- Sweden plays Japan in the third quarterfinal match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Friday, July 30th at 6:00 am ET
- Sweden finished their perfect group stage in first place of Group G while Japan struggled to get out of Group E, finishing disappointedly in third place
- Get the odds, our analysis and betting prediction below
Women’s soccer at the Olympics has reached its knockout stages and one of the key quarterfinals this week is between Sweden and Japan. The two perennially successful women’s sides are squaring off at the Saitama Stadium in what will be their sixth competitive matchup in five years. Of those matches, the result has gone in favor of Sweden three times, while they suffered defeat twice.
Nonetheless, this will be the first time the sides have met in two years and surely a lot has changed since. Despite being the 10th best team in FIFA’s World Rankings, Japan has fallen flat so far at this edition of the Olympic Games. Furthermore, the host country has an immense amount of pressure riding on their shoulders. As Asako Takakura’s side gears up to play Sweden, they will have already realized the tall task ahead of them.
Sweden vs Japan Odds
|Sweden vs Japan||SWE -1.5 (+155) | JAP +1.5 (-270)||SWE -170 | JAP +500 | DRAW +310||Ov 2.5 (+120) | Un 3.5 (-150)|
Odds as of July 28 at DraftKings
For Sweden and Peter Gerhardsson, the group stages could not have gone over any more smoothly. The Blågult won all three matches, including a spectacular and fulfilling 3-0 victory against the United States. As the only perfect side remaining they sit as one of the favorites to win gold at Tokyo 2020.
Sweden Have an Extremely Balanced Team
One of the things many people have applauded Sweden for after the group stage is how well their offense performed. In fact, they scored nine goals across the three preliminary matches, with goals coming from five different players. That not only shows talent, but it shows depth as well, which is paramount in these types of tournaments.
Additionally, Emma Stine Blackstenius was a goal-scoring cyborg in Sweden’s first two matches. She put two in past the Alyssa Naeher and the United States and managed to bag another versus New Zealand. The Juventus striker got a rest in the third and final group stage game, which means she will be rested and ready to go for the massive quarterfinal against Japan.
— Svensk Fotboll (@svenskfotboll) July 28, 2021
Regardless, the point is that no matter how good Sweden’s offense is, they have balance all around the pitch. They only allowed two goals in their first three games, and in their last five across all competitions, they have held four clean sheets. That is impressive if friendlies are included or not.
Overall, Sweden are the favorites in this match, and rightly so. They are the better side on paper and also the one on form. Once again, Sweden are also a team that has been on a long quest for silverware. This tournament has felt different for them and they ultimately will not want to waste the opportunity at hand.
July 16th 2021: Article written ahead of the Olympics, 'Are Olympics too easy for USWNT and too small for women's soccer?' 🤔
July 21st 2021: Sweden 3-0 USA ends USA 44-game unbeaten run 😳
Football 😂🇸🇪 pic.twitter.com/X718nJG7At
— GiveMeSport (@GiveMeSport) July 21, 2021
Japan’s Offense Needs to Be More Prolific
First, it is important to understand the differences between this year’s Japan side and that of years prior. With the Olympics, comes the notion that four years was not that long ago. In reality, four years in soccer is a lifetime. While Japan won the 2011 World Cup and were runners-up at the 2012 Summer Games in London, this team frankly does not have the same flair.
Sweden vs Japan Olympic Statistics
|3||Goals per game||0.66|
|0.66||Goals conceded per game||0.66|
|15||Average shots per game||17|
While their defense performed very well in the first three games, their offense was horrendous. To average 17 shots a game and only manage two goals is actually quite a feat. Either the shots were completely off target or were not good enough to challenge the keeper. Some might say that means goals are due for Japan, however, I am not so certain that is the case.
Japan beats Chile in women's soccer to reach quarterfinals: Mina Tanaka scored the lone goal Tuesday to help Japan beat Chile 1-0 and set up a quarterfinal match against Sweden in the women's Olympic soccer competition. Tanaka… https://t.co/KOE2GfWpFh
— Japan Today News (@JapanToday) July 27, 2021
In the first and final group stage matches, Japan went with both Mana Iwabuchi and Yuika Sugasawa up front. Iwabuchi did manage to score against Canada but has been fairly quiet since. Mina Tanaka has also been a bright spot in attack off the bench for Japan, so do not be surprised to see her in the starting eleven come Friday morning.
Sweden vs Japan Best Bet
Overall, the best for this match is the over on 2.5 total goals with odds of +120. This bet has great value and has hit in four of the last five head-to-head competitive matches these sides have played. With Sweden’s offense firing, this one could be flowing with goals.
Pick: Over 2.5 total goals (+120)