Sweden vs. Australia
The FIFA Women’s World Cup continues with the Quarterfinals, this match sees Sweden match up against Australia at the SGL Arena in Augsburg, Germany.
Sweden come into this match as winners of Group C and are on a high after beating USA 2-1 in their final group game, however taking a closer look at this team shows that they aren’t clinical enough in front of goal and don’t look as formidable as their reputation would suggest. The likes of Jessica Landström and Lotta Schelin have failed to impress and live up to their high standards as a forward partnership, so much so that in the last match Landström found the substitutes bench and was replaced by Josefine Öqvist. For all their offensive challenges Coach Thomas Dennerby will have liked his teams defensive play, if this team is to go any further they will need to stay defensively compact and guard against attacks down the wings. Sweden is one of the best sides in Europe, if there is any time to show their pedigree this is it.
As for Australia, they had a big come from behind victory over Norway by a 2-1 score line. The Aussies have proven to be a tough side during the group stages, playing Brazil very close in their first group match and managing a win over a very lively Equatorial Guinea squad despite a blown call by the referee. Coach Tom Sermanni will have liked his squads mental approach throughout the tournament and going into this match, with players like Heather Garriock, Lisa De Vanna and Melissa Barbieri leading the way they will feel confident they can reach the Semifinal stages for the first time in their history. However the Matildas will rely on young players like Emily Van Egmond, Tameka Butt and Caitlin Foord to provide energy and life for the whole match, these players have had good tournaments so far and play important roles to the overall success of the side.
Sweden may feel they go an easier match by winning their group but could be in for a big surprise, as Australia will be looking to pull off a Scandinavian “double”. In an upset I’m taking the Aussies in this one, they look the more complete team at this point and unlike Sweden have had an easier time of it in front of goal.
Australia +350 Sweden