Two sides that are looking to get off the mark at the 2023 Women’s World Cup will lock horns in the early hours of Friday morning (01.00) as Argentina face South Africa at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The South Americans were narrowly beaten by Italy in their opening game, while South Africa were edged out by Sweden.
Both sides go into this clash knowing it is a must-win if they are to have a fighting chance of progressing out of Group G.
Miriam Mayorga, Eliana Stabile, Florencia Bonsegundo and Mariana Larroquette are all one booking away from a one-match suspension, so Argentina boss German Portanova could make changes to his starting XI.
Following their narrow 2-1 defeat to Sweden, South Africa manager Desiree Ellis will be aiming to tighten up her side’s defence ahead of this crunch clash.
In addition, Refiloe Jane and Kholosa Biyana are both one yellow card away from being suspended after being cautioned in their opening game.
Argentina to win @ 21/20
Both countries will be looking to claim their first wins at a World Cup finals, and I think that the honour will go to Argentina, who have still been in promising form despite losing to Italy, having won five of their last seven internationals.
Meanwhile, South Africa have lost three of their last four matches, and have only kept one clean sheet in their last six encounters.
I think Argentina’s quality will shine through here, which is why I’m backing them to take all three points.
Over 2.5 goals @ 13/8
Prior to the defeat against Italy, Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 and Peru 4-0, so the stats suggest that they know where the back of the net is.
Also, as mentioned, South Africa have struggled to keep things compact at the back, only keeping one clean sheet in six matches. Over 2.5 goals has come in, in three of South Africa’s last four matches, too.
Therefore, I can see a few goals in this one.