Spain vs. South Africa
|Date & Time||Saturday June 8, 2019, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
Le Havre, France
The Line: Spain -850 / South Africa +2119 / Draw +732 -- Over/Under: 3
Spain and South Africa meet Saturday in FIFA Women's World Cup at Stade Oceane.
Spain has a ways to go before catching up to what its accomplished on the men’s side, but this is a team that’s now in back-to-back World Cups, so clear progress is being made. Spain is also one of the hotter teams entering the tournament, as it destroyed World Cup qualifying without a single loss and proved itself recently with one-goal losses to the United States and England. Spain has been able to flex its muscle defensively and has a major advantage with 10 of its key players on the Barcelona roster. This is a close group that’s used to playing together. Spain can be limited offensively at times, but Jennifer Hermoso is one of the more talented players in this field and Alexia Putellas was a key scorer during qualifying. Spain also receives a major boost with the addition of Patri Guijarro, who was questionable with a right foot injury.
South Africa is in its first ever World Cup, so regardless of what happens moving forward, this should be looked at as a success for Banyana Banyana. The bad news is that South Africa hasn’t won a match since November and is coming off absolute beatdowns at the hands of Norway, the United States, Finland and North Korea. If this sort of form continues, it’s obviously going to be an extremely quick exit for this club. Janine van Wyk is the most experienced South African in soccer history with 159 caps and Thembi Kgatlana is a young, capable striker with seven goals in 15 caps. Noko Matlou also provides experience, defense and goal scoring ability, and even at 33 years old, she still has enough speed in those legs to stretch a defense. Still, it’s tough to be optimistic with South Africa when you see the results of this club over the last couple of months. It’s not pretty.
There’s no match history between these two teams.
It’s quite clear who should win this match, but I’m looking at the under in terms of betting. Spain can go into scoring droughts with its lack of playmaking depth and South Africa has to rely on its cohesion and defensive effort for this tournament to be successful. I expect South Africa to come into this match with a very safe game plan and focus most of its effort staying back and defending.
Spain should win, but this could be a low scoring match.