Sweden will face the Netherlands for a spot in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final today. In terms of FIFA rankings, they come neck to neck: Netherlands coming in at number eight, while Sweden follows at number nine. While the Swedes hope to play in their second final, the Netherlands is looking to make history by following up their Euro 2017 title by reaching that last match for the first time.
There are two key players to keep an eye on. For Sweden, it’s the brilliant Sophia Jakobsson. The 29-year-old winger has been a fantastic asset to her team, thriving under pressure by rising to the occasion. Jakobsson opened up the score during their quarterfinal match, becoming the first player of the tournament to score against Germany. Her pace, technical ability and deep understanding of the beautiful game enable her to become a true threat for the Netherlands. During her post-match interview, Jakobsson revealed that she is inspired by her brother’s fight for his life, making her hunger for the trophy deeper.
On the other hand, however, the Oranje boast striker Vivianne Miedema and 5 consecutive victories. The Dutch eased through their group stage matches before riding their luck against Japan and then dispatching with Italy in the quarterfinals. That match saw the Oranje dominate their opponent, holding 59 percent of possession and out-shooting the Italians 21-6. Miedema took advantage of her side’s control, scoring a second half header.
Both sides possess a fierce roster that will contribute to the semi-final’s intensity. Sweden and the Netherlands are looking to make history. I predict a 2-1 win for the Oranje.
Location: Parc Olympique Lyonnais (Décines-Charpieu)
Kickoff time: 3:00pm Eastern
Projected Sweden starting 11: (433) - Helvig Lindahl; Nathalie Bjorn, Amanda Ilestedt, Linda Sembrant, Jonna Andersson; Julia Zigiotti Olme, Kosovare Asllani, Caroline Seger; Sofia Jakobsson, Stina Blackstenius, Olivia Schough
Projected Netherlands starting 11: Sari van Veenedaal; Merel van Dongen, Dominique Bloodworth, Stefanie van der Gragt, Desiree van Lunteren; Sherida Spitse, Danielle van de Donk, Jackie Groenen; Shanice van de Sanden, Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens
Available TV: Fox Sports 1, Telemundo
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Here are your other options: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer Match Pass, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
What are you drinking?: The emotions will be too high for caffeine, so I will opt for a soothing mint tea.
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