Sweden vs. North Korea
The FIFA Women’s World Cup continues with play from Group C, this one sees North Korea coming off a 2-0 loss against USA take on Sweden at the SGL Arena in Augsburg, Germany who only managed to secure a 1-0 win over debutants Colombia.
Even though North Korea ended up with a 2-0 loss the score wasn’t indicative of how well they played. This team showed a very high work rate, pressing higher up the pitch when not in possession and staying compact. If it weren’t for the fantastic play of USA Forward Lauren Cheney this team might have picked up a positive result, if they keep playing in this manner they will be a tough team to go up against as the tournament move along. Coach Kim Kwang Min will look to the likes of Ri Un Hyang, Kim Su Gyong and captain Jo Yun Mi to lead this team in attack, these players will need to continues making crisp passes and use the width of the field in order to create space and scoring chances.
As for Sweden, they only managed to come away with a 1-0 win over a Colombian team making their first appearance at a Women’s World Cup. The story coming from this game was Sweden’s lack of finishing ability, especially from the forward partnership of Lotta Schelin and Jessica Landström. Both players had numerous chances to score multiple goals but just had no composure in front of goal; the chance Landström had in the opening ten minutes of the first half just outside the six-yard box that she subsequently managed to blast over the bar is Exhibit A. If this team is to progress Coach Thomas Dennerby will need those two players to be much better at leading the line, this team will also need to be a lot more disciplined in their tackling. Against Colombia they committed too many reckless fouls, the likes of Caroline Seger stand out as a player that needs to defend in a smarter fashion.
Neither side will have an easy time of it as this looks to be a grind it out affair, I’m going with Sweden in this one because I like their size advantage. North Korea has the advantage in endurance but might have problems on set pieces and in aerial battles. I’ll take Sweden to get the win here.
Sweden -110 North Korea