20 June 2015

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup: Round of 16 Predictions

The field of 24 that opened the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup has now been whittled to 16 as we have reached the knockout stage. Who will advance to the quarterfinals? Here are my predictions.

TV Schedule

Saturday, June 20th
Germany vs. Sweden - FS1, 4:00
I believe that the Swedes are better than they showed during the group stage but that does not mean that I think they will beat the Germans. Sweden gave up a good amount of goals during their group play and against the Germans, that is not a good sign.
Pick: Germany

China PR vs. Cameroon - FS1, 7:30
Les Lionnes have been one of the pleasant surprises of the tournament with a stunning rout of Ecuador, a narrow loss to Japan and a comeback victory over the Swiss. Their offense attack has been excellent and very fun to watch and it leads them into an interesting matchup with the Chinese as they like to play a more conservative, defensive style. Even as China did not look that impressive in the group stage, I think Cameroon will come back to earth and fall here.
Pick: China PR

Sunday, June 21st
Brazil vs. Australia - FS1, 1:00
On paper, Brazil should take this one cleanly. They only feature the best player in the world in Marta and they looked really good in the group stage in sweeping all of their matches. But the Matildas have been a tough out thus far and surprised many in finishing as the runner-up in Group D. They will give the Brazilians all they can help but a mediocre defense will be their downfall.
Pick: Brazil

France vs. South Korea - FS1, 4:00
France's loss in group play to Colombia was the most stunning result of the Women's World Cup thus far but they rebounded quickly by blasting Mexico. They should be able to get by South Korea here as they only got here with a really impressive comeback victory over Spain, but if Colombia can do it, certainly the South Koreans could.
Pick: France

Canada vs. Switzerland - FS1, 7:30
The Canadians won their group with only two goals to their name but they certainly got their fair share of luck in all three of their matches. They will get to take on the Swiss in Vancouver who provided a good amount of offense (see: Ecuador) but also suffered some noticeable defensive breakdowns (see: Cameroon). It is a tough matchup to predict and it just may result in penalty kicks but I think the experience and the friendly crowd will boost the Canadians just enough.
Pick: Canada

Monday, June 22nd
Norway vs. England - FS1, 5:00
The Three Lions played a really dry style of soccer in the group play but certainly did not look all that impressive, and certainly not to take on a Norwegian club that looked very good in Group play with two wins and an impressive draw with Germany. Look for Norway to survive and advance.
Pick: Norway

United States vs. Colombia - FS1, 8:00
The Americans looked good but not great during group play but I think with the pressure of win-or-go-home on, they will step up their play. Colombia got a fluke win over France that will not happen again and especially with their regular goalkeeper, Sandra Sepulveda, suspended.
Pick: United States

Tuesday, June 23rd
Japan vs. Netherlands - FS1, 10:00
The defending champs only scored four goals in their three victories in group play, but they also only allowed one goal (to, who else, Cameroon). The Dutch have had to claw their way past the group stage but while they have created chances, they have struggled to put the ball in the net. That plays right into the hands of the Japanese who will sail through.
Pick: Japan

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