Germany and the Netherlands appear primed to progress from the quarter-final bracket of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Saturday.
The action in France kicks off when the Netherlands face Italy in Valenciennes. Then it will be the turn of Germany, who are in action against Sweden in Rennes.
- Italy vs. Netherlands: 3 p.m. local time, 2 p.m. BST, 9 a.m. ET (1-3)
- Germany vs. Sweden: 6:30 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. BST, 12:30 p.m. ET (2-0)
Netherlands and Germany to Win
Italy are a talented side capable of moving the ball quickly, neatly and intuitively between the lines. Yet they can't match the Netherlands' technique and guile in the final third.
Most of it comes from the languid Vivianne Miedema, who acts as the goalscoring and creative fulcrum of a gifted forward line.
The Daily Telegraph's Molly McElwee detailed exactly where Miedema fits in this group: "Their front line consists of Miedema in the middle, flanked by Lyon's Shanice van de Sanden and Barcelona's Lieke Martens. Behind them, fellow Arsenal player Danielle van de Donk's role as a playmaker completes a star-studded lineup to intimidate any opponent."
McElwee also noted how not every member of this quartet has thrived at this tournament. Martens is not one of those:
She's her country's in-form player after netting both goals to beat Japan in the last 16. Martens is providing an obvious target for Miedema's radar.
Italy have only conceded one goal through four matches, but Milena Bertolini's team will find it hard to resist the Netherlands' pace, power and flair.
Germany will find the Netherlands waiting in the last four after they see off Sweden. Craft and goals from midfield define Germany thanks to the prolific Sara Dabritz, who has found the net in each of her past three matches and is likely to add to her tally in Rennes.
As good as Dabritz is, Dzsenifer Marozsan is usually the creative heartbeat of the team. Unfortunately, a broken toe suffered during a 1-0 win over China in the group stage has kept the 27-year-old out of all but one match.
Marozsan is due back against Sweden, per Luke Edwards of The Daily Telegraph. Her return will add extra impetus to a group that's found the net nine times in the competition.