The path is clear for Germany. Germany are looking to win their third World Cup (tying the United States for most all-time), and they have a very fortuitous draw. The Germans were placed in the bottom half of the bracket and won’t have to go through France, the US, or England to get to the finals. They are the biggest favorite of any team in the Quarterfinals, but Sweden will be out to play spoiler.
Germany vs. Sweden
Date and Time: June 29, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Roazhon Park, Rennes, France
US Television Coverage: FS1
Betting Line: Germany -0.5 and -1, O/U 2
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Sweden were once one of the most feared teams in the world. While they are still a solid squad, they don’t illicit the trepidation from opponents they did in the past. They are probably the weakest side left in terms of their ability to score, although they do have eight goals at this World Cup.
The Swedes didn’t score against Chile until the 83rd minute in a game they won 2-0, and a 5-1 win over Thailand is not indicative of the issues they have had on offense. Sweden had just a couple of decent chances in a 2-0 loss to the United States in their final Group Stage match, and they had a defensive tussle with Canada in the Round of 16. Neither side looked great on the attack in a game where the chances were few and far between, but Stina Blackstenius netted in the 55th minute for the game’s lone goal.
It’s been over a year since Germany last lost a match. They have yet to lose, or even allow a goal, at this World Cup and that makes Sweden’s job very difficult.
That being said, Germany have not looked unstoppable. They were largely sluggish in their opener against China, and they didn’t look too sharp in their next match against Spain. Germany won both games by a score line of 1-0.
Germany have been more prolific on offense in their last two matches, but they weren’t facing quality opposition. They cruised in a 4-0 win over South Africa to close out the Group Stage and there was little cause for concern in a 3-0 victory over Nigeria in the Round of 16.
Germany Player to Watch
After missing the last three games, star midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan is set to return to the pitch. Marozsan suffered a broken toe after a rough challenge in Germany’s first match against China, and she has been held out since that point. Having her back will be huge as she is the most creative attacking options on this team. Marozsan was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year for helping Olympique Lyon to yet another Champions League title, and she is out for an individual double.
Sweden Player to Watch
If you’re going to penalties, the goalkeeper you want to have is Hedvig Lindahl. Lindahl is 36 years old and likely at her last World Cup, and she was the Player of the Match against Canada in the Round of 16. She made an incredible penalty save in that match to preserve Sweden’s 1-0 lead, and she was known for her prowess at stopping penalties with Chelsea. Lindahl gets incredible extension and can nearly shut down one side of the net.
Germany vs. Sweden Free Picks
With Marozsan back, I think Germany will find their rhythm on offense once more. They will shut Sweden down and advance to face either Italy or the Netherlands in their semifinals.
Germany vs. Sweden Prediction: Germany 2, Sweden 0
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