Norway Women take on Philippines Women at Eden Park on Sunday morning (08.00) in what could be a crucial match in Group A.
Norway are still looking to score their first goal of the competition coming into this encounter, let alone secure their first win, while the Philippines can secure qualification to the knockout stages with a victory.
Ada Hegerberg remains a doubt for Norway after suffering a groin injury in the warm-up against Switzerland, so it looks like Sophie Roman Haug will lead the line once again for Hege Riise’s side.
Meanwhile, the Philippines appear to have no fresh injury concerns with Sarina Bolden start in attack after scoring the crucial goal against co-hosts New Zealand.
Olivia Davies-McDaniel will start between the sticks, while Katrina Guillou looks set to support Bolden in the final third.
Norway to win and under 2.5 goals @ 21/10
Norway Women are on the edge of elimination from the World Cup after a terrible start in which they have drawn with Switzerland and lost to New Zealand, so they will be fully aware how vital a victory is here.
The stats suggest the Grasshoppers know how to get the job done – they have progressed through to the knockout phase in seven of the previous eight Women’s World Cup final competitions; the exception being 2011.
This World Cup in general has been low-scoring, and with Norway’s struggles in front of goal, I can see this being a low-scoring affair.
The Philippines shock 1-0 victory over New Zealand gives them a great chance of advancing past the group stage, but given what’s at stake for both sides here, I’m expecting a cagey affair, with Norway’s quality eventually shining through.
Sophie Ramon Haug to be first goalscorer @ 10/3
With Ada Hegerberg still a potential doubt – and a huge miss – for Norway, the weight of breaking the goalscoring duck lies firmly at the feet of Sophie Ramon Haug.
The 24-year-old has proven she can be a reliable goalscorer at this level, bagging three in two appearances during the qualification stage.
She’s only scored once in her last five matches, but that is not for lack of trying – she had two shots on target in the 0-0 draw with Switzerland, and also registered at least one shot on target in three of her last four matches prior to that.