Sweden and Netherlands meet in the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Wednesday, kicking off at 9:00pm local time in Lyon, France. The winners of this match will face either USA or England in the World Cup final this upcoming Sunday.
Sweden were dark horses prior to the tournament starting, and many will be shocked that they have reached the semi-final. This is not unknown territory for the Swedes, as they have been in the semi-finals four times before, but have only progressed further than this point on one occasion – as they reached the final in 2003. Sweden did lose to USA in their final group stage match 2-0, but with qualification already sealed, they managed to regroup for some difficult fixtures in the last of 16 and then ultimately the quarter finals.
A narrow win over Canada was somewhat expected, but coming from behind to beat one of the favourites, Germany, came as a shock to the onlookers, as Sweden were elated with a fantastic achievement. Now, they’ll have every right to believe they can go all the way and win this championship. Striker Stina Blackstenius will look to score in the 3rd consecutive knock-out game in a row, and will hope to be supported by the threatening Kosovare Asllani.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Netherlands won the European Championship in their own home back in 2017, and that effect on the nation as supporters, and of course the team itself, has worked wonders for this World Cup. Previously, their World Cup appearances were almost non-existent, with their only previous qualification in 2015, where they were knocked out in the round of 16 to Japan. However, four years on, four years wiser and stronger, with a winning mentality, they managed to overcome Japan in their toughest fixture, and then beat Italy in the quarter finals in the soaring heat to reach their first ever semi-finals in the World Cup.
Like the USA and England in the other semi-final, Netherlands have won every game at this World Cup within the 90 minutes. Sherida Spitse is the leading in the assists chart in this World Cup, having created four goals so far, and will hope to set up the likes of Vivianne Miedema, Shanice van de Sanden and Lieke Martens to score and create more history for this team.
Head to Head
This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams at a World Cup, however, they did meet at the 2017 European Championships in the quarter finals where Netherlands won 2-0 with Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema getting the all-important goals, as the Dutch went on to win the tournament in their own country. Aside of that, they haven’t met on the biggest stage, but Netherlands have had the better in recent friendly and qualification meetings, winning two of the last three, with the other game being a draw.
Predictions and Betting Tips
It’s a tight semi-final but Netherlands are tipped as slight favourites at 13/10, with a draw, and a Netherlands win both priced at 21/10. To qualify for the final, Netherlands are at 4/6, with Sweden at 11/10. Netherlands look the more accomplished team, and I fancy them to get the better of Sweden again in a narrow 2-1 victory, at 9/1.
It may be worth having a cheeky punt on this match to get to extra time, with Netherlands (9/1), and Sweden (12/1), at kind odds to win at this stage, with them both at 9/1 to win via a penalty shoot-out. During the game, expect there to be a VAR review used at 8/11, a penalty taken at 9/4, or a goal to be scored in the first 10 minutes at 7/2.
Finally, for the tipsters, you can back Sweden to win from behind again, as they did against Germany, at 18/1, or back Netherlands to run riot and win by a 3+ goal margin at 12/1, as they did in the semi-finals of the European Championships two years ago.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot] [geot country="US,CA" ]
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