Sweden Women will take on Italy Women in their second game of the respective World Cup campaigns, on Saturday morning (08.30) at the Wellington Regional Stadium.
Both sides have the opportunity to start the tournament with consecutive victories after Sweden claiming a dramatic victory over South Africa on matchday one, while Italy had too much quality for Argentina.
Sweden boss Peter Gerhardsson could opt for an unchanged lineup after starting the tournament with a victory.
That would see a back three consisting of Nathalie Bjorn, Amanda Ilestedt and Magdalena Eriksson, with Filippa Angeldal and Elin Rubensson providing the energy in the midfield.
As for Italy, Cristiana Girelli could be rewarded with a starting place after coming off the bench to score the winner against Argentina, while Giadi Greggi is also in contention to start following her appearance off the bench in Monday’s match.
Sweden to win and both teams to score @ 10/3
Sweden have produced a pretty consistent looking sequence of results since August 2021, as they have suffered just three defeats out of their last 26 matches overall across all competitions, picking up no fewer than 18 wins in the process which will give them an added boost ahead of this tough looking fixture with Italy.
Italy are in decent form themselves, bringing a five-match unbeaten run into this fixture, after suffering a five-match losing streak from October 2022 through to mid-February this year.
The Italians won the most recent matchup between the nations that was decided in 90 minutes, but Sweden have proven themselves to be a more consistent outfit, and for that reason I think they will edge this contest.
However, I do believe there will be goals at both ends, as Sweden have conceded in five of their last six matches, while Italy have conceded in seven of their last nine.
Over 2.5 goals @ 6/5
I think there could be a few goals on offer in this contest, particularly since both sides are jostling for top spot in Group G.
As outlined above, both sides concede plenty, and Sweden have scored at least two goals in four of their last six matches.
In fact over 2.5 goals happened in seven of Sweden’s last 10 matches across all competitions, while over 2.5 goals has happened in four of the last 10 outings for Italy.