England and Argentina enter Le Havre’s Stade Oceane on Friday for a Group D matchup that is destined to bring much more clarity regarding who will progress after some surprising results, as reported by Bleacher Report. While England didn’t exactly live up to their sky-high expectations in their victory over Scotland, they topped the group due to Argentina unexpectedly picking up their first point in the Women’s World Cup ever after their 0-0 draw against 2015 finalists Japan. While England is the favorite and there aren’t many expectations that this match will be close, manager Phil Neville will be expecting a much more complete performance by the English women as they gel before the knockout stages.
In the first half of their matchup with Scotland, the English women looked like the favorites they were expected to be. However, in the second half, England seemed to be on autopilot while Scotland began to take the game over and come just short of stealing a draw. While England’s talent should have ensured a route, escaping with a win could be enough to wake the team up and perhaps inspiring an expected dominant performance against Argentina. Still, the frustrating Argentinians have no problem sitting deep and defending, meaning England’s attack will have to include more finesse and passing to get the ball directly to the strikers and break through. Argentina will enter the stadium happy for a 0-0 draw, but if England can operate at a high pace and avoid any sloppiness they should be able to score a few goals.
Argentina entered the tournament with some of the lowest expectations of the teams that qualified, but played to their strengths in a resolute defensive outing and got a result against a favored team. The Argentinian women will have to dig even deeper if they expect to repeat things against England, who lack the trophies of Japan but are currently the more talented side with a much more potent attack. Argentina showed off their immense heart as they ground out a result, and they should be as confident as they will ever be against a team of the standard that England possesses. Still, they will have to keep a cool head and maintain their structure if they look to hold off the potential overpowering attack of England.
Date: Friday, June 14
Time: 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET
TV Info: Fox Network (U.S.), BBC One (UK)