Round of 16 in Women’s World Cup finishes today as Italy plays China and The Netherlands face Japan. Winners of these two games will face each other in the quarterfinals. The game between Italy and China will be played first.
Italy won their group by goal difference scoring 7 goals and giving away 2 in 3 games. Juventus player Cristiana Girelli was Italy’s best goal scorer with three goals. All of the goals were scored in Italy’s 5-0 win over Jamaica. In their other games Italy lost to Brazil 0-1 and won Australia 1-2. Italy has played 12 games this year and they have one draw, two losses and impressive 9 wins. In this tournament Italy has scored 2,3 goals per game on average. They are giving away 0,66 goals per game on average. Italy’s team is full Serie A team except for defender Elena Linari (Athletico Madrid). Almost every player is either from Fiorentina, AC Milan or Juventus, so team chemistry isn’t a problem.
China was struggling really hard in the group stage and did just enough to clinch their spot in knockout stages. They finished 3rd in their group scoring one goal and giving away one. They lost to Germany 1-0 in their opener but beat South Africa 1-0. Game against Spain ended in a scoreless draw. China got absolutely hammered in games against Germany and Spain and were lucky to not allow more goals. Spain had 24 scoring chances against China’s one and Germany had 18 scoring chances against China’s two. China is a strong defensive team and so far they have been able to hold down big teams.
Italy should be much bigger favorite in this game if you take a look at the forms these two teams have. Italy has been banging in goals while keeping their own end fairly clean. China is not scoring but isn’t allowing goals either. But as said, China has been dominated by big teams and it’s a small miracle they have made it this far. Italy is another big team to face China and I don’t see China being able to hold down another huge opponent. You could bet on Italy’s over 1,5 goals with over 2.00 odds but since China has been solid defensively, I’m only picking Italy to win here.
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