Two nations with plenty of Women’s World Cup experience behind them meet in the quarter-finals on Friday as Japan clash with Sweden at Eden Park in Auckland.
While Japan were crowned champions back in 2011 and then runners-up in 2015, Sweden finished third in the most recent Women’s World Cup in France four years ago.
They followed that with a run to the semi-finals at Euro 2022 and are fresh from knocking out defending champions USA this year.
But their upcoming opponents Japan will be tough to break down, having themselves finished top of Group C ahead of Spain, Costa Rica and Zambia before beating Norway last time out.
This is set to be a blockbuster quarter-final tie that should not disappoint.
Japan are not expected to make any changes to the team that beat Norway with Hana Takahashi set to start in the team’s back three for the third successive match, while Women’s World Cup top-scorer Hinata Miyazawa will be looking to add to her tally.
Peter Gerhardsson is also expected to name an unchanged lineup for Sweden with Stina Blackstenius and Fridolina Rolfo set to start up top.
Japan to win @ 13/10
Japan lost 3-1 against Sweden at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 but they look in a good position to exact their revenge when the teams clash in the last eight in Auckland.
The Japanese have come a long way under head coach Futoshi Ikeda, having won all four of their matches in the tournament.
They won their three Group C fixtures against Zambia, Costa Rica and Spain by an aggregate scoreline of 11-0 and were similarly ruthless in the last 16, beating Norway 3-1.
At the back they have been solid with their expected goals against figure at 0.73 and they look a worthwhile bet to beat Sweden.
Peter Gerhardsson’s side pulled off one of the surprise results of the tournament last time out, beating defending champions the USA on penalties in the last 16.
But that was a more physical contest and in the quarter-finals they could struggle to match the energy of Japan after playing 120 minutes against the Stars and Stripes.
Hinata Miyazawa to score at anytime @ 5/2
Japan have been racking up the goals at this Women’s World Cup and Hinata Miyazawa has been one of their biggest threats in the final third.
She is the leading scorer in the tournament with her 81st-minute strike against Norway last time her fifth goal so far.
She is in great form and looks a value bet to net at anytime against Sweden.