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Sweden vs Italy betting tips: Women’s World Cup preview, predictions, team news and odds

Sweden vs Italy odds and betting statistics

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Sweden vs Italy match preview

After both of these two teams enjoyed hard-fought, last-gasp victories in their group openers, will either make it two wins out of two to start their antipodean adventure?

On Sunday, Sweden took on South Africa in Wellington, and were widely expected to cruise to victory.

Thus, it was a major shock when the WAFCON champions took the lead just a few minutes after half time, with Zećira Mušović saving a shot, only for the rebound to be bundled over the line.

Sweden were only behind for 17 minutes, Fridolina Rolfö poking home at the back post, before, in the final minute of normal time, Kosovare Asllani’s corner was nodded into the net by Amanda Ilestedt.

So, Peter Gerhardsson’s team, just about, made a winning start to this World Cup campaign, with many tipping the Blågult to go one better than four years ago, when they were dumped out in the semi-finals.

Italy meantime took on Argentina in their group opener on Monday, and the 30,000+ in attendance in Auckland were certainly not treated to a thriller.

Italy got all the way to the quarter-finals at the most-recent World Cup, their best run since the inaugural edition of 1991, but were then abysmal at last summer’s Euros, yielding just a solitary point.

So, it was difficult to predict what Milena Bertolini’s team would produce this month but, having beaten their most-likely rivals for second spot, le Azzurre are now in pole position to reach the knockout phase.

These two teams have met 24 times to date, with Sweden winning 15 of these clashes, losing just four, so will the Blågult be celebrating another victory at Wellington Regional Stadium?

Sweden team news

Peter Gerhardsson made some surprising selection choices against South Africa, including giving Johanna Rytting Kaneryd the nod in attack, chosen over Lina Hurtig.

Meantime, Jennifer Falk is the most-experienced goalkeeper in the squad, starting many of the recent friendlies, but Zećira Mušović got the nod on Sunday.

Fridolina Rolfö remains Sweden’s main goal threat, bagging her 26th international goal, and first at a World Cup, at the weekend.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Mušović; Björn, Ilestedt, Eriksson, Andersson; Angeldal, Rubensson, Asllani; Rytting Kaneryd, Blackstenius, Rolfö.

Italy teams news

The headline teams news on Monday was that 16 year old Giulia Dragoni was given her senior international debut, becoming the youngest Italian, male or female, to ever start a World Cup match.

Head Coach Milena Bertolini isn’t afraid of making bold decisions, notably leaving out captain Sara Gama from the squad altogether.

Francesca Durante was given the nod in goal against Argentina, winning her seventh cap, with Laura Giuliani, somewhat surprisingly, left out.

Meanwhile, star striker Cristiana Girelli was only a substitute at Eden Park but, having bagged the winner less than 200 seconds after she was introduced, surely she’ll start this time, right?

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Durante; Di Guglielmo, Linari, Boattin, Salvai; Caruso, Greggi, Giugliano; Giacinti, Bonansea, Girelli.

Women’s World Cup Group G table

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Women’s World Cup Group G fixtures & results

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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