The ‘Bunch of Cowards’ are in the Gold Medal match…and at the expense of two of the top Rio 2016 Olympics women’s soccer favorites. Just after using their ruthlessly efficient defense to beat Team USA on penalties during the quarterfinals of the Rio 2016 Women’s Soccer event, Sweden was at it again in the semifinal, using the same tactic to upset Olympics hosts Brazil via penalties and earning one of the two coveted spots in the Gold Medal match. In the other semifinal game, Germany avenged their 2-1 loss to Canada in the group stages with a clinical 2-0 victory over the same Canadians, setting up a dare-not-miss duel against the Swedish team. Let’s take a sweeping look at this matchup and don’t forget to check our free online sports betting picks at the end of the article.
Here’s a Closer Look At The Sweden vs Germany Women’s Soccer Gold Medal Odds
Where: Maracanã Stadium – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
When: Friday, August 19, 4:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Betting Lines: TBA on our Soccer Betting Odds
Why Bet on Sweden
With back-to-back victories of 4-3 via penalties against USA and Brazil, it goes without saying Sweden’s defense has perfected the art of absorbing pressure, and doing so with professional ease. I mean, this a team that, for example, got outshot 15-2 in the first half against the Brazilians, with the host nation controlling 71 percent of the possession during that frame, yet still ended the half 0-0. Not to mention, both games against USA and Brazil went the full length of 90 munities plus 30 extra time, yet none of these two opponents managed to score a goal against World No. 6-ranked Sweden. Using the same formula to game-manage the Germans should therefore not be a big deal. As a point of concern, though, Sweden’s offense has been average at best, mostly relying on opportunistic goals and penalties, so major improvements will be required from the likes of Lotta Schelin and Stina Blackstenius if Sweden is to have a winning performance over the balanced Germans.
Why Bet on Germany
Ranked No. 2 in the world standings, the Germans come with a lot of pedigree in this game as obvious favorites. In the Olympics, the Germans are also more accomplished than Sweden, with the Germans having won the Bronze Medal in 2000, 2004, 2008. Meanwhile, Sweden’s best finish in the Olympics is when the team came fourth in 2004. All that, however, doesn’t matter much now, as Sweden is at least guaranteed silver, and will be fully motivated to win it all after their stifling defense already got the better of some of the biggest names in the game. Good news, though, for German fans is that their offense has been playing quite formidably, even with the likes of Alexandra Popp, Anja Mittag and Dzsenifer Marozsan not shining as many expected. In the 2-0 win over Canada for instance, Melanie Behringer (who scored the winner in the quarterfinals) came through again for Germany by converting from the penalty spot in the first half, before Sara Däbritz added a spectacular stunner in the second half to insure the team’s win. Meanwhile, despite the fact that the Canadians outshot the Germans in the semis, goalkeeper Almuth Schult and her defense stood their ground to finish the game with a clean sheet. With such a combination of an efficient offense and solid defense, Germany should stand a better chance at emerging victorious in this game.
Sweden vs. Germany Gold Match Pick and Prediction and Picks
Germany is the better team on paper and I doubt if Sweden will be getting a third time lucky in the Gold Match. But after seeing what they did to the Americans and Brazilians, I am really wary of picking against Sweden. My best pick here would therefore be a low-scoring affair with UNDER 2.5 goals. But if I’m hard-press to give my recommended pick, I’d advise that you lean on the seemingly unstoppable Swedes.