Spain vs Sweden odds and betting statistics
Spain vs Sweden recommended bets
Spain vs Sweden match preview
Both are, potentially, just 90 minutes away from a World Cup Final, so who will grasp the opportunity in Auckland?
For Spain, this is a totally new expirence, with their only previous appearance in a tournament semi-final coming at Euro ‘97, beaten 2-1 by Italy in front of a measly 7,200 spectators at Åråsen Stadion in Lillestrøm.
At this World Cup, when Jorge Vilda’s team were demolished 4-0 by Japan in their third group game a mere 16 days ago, few would’ve anticipated they’d be favourites to reach the final.
But, la Roja overcame that set-back by demolishing Switzerland 5-1 in the round of 16, scoring four times in the first half of that one.
Then, on Friday, Mariona Caldentey’s late penalty was seemingly enough to down the Dutch, only for Netherlands to equalise in stoppage time, thereby forcing extra time in Wellington.
Just when most in attendance were preparing for penalties, 19 year old substitute Salma Paralluelo fired home the historic winner, bursting down the left before her shot thwacked the post and flew in.
Before this year, Spain had never won a World Cup knockout game, but are now on the cusp of reaching the final.
Sweden though have exponentially more expirence when it comes to high-pressure tournament matches.
The Blågult captured Olympic silver medals in both 2016 and 2021, reached the semi-finals of last summer’s Euros and, at World Cups, this is their fifth appearance in the last four, getting this far more often than not.
However, their World Cup semi record isn’t the best, ousted by Norway (1991), Japan (2011) and then Holand four years ago, their sole win coming over Canada in 2003, defeating by Germany in that year’s final.
At this tournament, despite topped their group with maximum points, Peter Gerhardsson’s side met reigning back-to-back world champions United States in the round of 16.
The two juggernauts produced a rather cagy goalless draw at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, but this was only the prelude for, possibly, the most dramatic penalty shootout you’re ever likely to see.
In the end, the Scandinavian side snuck through 5-4, with a total of 14 penalties taken, and Lina Hurtig was the hero as her attempt, by the barest of margins, snuck over the line.
Despite being impressive themselves, the Blue and Yellows went into their quarter-final clash with Japan as slight-underdogs, but Sweden did a job on the Asian outfit who, up until that point, had been unstoppable.
Amanda Ilestedt poked home after a set-piece, her fourth goal of the tournament from centre-back, before Filippa Angeldahl cooly converted a penalty.
The Nadeshiko did pull one back in the 87th minute, thereby setting up a grand-stand finish, but this proved to be too little too late as Sweden advanced 2-1.
Both meetings between these two nations this century have been draws in friendlies, most-recently playing out a 1-1 stalemate at Estadio Nuevo Arcángel back in October.
So, will Sweden end their streak of having lost five successive semi-finals at World Cups and Euros, or will Spain reach a first-ever major tournament final with victory at Eden Park?
Spain team news
Jorge Vilda made wholesale changes following his team’s battering at the hands of Japan, and will continue to show faith in youth.
Cata Coll made her senior international debut in the round of 16 against Switzerland, but is set to continue to get the nod over Misa Rodríguez in goal.
Laia Codina scored at both ends against against the Swiss, bagging an unfortunate own goal from the half-way line, before rectifying that 34 minutes later, and she’ll continue as Irene Paredes’ centre-back partner.
Star midfielder Alexia Putellas’ minutes continue to be managed at this tournament, coming on during extra time on Friday, so it would be a surprise if the two-time Ballon d’Or Féminin winner started here.
In attack, Salma Paralluelo will hope here winner against the Dutch has earnt her a start in this one.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Coll; Hernández, Paredes, Codina, Batlle; Bonmatí, Abelleira, Hermoso; Caldentey, Paralluelo, González.
Sweden teams news
Sweden’s line-up has been significantly more settled throughout this tournament, with Peter Gerhardsson likely to name an unchanged XI for this one.
Goalkeeper Zećira Mušović was player of the match against USA, making 11 saves throughout the 120 minutes, before not actually saving any in the shootout, with the US’ three spot-kick failures all wide of the target.
Arsenal-bound centre-back Amanda Ilestedt is actually the highest-scoring player left in the tournament, bagging three headers in the group phase, before opening the scoring on Friday.
The Blågult have so much attacking talent in this squad, but the front three will remain unchanged, with Johanna Rytting Kaneryd keeping her place alongside superstars Stina Blackstenius and Fridolina Rolfö.
This means they have Lina Hurtig and Sofia Jakobsson in reserve, who are certainly good options to have.
Four of this XI, Magdalena Eriksson, Elin Rubensson, captain Kosovare Asllani and Blackstenius, started the semi-final defeat to Netherlands four summers ago, certainly hoping for a different outcome this time.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Mušović; Björn, Ilestedt, Eriksson, Andersson; Angeldal, Rubensson, Asllani; Rytting Kaneryd, Blackstenius, Rolfö.