- Spain attempt to spring a surprise against record-breaking USA side
- Evenly-matched encounter predicted as Canada take on Sweden
- THE LATEST: #ESPUSA and #SWECAN Live Blogs updating now
A new week begins at France 2019 with two more intriguing Round of 16 ties in Reims and Paris.
In the former, Spain have the technical ability and tactical nous to cause USA problems; the question is whether they possess the cutting edge required to cause a real shock. Monday's second match, meanwhile, is among the toughest to predict of the entire round with Canada and Sweden - two well structured, defensively solid sides - going head-to-head at the Parc des Princes.
Spain-USA: Round of 16, Reims, 18:00
Elisa Revuelta (ESP)
Spain’s first-ever game in the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ knockout stage comes against the toughest possible opposition. But La Roja have nothing to lose with the pressure all on USA. These teams faced each other in January for the first time and Spain lost 1-0. If Jorge Vilda's team manage to play at their best, as they did against Germany, while improving their accuracy up front – a big failing so far – they might just surprise the reigning champions.
Erin Fish (USA)
The level of opposition facing USA has grown tougher with every match, allowing the squad to develop and grow within the tournament. While they know the stakes are much higher now, they remain calm and focused. The mentality of this team is never to look beyond the next match and that means they will be completely concentrated on the challenges that Spain pose.
Sweden-Canada: Round of 16, Paris, 21:00
Alexandra Jonson (SWE)
For Sweden, this is the ‘real’ start of the World Cup, as they weren’t seriously tested in their two first group stage matches and Peter Gerhardsson then decided to rotate his squad against USA. That was done specifically in order to rest players for the Round of 16 so he will be hoping it pays off. One concern is the Swedish players’ lack of efficacy in front of goal thus far, and that’s something they will have to improve on - especially against a team as defensively solid as Canada.
Mona Yeganegi (CAN)
Canada will face a stern test in the last 16 when they face a Sweden side that made seven changes in their last group game against the USA and should be well rested as a result. The last time the two teams met was in March at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, with Canada winning 6-5 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. That underlines how closely matched these sides are. Canada, having been disappointed with their showing in the loss to the Netherlands, have been training with an extra edge – the intensity within the team is palpable. They know their World Cup dream is on the line.
Fans interested in attending the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 can still purchase tickets for the tournament via www.fifa.com/tickets, as well as via ticket booths located at stadia for remaining matches still available to the general public.