Spain vs Sweden
Women’s World Cup
15th August 2023
The most comprehensive preview, detailed analysis and reliable predictions of the Women’s World Cup Semi-Final fixture between Spain and Sweden.
Spain vs Sweden: Preview
Spain form analysis
La Roja came into the tournament with high expectations but delivered an inconsistent set of performances across their 5 matches. They started impressively by securing dominant wins against Costa Rica (3-0) and Zambia (5-0) in the group stage. Their attack clicked from the outset, playing some free-flowing football to overwhelm their opponents.
However, Spain’s deficiencies were exposed in a chastening 0-4 defeat to Japan in their final group match. Their defense was carved open repeatedly on the counter-attack as they struggled to cope with Japan’s speed and precision. This would prove a harbinger of frailties to come.
In the knockouts Spain initially beat Switzerland 5-1 in the Round of 16 thanks to goals from Aitana Bonmatí, Alba Redondo and a Jenni Hermoso brace. The side were once agin in their dominant best in that fixture. In the quarterfinals they showed lapses in concentration saw them concede an equalizer deep into stoppage time against the Netherlands. They eventually prevailed 2-1 after extra time but it was another unconvincing display.
Overall Spain’s form fluctuated dramatically. At their best they played some exhilarating football but they too often lacked control and solidity against well-organized teams. Addressing their defensive vulnerabilities and maintaining intensity across full matches will be critical if Spain are to contend for major honors in the future.
Sweden form analysis
Sweden had an excellent tournament, going unbeaten across their 5 matches to reach the semifinals.
They started with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over South Africa after initially falling behind. This fighting spirit set the tone for their campaign.
Sweden then won their next 3 games without conceding a goal, including impressive wins over Italy (5-0), Argentina (2-0) and quarterfinal victory against Japan (2-1).
Their 0-0 draw with USA showed tremendous defensive resilience against the tournament favorites.
Sweden scored 10 goals across the 5 games, led by striker Ilestedt’s 3 goals. Their array of goalscorers highlighted their attacking depth.
Defensively they were outstanding, conceding just 2 goals and keeping 4 clean sheets. Their backline was extremely well organized.
Their form built momentum throughout the tournament, as they grew in confidence after the opening game fightback.
Spain vs Sweden: Predictions
Sweden are the stronger side on paper and have also had a much more convincing run in this tournament. Spain have shown their capabilities at points in this tournament. However, their inconsistency outweighs them. Blågult is my pick to make it to the final.
Both teams have mostly had low scoring games in recent times against top class sides. That trend is unlikely to change in this high pressure game.