FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™

FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™

7 June - 7 July

FIFA Women's World Cup

Surprise packages aim to strike again

Barbara Bonansea of Italy celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's second goa
© Getty Images
  • England one win from qualifying for the Round of 16
  • Former champions Japan among the teams under pressure
  • THE LATEST: #JPNSCO, #JAMITA & #ENGARG Live Blogs updating now

Italy and Argentina were two of the great success stories of the group stage's first round of matches and each will be out to further improve their last 16 prospects.

Jamaica and England will have something to say about that, of course, with the Lionesses keenly aware that a win will secure their place in the knockout phase.

Scotland and Japan meet in Rennes, meanwhile, with the aim of undoing the damage done by opening-match setbacks.

Japan-Scotland, Group D, Rennes, 15:00

Team reporter analysis

Ai Yoshiizumi (JPN)
This young Japan team toiled in their first match but at least acclimatised themselves to the unique atmosphere of a FIFA Women’s World Cup™. The players are aiming to attack more aggressively in the game against Scotland and coach Asako Takakura may replace several starters. Teamwork and playing their traditional style of combination football will be the keys for Japan if they are to be victorious.

Aileen Larkin (SCO)
The draw between Argentina and Japan will have inspired Scotland to play for not one, but all three points against the Nadeshiko. Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr won’t be underestimating the 2011 champions though, and will be looking to add some strength to her midfield - perhaps through Christie Murray or Jo Love - to combat Japan’s famed technical mastery. After some missed opportunities on Sunday, it’s also possible that the starting XI will include a dedicated striker to support Erin Cuthbert up front.

Jamaica-Italy, Group C, Reims, 18:00

Kayon Davis (JAM)
While they gave a spirited performance against Brazil, Jamaica admitted to tactical mistakes and having been overcome by nerves. They will seek redemption against a high-flying Italy squad who surprised everyone with a win over Australia. We expect several changes to the Reggae Girlz set-up as they seek to create stability in the back line and balance in the centre of the park.

Sonja Nikcevic (ITA)
After producing the surprise of the tournament so far with a thrilling win over Australia, the tables have turned on Italy. They are no longer the team that shouldn’t be underestimated but rather the ones that must avoid doing any underestimating. All signs from the camp suggest that nothing is being taken for granted. They will again be facing a very physical team and there are tactical tweaks to be made.

England-Argentina, Group D, Le Havre, 21:00

Laure James (ENG)
England have identified areas in their game to improve upon while the message to players is clear: work hard and stay chilled. Despite being known for insisting on discipline and a strong work ethic in training, Phil Neville has encouraged a relaxed atmosphere in the camp, believing it will be crucial to the Lionesses going far in France. An advocate of rotating the squad, Neville is expected to make several changes, including handing starts to the likes of Leah Williamson and Jade Moore.

Diego Zandrino (ARG)

After surprising the world by drawing against Japan, Argentina face another powerhouse of women's football - with the hope of another surprise result. La Albiceleste know they will need to defend as well as they did in the first match against an opponent with a stronger aerial threat than Japan, while also showing some potency in attack themselves. With that in mind, Carlos Borrello may shuffle his pack for this crucial second match.

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