Things were going so well with the last batch of predictions, then Saturday happened, but we go again.
England vs USA
There is an argument to be made that England haven’t been tested this summer having faced a below-par Scotland followed by Argentina and another below-par team in Japan. Put through the ringer by Cameroon, the Lionesses then squared off with Norway in the quarterfinals, the Football Girls as off their game as they could have been in Le Havre.
Conversely, the USA have been tested this summer [to an extent], Spain and France provided a degree of test for the current world champions but once again, the Concacaf nation came out on top.
Although England have turned a mental corner, and no longer fear any team in the world, clashing with a gnashing United States in the semi-finals of World Cup will provide too much of a test for the Lionesses. It could be an utter mess for both, or it could be a stylish match but this looks to be another 2-1 win for the holders.
Netherlands vs Sweden
It took both the Netherlands and Sweden time to grow in the tournament, their respective quarterfinals marking their best performances so far this summer.
Italy might have shrunk away in the afternoon heat in Valenciennes, unsure of how to battle against the thousands of Dutch fans in the stands or the massing sea of orange in their own box, but the Oranje rose to the occasion. Likewise, Germany might not have shown their true abilities this summer, but Sweden had to overcome their own demons to see them off in Rennes, gaining their own confidence from the success.
Having seen Sweden off at the Euros two years ago, the Dutch are the favourites to win this one, but there’s just something about the Sweden team that suggest they’ve got it in them to go all the way. With Germany finally bested after 24 years, a win over the team that knocked them out of the last tournament they were at almost seems like a clichéd and contrived plot for Sweden but, I think they’ll just have it.
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