Sweden vs. Canada
|Date & Time||Monday June 24, 2019, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
Parc des Princes
The Line: Canada +148 / Sweden +227 / Draw +194 -- Over/Under: 2
Sweden and Canada meet Monday in FIFA Women's World Cup at Parc des Princes.
Sweden advanced to the knockout stages after beating Chile and Thailand, and Blågult have a chance to make the quarterfinals of the World Cup for a fifth straight time. It’s hard to judge exactly where Sweden is at in terms of current form given that it did play some of its younger players in the match against the US, and who knows what would have happened in the opening match against Chile if it weren’t for a rain delay. Sweden was a different team once they returned after a 45 minute break due to lightning, and they found the back of the net twice late. Still, we know Sweden is a solid defensive side, can be quite physical and has difference makers in Kosovare Asllani and Stina Blackstenius. Sweden isn’t a team to overlook in these knockout stages.
Canada beat Cameroon and New Zealand to advance to the knockout stages and looks to make it back-to-back quarterfinal trips in the World Cup. Canada has had the edge in ball possession in all three matches, has a combined 12 shots on goal and all four of its goals this tournament have come from a different player. Before its loss to the Netherlands, Canada was riding an 11-match unbeaten streak and didn’t allow a single goal in each of its last four matches. The Canadiens do have offensive potential and can be more exciting than what they’ve shown, but this team is so heavily focused on defense and usually have six players sitting back, making life tough for the opponent but even tougher on the eyes of a fan watching. The lack of aggressiveness offensively will be Canada’s downfall.
These teams met in March in the Algarve Cup, a match Canada won on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw. Sweden beat Canada 3-1 in the 2018 Algarve Cup. As for major matches, Canada beat Sweden in a 2017 friendly, while these teams had a 2-2 draw in the 2012 Olympics. Sweden beat Canada in the 2008 Olympics and the 2003 World Cup. Sweden is 12-4-3 against Canada all-time.
Offense is going to be tough to come by in this match given that Sweden is so big and physical and does a good job of getting back. Canada is also extremely conservative defensively and isn’t going to allow Sweden to get loose. This could very well end up being a scoreless game heading into penalty kicks the way the match played out back in March.
I’ll side with the under.