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The USWNT World Cup roster was very nearly on a plane home after a very tightly contested affair against Portugal in the final game of the Group Stage.

With the way the first two results had fallen in the women’s World Cup 2023, the USWNT needed a tie to progress. Portugal, meanwhile, went into the game with an opportunity to shake up the entire tournament and send the defending champions home should they win.

Once again, for the third consecutive game, the USWNT starting lineup appeared disjointed and lacked chemistry within the team. The disconnect between the strikers and the rest of the lineup was evident once again, and there’s yet to be a single display of superb build up play resulting in a clear-cut chance on goal.

With the game deadlocked at 0-0 and Portugal controlling the pace, just as the Netherlands had in the previous game, the USWNT struggled to get any good looks on goal, and the best chances of the game fell the other way. Late in the second half a low driven strike made its way under Alyssa Naeher only to cannon back off the post. One inch to the left and the USA women’s World Cup tournament would have been over.

While all that matters is the fact that the US progressed to the knockouts and the dream of the three-peat remains alive, you can’t help but show some concern based on what we’ve seen so far. The only team they’ve beaten in Vietnam in a far from convincing 3-0 display, and against two decent European opponents they played a secondary role in controlling the game and managed just one goal coming from a set piece.

Advancing in second place in their group now means the road to the final will be far more challenging than the U.S. had hoped it would be, and first up is Sweden.

The USWNT preview for the competition feels like ages ago, and fans were excited to witness the blend of experience and youth shining through in every performance. So far, they’ve scraped by, so how will they fare against Sweden? We’re taking a look at the U.S. women’s soccer odds for the game and sharing our best bets.

USA (W) vs Sweden (W) Odds

Moneyline: USA +100 | Draw +230 | Sweden +275
1st Goal: USA -155 | No Goal +750 | Sweden +145
Both teams to score: Yes -105, No -130
Draw No Bet: USA -230 | Sweden +165
Double Chance:  USA or Draw -400 | USA or Sweden -325 | Draw or Sweden -135
Total Goals: 1.5: Over -265 | Under +180
Total Goals: 2.5: Over +125 | Under -175
Total Goals: 3.5: Over +315 | Under -550
Total Goals: 4.5: Over +700 | Under -2500
USA vs Sweden Preview

Date: August 6th 2023
Time: 5:00 AM EST
TV channel: Fox
Live stream: Fox Sports App

Sweden got off to a relatively slow start with a challenging opening game against South Africa in Group G. The game ended 2-1 and although the favorites, the Swedes didn’t escape without a scare.

It was South Africa who took the lead in the game against the run of play, and Sweden had to fight back from behind. The equalizer was messy, but the winner came in the 89th minute with a clean header from Amanda Ilestedt connecting with an in-swinging corner.

Then just days later, it was the exact same scenario that broke the deadlock against Italy. Ilestedt once again rose and glanced a header beyond the goalkeeper. Sweden went on to rout the Italians 5-0 to give themselves a huge boost of confidence.

The Swedes are dangerous from set pieces, and the USWNT will need to be very aware of that and avoid falling behind because of it. Three of the five goals against Italy came from corners, and Sweden swung them right into the danger zone inside the six-yard box every time.

The United States Women’s National soccer team will need to do something they’ve not yet done so far in this tournament, and that's play together and build chemistry to create chances. Otherwise, they could find themselves down a goal or two and chasing the game having conceded from a corner or set piece.

USWNT vs Sweden Lineups & Injuries

The biggest piece of USWNT news going into the knockouts is the absence of Rose Lavelle, who was only just healthy enough to start in the final group stage game.

A clumsy tackle against Portugal and her second yellow card of the tournament will mean she is suspended against Sweden, and that's a big blow.

In the US women’s World Cup games so far, Lavelle has been the biggest difference maker coming from the midfield. She’s the only player on the roster right now who seems to frighten defenders by running at them, and she was doing just that in the Portugal game.

Should the USWNT schedule extend to a Quarter Final game, they’ll have her back, and she will have had a chance to rest. She’ll be crucial to their progress in the rest of the tournament, so the team needs to do a job and win without her to allow her to have a further impact on the competition.

USA vs Sweden Predictions and Pick

First Goal

Sweden will be looking to go on the attack and win themselves set pieces, which has proven to be their biggest success so far in the tournament. Italy had no answer for their dominance in the box when firing in corners, and it cost them dearly in the 5-0 loss.

The USA have better defenders but they still haven’t looked convincing in clearing set pieces out. If Sweden get a couple of shots off and force a couple of corners, they look far more likely to score than the USWNT do from open play.

At the +145 odds, I like the idea of starting off my women’s World Cup picks for the game with this one.

The Pick: Sweden to score the first goal (+145)

Anytime Goalscorer

This is a troubling time for USWNT soccer. Right now Europe is threatening them, and they’ve faced a more turbulent group stage in this year's tournament than ever, butchering our women’s World Cup Group Stage predictions in the process.

The USWNT were the favorites for the whole tournament before it got started, but right now it's been blown wide open. They need to change something and find a way to get their strikers better opportunities in front of goal.

With Rose Lavelle suspended, I’m going to go with a moment of magic from Sophia Smith. Ideally Vlatko Andonovski recognises that she is the most dangerous striker in the team, and playing her out wide is detrimental to the squad. Alex Morgan could drop back a little, but Smith should be the striker.

I’ll back her to score again this week with one of my free women’s soccer picks as I just can’t see enough danger coming from anywhere else. She’s got two goals so far, but they both came against Vietnam and the USA might need her to come through in the biggest moment of her international career so far if they want to stay in the competition.

The Pick: Sophia Smith to score anytime (+210)

Total Goals

These two teams should keep this one close. Considering the fact that they’ve both struggled at times from open play and failed to involve their strikers during the buildup, I don’t see this one being a goal fest.

With the game potentially tied at 1-1, a late goal from a free kick or a corner could win it in the dying moments. It’s such a tough game to call. The USWNT need to be better, and Sweden have been lacking at times too, but a 2-1 score line either way feels right.

With some of the European sides and the likes of Japan starting to look dangerous, betting on the women’s World Cup this year is tough. Especially if you’re backing the USWNT. Their 2023 FIFA World Cup odds have been diminished and they’re now the third favorites behind both England and Spain.

A confident win over Sweden would help them get back on track, but it’s going to be a tough contest.

The Pick: Total Goals - Over 2.5 (+125)

Best USA vs Wales Same Game Parlay Picks

First Goal

Leg-1 SGP Pick: Sweden to score the first goal (+145)

Anytime Goalscorer

Leg-2 SGP Pick: Sophia Smith to score anytime (+210)

Total Goals

Leg-3 SGP Pick: Over 2.5 goals (+125)

Odds are subject to change*

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