Women's World Cup Semi-Finals 2019: Bracket Predictions for Wednesday Fixture

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2019

VALENCIENNES, FRANCE - JUNE 29: Players of Netherlands celebrates a goal of Viviane Miedema of Netherlands during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Quarter Final match between Italy and and Netherlands at Stade du Hainaut on June 29, 2019 in Valenciennes, France. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Netherlands and Sweden will go head-to-head in the second semi-final of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France on Wednesday.

The pair will face off at the Stade de Lyon to determine who goes through to Sunday's final to take on the United States, who beat England 2-1 at the same venue on Tuesday.

Whichever side loses will play the Lionesses in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

                    

Date: Wednesday, July 3

Time: 9 p.m. local (8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET)

TV: BBC TV (UK), FS1 (USA)

Live Stream: BBC iPlayer (UK), Fox Sports Go (USA)

Prediction: Netherlands 2-1 Sweden

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Having won the UEFA Women's Euro 2017, the Netherlands have reached a World Cup semi-final in what is only their second appearance at the tournament following their debut in 2015.

The Orange Lionesses' recent success has coincided with the emergence of an exceptionally talented generation of players, including goalscoring forward duo Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema.

The pair scored seven goals between them at the Euros—grabbing one apiece in a 2-0 win over Sweden along the wayand they have five thus far in France.

Barcelona star Martens netted one of the goals of the tournament as the Dutch beat Japan 2-1 in the round of 16:

Meanwhile, at just 22, Miedema is already the Netherlands' all-time top scorer with 61 goals in 79 matches.

Football commentator Derek Rae is an admirer:

Sweden, who were silver medallists at the Rio Olympics in 2016, don't have quite as much talent as the Dutch, but they're a solid outfit.

After finishing second behind the United States in Group F, they edged out Canada 1-0 in the round of 16 before coming from behind to beat Germany 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

They'll pose a threat to the Netherlands on the break, as football blogger Tim Stillman observed:

Sweden can cause the Dutch problems through Stina Blackstenius and Kosovare Asllani, who have two goals apiece at the tournament.

Miedema and Martens give the Netherlands an enormous amount of firepower, though, and their quality could be what makes the difference here.  

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