United States vs Sweden Preview - FIFA Womens World Cup

Monday, June 17th, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
FIFA Womens World Cup United States vs Sweden

The United States and Sweden will duke it out to determine the top spot in Group F on Thursday. Both teams have won their first two matches and are through to the knockout rounds, but in an interesting twist, winning the group might not be the best route forward. While the winner of this group is likely to meet hosts France in the quarterfinals, the runner-up will probably meet a struggling Germany. That could lead to some gamesmanship.

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United States vs. Sweden

  • Date and Time: June 20, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Stade Oceane, Le Havre, France
  • US Television Coverage: FOX
  • Betting Line: United States -1.5, O/U 2.5 and 3
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The United States entered the Women’s World Cup as slight favorites over hosts France, but people are flocking to bet on the USWNT at online sportsbooks now after two overwhelming performances in their first two matches. The Stars and Stripes secured the biggest blowout victory in World Cup history with a 13-0 win over Thailand in the opener, and they followed that up with a 3-0 win over Chile on Sunday.

There were a lot of changes to the starting XI between the first and second matches. Jill Ellis fielded seven new starters and only two players took the same position that they did in the opener on Sunday. Still, the USWNT controlled the match from start to finish, but they were unable to cover the soccer betting line due to a world-class performance from Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler.

Endler shut the door on the United States in the second half and stopped Christen Press from point-blank range a few times. However, the damage had been done in the first half as Carli Lloyd scored twice in the first 35 minutes to score in a record sixth consecutive World Cup match, while Julie Ertz added another goal.

Sweden had much more difficult against Chile than their American counterparts. While the Swedes enjoyed the majority of possession, they were unable to crack the back line and beat Endler until the 83rd minute when Kosovare Asllani finally netted a goal. Madelen Janogy added another in extra time for a 2-0 win.

It was a much better performance against Thailand, as Sweden controlled that match from the opening whistle in a 5-1 victory. Asllani and four others found the back of the net, but the Swedes will play a much different game against the United States. When they met at the 2015 World Cup, they successfully stalled out the game in a 0-0 draw.

United States Player to Watch

Alyssa Naeher will receive her first real test on Thursday. Naeher replaced Hope Solo as the starting goalkeeper for the USWNT after being a back-up for the last decade, but she has yet to face a real challenge. Thailand and Chile combined to put two shots on goal, and neither team had a real quality chance. Sweden will prove to be a much more difficult opponent.

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Sweden Player to Watch

Asllani is the star for Sweden. The midfielder has spent stretches of her professional career with the Chicago Red Stars, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City, and she is the leading goal scorer on the national team. She has 32 goals for in 126 appearances with Sweden. Asllani is continually probing back lines looking to find weaknesses and she will present the USWNT with a challenge or two.

United States vs. Sweden Free Picks

It will take a little time for the USWNT to adjust to a better opponent, but I believe they will eventually pull away in the second half.

United States vs. Sweden Prediction: United States 3, Sweden 1

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