The round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup is underway and will continue throughout this week. The United States will be squaring off with Spain in one of the round of 16 matchups Monday, and the US Women’s National Team will be a heavy favorite. Spain was sort of an afterthought heading into this tournament, but they are a team that the United States shouldn’t take lightly.
The USWNT breezed through the group stage portion of this event and should be well rested heading into this matchup. The United States outscored their first three opponents by a combined total of 18-0 and were extremely dominant throughout. Spain went just 1-1-1 through the group stage but was able to sneak into the round of 16 based on goal differential. Spain has scored just three total goals in the tournament. The United States is -265 in this matchup with Spain on Monday afternoon.
USA Can Score Goals in Bunches
The United States has the most talent out of any team in this tournament, and their talent has been on display. The USWNT opened up the group stage portion of this tournament by scoring 13 goals against Thailand and setting a ton of records in the process. Alex Morgan leads the team with five goals and three assists so far in this tournament, and Carli Lloyd has chipped in with three goals. The United States also has a deep bench that will play a role as the tournament moves along.
Spain isn’t going to put a ton of pressure on the defense of the United States, but they will be sneaky in their attack. Defender Julie Ertz is battling an injury, and that could play a huge role for the United States team. Hope Solo is no longer in net for the United States, but they have found a worthy replacement. Alyssa Naeher will be in net for Team USA, and she has stopped all four shots she has faced in this tournament.
Spain Must Control Pace, Tempo
Spain has a system that has worked for them in this tournament, and it was able to keep the last game close against the United States. Spain lost a tough 1-0 decision against the US in January, and they will use the same method to try to slow this game down and keep things close. Spain has allowed just two goals so far in the World Cup, and goalkeeper Sandra Panos has made eight saves.
At some point, Spain is going to have to score a goal to win this game, but they haven’t found the back of the net since their opening game of this tournament. Spain is tied for just 13th in total goals scored in this tournament, and they don’t have a ton of great offensive weapons. Jennifer Hermoso leads the team with two goals scored, but the United States will do all they can to limit her touches. Spain is going to have to find some offense if they are going to pull off this upset.
United States Cruises To Victory
This will be the toughest test for the United States so far in this tournament, but it probably won’t matter. Spain will be able to slow this game down for a while, but the United States just has way too much talent. Don’t expect a huge blowout, but the United States will win this game pretty comfortably. Bet the United States -265 over Spain in this round of 16 matchup.
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