PREVIEW: USA VS. SWEDEN
After two comfortable wins to book their spot in the knockout stage, the US Women's National Team now face a big test as they battle Sweden to see who finishes atop Group F.
Head coach Jill Ellis was able to rely on her bench in her team's 3-0 win over Chile in Paris, allowing regulars such as Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Crystal Dunn to rest following their 13-0 demolition of Thailand in the first game. However, they will very likely return to the original lineup on Thursday against a Swedish team that has also won their first two games.
The Americans have a record of 3-1-1 against Sweden in World Cup competition, but don't let that record fool you. The Swedes have always played them tough, so depending on who is dominant throughout the course of the game could determine the winner.
This game could also end with them sharing the points as four years ago when the Swedes were able to hold the US to a 0-0 in the group stages in Canada. However, the US side will not mind sharing the points as that far superior goal difference will see them come through as winners of the group.
The other issue coming into this game is whether the United States can come away with another shutout. The back-line has not had much to worry about, but will certainly be tested in this game.
So all eyes will be focused on Stade Oceane in Le Havre as these two battle it out for the top spot.