Sweden meet USA in their final group F match at the Women’s World Cup on Thursday night, kicking off in Le Havre, France at 9:00pm local time. Both sides have already qualified for the last 16, but top spot is up for grabs, meaning a potentially easier route to the final.

Sweden

Sweden are one of the outsiders to win the tournament, priced at 28/1. There are 10 other teams that are more likely to win, but not many teams have achieved wins in their first two group games, but Sweden have done just that. In their opening fixture, they grinded out a hard-fought victory against Chile, winning 2-0 – two goals in the latter stages. Following that, they faced against a Thailand side who had lost 13-0 to USA in their opening match.

They won by a score line of 5-1 which is usually pleasing, but they’ll have feel annoyed having conceded a goal to the minnows of the tournament. Sweden did make history though, by scoring three goals in the first half of that match, the first time they have ever done it. Sweden will now surely test themselves against USA, and earning a reputable result here would give them huge confidence to go all the way. A win, and they would be top, but anything less means they’ll have to settle for 2nd place.

USA

USA are the favourites to win the tournament at 2/1, and that’s no surprise as they are the current champions, and also have won this competition a total of three times. Their current crop of players, including attacking menaces Christine Press, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, will give nightmares to any opposition defenders.

Scoring 16 goals in their opening two games speaks volumes, and they are just a couple of goals away from breaking the record of most goals in a World Cup group stage, previously set by Norway. Their first match saw them decimate Thailand 13-0, before beating Chile 3-0 this past Sunday. USA will target 1st place, and stamp their authority further more by getting a 3rd consecutive win. Can USA be stopped?

Head to Head

Sweden and USA have met each other five times in World Cup history, as these two sides have qualified for every edition since 1991. All of their meetings have been in the group stage, with USA winning on three occasions, Sweden winning the once, and also one draw. USA and Sweden first met in the Women’s World Cup back in 1991, when USA won 3-2 in the group stage, and then would go on to win the cup.

Their four other meetings have been in the last four World Cups. In 2003 and 2007, USA beat Sweden 3-1 and 2-0 respectively. However, Sweden finally managed to beat USA on their fourth attempt back in 2011, winning famously 2-1. At last year’s World Cup, we saw the first ever stalemate between the two sides, as they drew 0-0, but both progressed from the group.

Predictions and Betting Tips

USA are strong favourites at 4/11 to get the victory, with the Swedes priced at 13/2 to get another famous victory. For the sides to draw, that is priced at 19/5. USA will feel aggrieved that they haven’t beaten Sweden at the last two World Cups, and I anticipate getting a comfortable victory here.

My score line prediction would be a 2-0 win for the USA, at 13/2. For the tipster, if you opt for a 2-0 score to Sweden, you can get odds of about 50/1. You never know, right? To boost your odds on a USA victory, you can back them to score 3+ goals (5/4), win to nil (11/8), or win both halves at 15/8.

Finally, for goal scorers, you can back both Christen Press and Carli Lloyd of the USA to score at 5/1.

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