're a neutral. In the end the United States is going to get a goal in the first half (+195) and then two more in the second half to pull away late for a 3-0 victory.