PREVIEW – Wednesday’s scoreless draw against Portugal saw the United States Women’s National Team qualify for the World Cup knockout stage. However, it also marked the end of the worst group stage effort in their history with just five points accumulated and a plus-three goal difference. Fans and pundits alike have rightfully criticized the USWNT who entered the tournament as back-to-back defending champions and the number one ranked team in the world. The United States will start the single-elimination knockout stage on Sunday in Melbourne against Sweden. In recent years the Swedes have been responsible for the few competitive defeats in major tournaments for the US. Here is everything you need to know before Sweden vs United States.
Sweden vs United States Predictions and Best Odds for August 6
— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) August 1, 2023
Sweden’s Current Run of Form
Sweden had a near-perfect group stage performance. They went 3/0/0 and only allowed one goal in their 2-1 defeat over South Africa who finished in second. Their next two matches were both shutout victories. First defeating Italy 5-0 and then Argentina 2-0. Sweden has been led in scoring by Amanda Ilestedt who has scored three goals in her third World Cup.
— U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (@USWNT) August 3, 2023
United States Current Run of Form
The United States started off the group by defeating tournament debutants Vietnam 3-0. The normally impressive score line was underwhelming considering the inexperience of Vietnam and left early doubts about the USWNT’s form. They followed this with a draw against eventual group winners Netherlands 1-1. Then a scoreless draw against Portugal became a bittersweet qualification for the knockout stage after a near Portuguese goal in the closing stages. The 1/0/2 performance was led by Co-Captain Lindsey Horan and 22-year-old debutant Sophia Smith with two goals each.
Recent Head to Head
The United States is 23/7/12 all-time against Sweden and 4/2/4 in their last ten matches. The last time the two nations met in a major tournament was at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Sweden defeated the US 3-0 in the group stages opening match. The United States would go on to be eliminated by Canada and finish in third.
Sweden vs United States Prediction
Despite coming into the World Cup as the number one ranked nation in the world, the United States is essentially the underdogs going into the Round of 16. Sweden has had a great tournament so far with great defensive play after allowing only one goal. Meanwhile, the US has struggled to score against equal or inferior opponents. Many of the stars of the last two championship squads have either retired or are making way for a younger generation of American talent. The world it seems has caught up to the USWNT and it could be the end of an era of dominance for American women. Unless there is a major shift in tactics and morale among the US, a Sweden victory would not be the least bit shocking.
Current Odds: Sweden vs United States
USA +117, Draw +210, Sweden +240
Photo Credit: Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports. Aug 3, 2023; Auckland, NZL; From left, United States players Lynn Williams (6) and Lindsey Horan (10) take questions from journalists amid the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
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