Canada vs. France
The FIFA Women’s World Cup continues with a crucial Group A showdown, Canada tries to rebound from their 2-1 defeat to Germany when they take on France in Bochum, Germany who themselves are one step away from qualifying for the Quarterfinals.
Canada was beaten by a very strong German side but weren’t completely dominated as most were expecting, they showed skill on the ball and actually had the advantage in possession but were exposed defensively. However the one aspect that was taken away from this game is the toughness and class of captain Christine Sinclair, taking an elbow to the face and subsequently breaking her nose she refused medical attention to get back on the pitch and scored a fantastic goal from a free kick. Now Canada turn their attention to France in a match they must get a result from, scoring the goal against Germany made it a respectable goal differential but getting a win would relieve the massive pressure the team is under. Coach Carolina Morace will need her defense to have much better communication, especially the wingbacks Emily Zurrer and Marie-Eve Nault who were caught up field too often and failed when executing the offside trap. All signs point to Christine Sinclair playing in Canada’s final two matches, however she will most likely be donning a protective mask.
As for France, they came away with a narrow 1-0 victory against Nigeria in a match that they arguably should have dominated, especially in the latter stages. The stand out players for Les Bleues were the midfield combination of Louisa Necib and Camille Abily, both contributed to the goal and their speed, skill on the ball and overall play was very impressive. France are now in a position to seal qualification for the Quarterfinals if they defeat Canada and Germany don’t drop three points against Nigeria, Coach Bruno Bini will like how his team stacks up in this match with the strength in midfield and speed up front. He will be looking for Necib, Abily and goal scorer Marie-Laure Delie to continue linking up and get a spark off the bench from the likes of Eugénie Le Sommer.
This is a tough match to call, Canada showed that they won’t back down even when they losing 2-0 and actually made Germany a little nervous in the last ten minutes of the match while France are in a good position with their midfield displaying how creative they can be. I like the over in this match, both teams will get their chances and with a game under their belts the finishing ability will be much better.