Two teams in desperate need of a win meet Wednesday at the Women’s World Cup as Scotland faces Argentina. The Scots are favored with a money line of -178 compared to Argentina at +455. Meanwhile, a draw is set at +285
Scotland has lost the first two games in its first-ever World Cup. For what it’s worth, they’ve been competitive in both matches and scored a goal in each. However, they only scored after falling behind 2-0 in each match, ultimately losing to both England and Japan 2-1. Scotland’s only chance of reaching the knockout stage is to beat Argentina, although a win would put them in good shape to qualify as a third-place team.
Argentina, meanwhile, has been one of the more surprising teams in the tournament. Despite not having a program throughout 2016 and into 2017, the South American side earned a scoreless draw with Japan in their opener before falling 1-0 England in another hard-fought game. However, another draw may not be enough to get Argentina into the last 16. On the bright side, a win will guarantee Argentina passage into the Knockout Stage.
Need to Attack
The Argentina team has impressed everyone with their strong, organized defense during their first two games. Most expected them to be more willing to attack, but they’ve brought their hard hats to France and been willing to do the dirty work to keep themselves alive. But knowing they need a win to advance, the Argentines will have no choice but to push forward and attack, even if it leaves them a little more exposed in the back.
To make that happen, it’ll be up to Estefania Banini and Sole Jaimes. Banini is the creative force in the Argentine midfield. She hasn’t made a huge impact in the tournament but now is her chance to get on the ball and initiate her team’s attack. Jaimes, meanwhile, is the team’s lead striker and plays her club soccer with Lyon in France. She’s Argentina’s best bet to finish one of their scoring chances, which have come few and far between during their first two games.
The Little One
Scotland is in the same boat as Argentina in that they need to attack and score goals in order to advance. To be fair, they’ve been a little less timid than Argentina when playing stronger sides. Of course, that has also opened themselves up defensively, which is why they’ve conceded four goals in two games.
If the Scots are going to be dangerous on the attack, it’ll likely be Kim Little leading the way. Little is the one true star on the Scotland team but has yet to put her stamp on the tournament. Obviously, Argentina will be aware of her ability to pull the strings from the midfield, so she’ll need to find ways to get on the ball in unsettled situations and create scoring chances for Scotland.
Both teams will be looking to get a win, but both teams will also be afraid of going down 1-0 in the first half. That will lead to some cautious play and prevent either side from generating any serious scoring chances. Bet on this game ending in a draw that leaves both teams unsatisfied.