Spain Women and Sweden Women will battle it out at Eden Park on Tuesday morning (09.00) at Eden Park for a place in the 2023 Women’s World Cup final.
La Roja are the favourites at 11/10 to win the match and make the final, but it would be foolish to underestimate Sweden, who have hardly put a foot wrong Down Under, winning all three of their matches in the group stage before dumping out defending champions the USA and seeing off a highly-rated Japan team in the quarter-finals.
Spain’s Laia Codina is a doubt for Tuesday’s semi-final tie, after being forced off in the second half against the Netherlands.
Aitana Bonmati also picked up a knock in the quarter-final victory, but the Barcelona midfielder is expected to be fit enough to start here.
As for Sweden, Peter Gerhardsson may be tempted to select the same starting lineup for the third consecutive game, given his side’s performances so far at this World Cup.
Both teams to score @ EVS
Spain have scored 14 goals in five World Cup games while Sweden have also demonstrated that they know where the back of the net is, bagging on 12 occasions.
With both of these attacks in good form I’m expecting goals at both ends in this game.
Sweden have a real set-piece threat in Amanda Ilestedt – who I’ll get onto shortly – while Spain possess plenty of options in the final third, all of which know how to find the back of the net.
The Swedes have managed three clean sheets but Spain have conceded in their last three games, and both of these talented frontlines should be able to make a breakthrough on Tuesday.
Amanda Ilestedt to score anytime @ 15/2
The 30-year-old has bagged on four occasions so far this tournament, and as mentioned above, the Arsenal defender possesses a real threat from set pieces.
Coming into the tournament, the Swede had managed a respectable eight goals in 64 appearances for her country over a decade-long international career, but Ilestedt has been nothing short of a goal machine Down Under.
Her fourth strike in five games helped her country see off Japan and advance into this game, and the golden boot will be firmly in Ilestedt’s sights.
The defender remains one goal behind current top scorer Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa, who is of course now out of the picture.