Spain vs South Africa Preview

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
Spain vs South Africa FIFA Womens World Cup

Two nations will be after their first World Cup victories when Spain takes on South Africa on Saturday. This is Spain’s second trip to the Women’s World Cup, and La Roja are looking for a win after exiting with an 0-1-2 record in the group stage at this event in 2015. Meanwhile, South Africa are making their first appearance at the Women’s World Cup. Any result for Banyana Banyana would be met with jubilation, as they are considered one of the weakest teams at this year’s competition.

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Spain vs. South Africa

  • Date and Time: June 8, 2019, 12 p.m. ET
  • Location: Stade Oceane, Le Havre, France
  • US Television Coverage: FOX
  • Betting Line: Spain -2 and -2.5, O/U 3

Recent Form

South Africa have yet to win a game in 2019. Banyana Banyana are 0-3-6 this year, and some of those losses were to teams that did not qualify for the World Cup. The most promising result was a scoreless draw against Sweden in Cape Town back in January, but that team did not have some of its best players. In their last two games before the World Cup, South Africa were pummeled. While you could say that a 3-0 loss to the United States isn’t terrible given the strength of the Americans, a 7-2 loss to a Norway team that doesn’t have its best player seems rather foreboding.

That’s one of the reasons why Spain are such sizable favorites coming into this match. La Roja have performed good, but not great, this year, yet their results have been considerably better than those of South Africa. Spain were able to beat quality teams like Brazil and the Netherlands, and they drew against contenders Canada and Japan in their last two games before the World Cup.

Spain Player to Watch

Captain Marta Torrejon is a Spanish soccer legend. Torrejon first played top flight soccer at the age of 14, and she has been one of Spain’s top players for 15 years. She has won a plethora of silverware during her time at Espanyol at Barcelona, and Torrejon is Spain’s most capped player too. She will be the centerpiece of Spain’s back line, but she won’t be afraid to move forward and help on set pieces.

South Africa Player to Watch

Janine van Wyk is the most proven commodity on South Africa’s team by a wide margin. She is the most capped player in South African history, and she will try to keep Banyana Banyana from being run through. American soccer fans may know her from her two years with the Houston Dash, and she is sure to keep busy. This is not a good back line so it will be up to her to break up attacks.

Spain vs. South Africa Free Picks

I would be stunned to see South Africa pick up a result here. This team just doesn’t have a lot of talent, and they could be torn up in the back. Up front, Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana have potential, but both players need more seasoning.

The Spanish are fielding a young team too. Only one player on the roster is 30, so we could see nerves and inexperience early on. However, this midfield is great at maintaining possession, and Alexia Putellas and Jennifer Hermoso will create chances.
This is likely South Africa’s best chance to score a goal at the World Cup, but I don’t see it happening. Look for Spain to cruise to a victory.

Spain vs. South Africa Prediction: Spain 3, South Africa 0

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