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United States vs. France 2016 Olympics: Game time, TV schedule and live stream

The biggest matchup of the group stages kicks off at 4pm this afternoon.

The United States Women’s National Team got off to a good start in their quest to claim a fifth Olympic gold medal, seeing off New Zealand 2-0 three days ago. This being an international tournament, of course, the turn-around is quick, and they’ll face likely their sternest test of the group stage this afternoon when they’ll meet France.

Les Bleues are the third-ranked team in the world, behind only the U.S. and Germany, and they’re going to be full of confidence heading into today, having dismantled Colombia 4-0 in the group stage opener.

France is capable of beating anyone in the world — including the USWNT — on their day, so Jill Ellis’ side will have to stay locked in more than they were on Wednesday, when they pulled their foot off the gas after a dominant opening 20 minutes. Of course, there’s a reason the Americans are ranked #1, and they’ll be favored to win this game and claim the top spot in the group.

One question to consider between now and kickoff is whether we’ll see some squad rotation after the short time between games. Both Tobin Heath and Morgan Brian are unquestioned starters when they’re healthy, but both just returned from injuries to start on Wednesday. Jill Ellis could start one or both again, knowing that a win today essentially assures the team will advance to the knock-out rounds and allows them to rest in the third group stage game.

The flip side is the risk of re-injuring one or both with short rest just after returning to full fitness. Either way, the U.S. will have world class talent in both positions, with Crystal Dunn ready to go on the wing and Lindsey Horan a possibility in central midfield.

Location: Minerão (Belo Horizonte, Brazil)

Kickoff time: 4:00pm Eastern

Available TV: NBCSN (English), NBC Universo (Spanish)

Available streaming: NBCOlympics.com (English), NBC Sports Live Extra app (English)

Our gamethread will post 90 minutes before kickoff.