The U.S. women’s national team will kick off their Olympic quest for their fifth gold medal as group play begins in the Tokyo Olympics. The USWNT kicks off the competition against Sweden in their first group G match on Wednesday at Tokyo Stadium in Japan. The two national teams have a heated rivalry having play each other in close international competitions, and this will be the third meeting between the two sides during the Olympics. Sweden eliminated the USWNT in Rio in 2016, preventing them from medaling in women’s Olympic soccer for the first time in the history of the sport.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Wednesday, July 21 | Time: 4:30 a.m. ET
- Location: Tokyo Stadium — Tokyo, Japan
- TV: USA network | Replay: NBCSN — 8:30 a.m. ET, 6:00 p.m. ET
- Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: Sweden +800, Draw +300, USWNT -275 (all odds via William Hill sportsbook)
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USWNT: The team has been in in Japan for nearly two weeks after a lengthy preparation for the postponed Tokyo games. Despite being favorites, this side has a big test in Group G with Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand, providing stiff competition. Their biggest test against long time rivals Sweden comes first. The Swedes notoriously eliminated the USWNT out of the Olympics on penalty kicks during the 2016 Rio games. Despite several players returning from that 2016 roster for the Tokyo games, this current USWNT roster is hardly the same from back then. This time Vlatko Andonovski is at the helm, and has his team playing in his 4-3-3 system with confidence and few weaknesses ahead of the summer tournament.
Sweden: The Swedish side has little reason to be intimidated against the top ranked team in the world. They went on to win the silver medal in the 2016 games after eliminating the USWNT and recently played the U.S. to a 1-1 draw back in April during an international window. It was a result that brought an end to the USA’s 16-game winning streak, their third-longest in USWNT history, and marked the first time the USWNT had trailed at any point in a match under coach Andonvoski. Look for Kosovare Asllani, Lina Hurtig, and Fridolina Rolfo to cause some trouble if they’re in the starting lineup.
USWNT vs. Sweden prediction
The two sides will play another classic tight, closely contested match, to kick off their Olympic games. But USWNT squeak through a victory on a late goal. Pick: USWNT 1, Sweden 0.