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Preview: New Zealand Women vs. Sweden Women - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Olympic Games Women's Football clash between New Zealand Women and Sweden Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With their place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Women's Football competition quarter-finals already confirmed, Sweden Women will look to finish the group stage with their third victory on Tuesday, as they take on New Zealand Women.

Peter Gerhardsson's side currently sit at the top of Group G having won both of their first two games, meaning they will feature in the final eight, while their opponents are yet to collect a point and will have to defy the odds to sneak through.

Match preview

Sweden's head coach Peter Gerhardsson during the press conference in April 2021© Reuters

Having come into the Olympic Games as underdogs, New Zealand took on neighbours Australia Women in their first group game, and they would suffer a 2-1 defeat in Tokyo.

While that suggests a close game, their opponents led for the majority of the encounter, as Tameka Yallop opened the scoring in the 20th minute and Samantha Kerr doubled the lead on the half-hour mark.

By the time New Zealand Women clawed a goal back through Gabi Rennie in the 91st minute, it was too late to form a comeback, seeing them fall to a defeat as a result.

The games would only get tougher for Tom Sermanni's side, as they took on four-time world champions USA Women in the following match.

An early Rosemary Lavelle goal meant that USA led throughout the game, with a Lindsey Horan finish and an Abby Erceg own goal stretching that lead to three before Betsy Hassett pulled a goal back for New Zealand Women, only for Christen Press and Alex Morgan to score late alongside a Catherine Bott own goal to see the American side come away with a 6-1 win.

With the two best third-placed sides progressing to the knockout stage, Sermanni's side still stand a chance of qualifying, but they will have to defy the odds and pick up a result in order to give themselves an opportunity to place in third spot and better the tally of one of the other groups' third-placed nation, especially considering Australia Women sit three points ahead in their group with a superior goal difference.

They find themselves in a particularly unenviable position, as they need to take a result from a strong Sweden side who have won both of their games so far in the group stage.

Sweden Women looked to have been given the most difficult start possible to the Olympic Games Women's Football tournament as they took on USA Women.

Just as they did in 2016 though, they would defy the odds to defeat the world champions on the major stage of the Olympic Games, ending their opponents' 44-game unbeaten run in emphatic fashion in the process.

Emma Blackstenius opened the scoring in the 25th minute and netted her second to double the lead early in the second half before Lina Hurtig sealed the result with their third goal in the 72nd minute.

Having shocked the pre-tournament favourites in the opening game, Peter Gerhardsson's side continued their strong form in the second match, comfortably defeating Australia Women 4-2 in Saitama.

Fridolina Rolfo netted a brace while Blackstenius and Hurtig again got on the scoresheet to see their nation retake the lead after a quick brace from Kerr had put their opponents ahead.

With their place in the final eight already secure, Sweden Women will now look to confirm their first-placed finish with the aim of earning a more favourable quarter-final draw.

New Zealand Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • L
  • L

New Zealand Women form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Sweden Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • W
  • W

Sweden Women form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

After a disappointing campaign in the group stage so far, New Zealand Women could turn to midfielder Annalie Longo, who was reduced to a late substitute appearance in the recent defeat to USA Women, for some much-needed experience.

Gabi Rennie and Paige Satchell also came off the bench in that game, and both forwards will hope for spots in the starting XI on Tuesday.

Winger Betsy Hassett should keep her place after scoring their only goal against USA Women.

Sweden Women boast an impressive collection of attacking talent, with Lina Hurtig and Fridolina Rolfo having both hit two goals so far at this year's Olympic Games, while Emma Blackstenius has three goals to her name.

Having recently signed for European champions Barcelona, Rolfo will certainly play a key role going forward, while Blackstenius will likely return to the starting XI in place of Sofia Jakobsson after scoring off the bench last time out.

Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson missed out on the squad for the first game against USA Women as an injury precaution, but she returned to the side to play the full 90 minutes in the victory over Australia Women.

She should play alongside Amanda Ilestedt at the heart of the back four, shielding Hedvig Lindahl between the sticks.

New Zealand Women possible starting lineup:
Leat; Bott, Moore, Erceg, Cleverley; Hassett, Longo, Percival, Riley; Chance, Rennie

Sweden Women possible starting lineup:
Lindahl; Glas, Ilestedt, Eriksson, Andersson; Angeldal, Seger, Asllani; Blackstenius, Hurtig, Rolfo

SM words green background

We say: New Zealand Women 1-3 Sweden Women

We see Sweden completing a perfect group campaign with a third victory on Tuesday, as they cruise through to the knockout stage with boosted confidence after defeating USA Women.

Peter Gerhardsson's side should have too much for their opponents, with the dangerous front three possessing the ability to punish New Zealand Women.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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