Familiar foes eye top spot

Two traditional FIFA Women’s World Cup™ heavyweights, Sweden and USA, will do battle to determine top spot in Group C on Wednesday in Wolfsburg. World number one USA enters the contest with a superior goal difference and therefore need just a draw to secure a quarter-final match-up against what, theoretically, will be an easier opponent.

The game *Sweden – USA, Wednesday 6 July, Wolfsburg, 20.45 CET

  • The stakes The two teams share significant history having met 29 times previously, including three FIFA Women’s World Cup matches. USA has a 100 per cent record across those matches, winning 3-2 in 1991, 3-1 in 2003 and 2-0 in 2007.

USA can also call upon the knowledge of their Swedish coach Pia Sundhage, who of course is well versed in the traditional playing style of her homeland. Sundhage, a legendary figure for the Blagult, scoring 71 goals across 146 international appearances, featured in the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup match between the two nations, won 3-2 by the Stars and Stripes.

The Americans appear to be building momentum nicely having firstly claimed a hard-working 2-0 win against Korea DPR, before creating countless chances in cantering to a 3-0 victory over Colombia. Sweden, for their part, firstly edged Colombia 1-0, before eventually breaking down Korea DPR to win by the same scoreline in their second outing. It proved a costly win for the Swedes with influential midfielder Caroline Seger to miss this match after receiving her second booking of the competition.

The stat 4 – This will be the fourth meeting between the pair, making it the most played FIFA Women’s World Cup fixture, alongside USA - Norway and Korea DPR - USA.

The words “The next match against USA will be difficult. We have played them three times already, so we know them very well. Our main objective of course is to qualify for the quarter-finals,” Sweden forward Jessica Landstrom

"The bench players made the difference in the last game, and can make a difference against Sweden too. We have experienced players but also younger ones who can make an impact off the bench,” Pia Sundhage, USA coach