Either the United States or Sweden will claim first place in Group F on Thursday, thus assuring themselves of a more difficult draw than they deserve. Both teams are sitting on six points following wins over Thailand and Chile, and the USWNT will win the group with any result thanks to their incredible +16 goal differential. However, while the runner-up in the group will likely face a somewhat vulnerable Germany in the quarterfinals, the group winner will face hosts France. That’s far from optimal.
Don't miss this Women’s World Cup match from Stade Oceane in Le Havre, France at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 20, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on FOX.
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
United States -344
Over/Under 2.5 and 3
The United States has been the talk of the tournament through two matches. The Stars and Stripes hammered Thailand 13-0 in their opener, posting the biggest blowout in World Cup history, and they knocked off Chile 3-0 on Sunday. Their 16 goals are more than any other two teams at the competition combined.
Jill Ellis made some major changes to the USWNT starting XI against Chile. There were seven new starters on the field, and only two players started in the same position that they did against Thailand last Tuesday. Regardless, the Americans dominated the match from start to finish, but Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler kept this from being a rout.
Endler made numerous incredible stops in the second half to ensure the USWNT was unable to cover the soccer betting line. However, the damage was done in the first half as Carli Lloyd notched a brace in her record sixth consecutive World Cup game with at least one goal, while Julie Ertz added another. Chile managed just one shot in the match and put no shots on goal.
Sweden had a lot more difficulty getting past Chile in their opener. They controlled the ball for long stretches, but they were unable to break through La Roja’s defense until late in the game. Kosovare Asllani finally put Sweden up 1-0 in the 83rd minute, and Madelen Janogy added another in stoppage time to seal the win.
Things were much easier against Thailand. They outmuscled an overmatched Thailand side and netted five goals in a 5-1 victory that locked up a spot in the knockout rounds.
Sweden Player to Watch
Asllani is the most talented player on Sweden, and she will be the focal point of the attack. The midfielder has spent time with both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, and she is the leading scorer on this roster with 32 goals in her national team career. She netted against both Chile and Thailand, but she can set things up for her teammates just as well.
United States Player to Watch
It’s time to see just how good Alyssa Naeher can perform. The USWNT’s starting goalkeeper has not been tested through the team’s first two matches, but she will be tried at least a few times in this match. This is one of the few unknowns for the United States, as Hope Solo was the starter for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
This will be an actual challenge for the USWNT. Sweden will not let the Americans continually control the ball without a real fight, and they will present a few problems for this back line. It will take the Stars and Stripes a little time to ratchet their game up, but they will be too much in the second half.
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Odds: United States 3, Sweden 1
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