Spain looks to seal their place in the knockouts against Zambia with consecutive victories in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
SPA-W vs ZAM-W Match Details
Date: Wednesday, 26 July 2023
Time: 01:30 (IST) / 20:00 (NZST)
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
SPA-W vs ZAM-W Match Preview
Spain started the tournament on a winning note beating lower-ranked Costa Rica 3-0 with all goals coming in the first half. Women’s Champions League best player awardee Aitana Bommati scored her first Women’s World Cup goal after Costa Rican defender Valeria Del Campo inadvertently turned Esther Gonzalez’s cross into her net. The striker will go on to score the third goal for Spain from a rebound of Jennifer Hermoso’s header rattling the crossover. However, La Roja will be a little anxious about the fact that they failed to add more strikes to the tally in the second half. In the end, only three goals from 12 shots on target and overall 46 taken points out more edge in finishing required. To be fair, goalkeeper Daniela Solera was outstanding between the sticks for the opposition so Spain might not read much into it. The fact they are going to face Zambia who conceded five against Japan in their opener there will be little thing to worry. Spain will like to win big this time having scored 24 goals without reply in their last five matches making them an incredible scoring machine. They will secure their round of 16 spot with a victory provided Japan take appoint against Costa Rica in the other match.
Zambia came into the tournament hoping for an upset after stunning Germany in the warm-up and giving others a headache with their flashy attack. Their threat was completely neutralized by Japan in their debut match in the Women’s World Cup as they could not take even one shot in the game with their defence crumbling. The Nadeshiko scored five past them as Babra Banda and her teammates got to know the challenge this stage provides. Despite being at her best in the game even after conceding so much, goalkeeper Catherine Musonda received her second yellow card after giving away a late penalty to Japan. Eunice Sakala stepped in and stunningly saved the penalty from Riko Ueki before it was retaken and buried this time by the substitute. The damage was already done by two well-taken goals by Hinata Miyazawa with Mina Tanaka and Jun Endo also joining the party. Zambia will at least want not to repeat the same faith against Spain otherwise they have to bid goodbye to their first-ever tournament early. The Cooper Queens have also conceded in four consecutive matches and to stop a free-scoring side like La Roja need a complete opposite performance.
Recent Form (All Comp)
Recent Form (World Cup)
SPA-W vs ZAM-W Team News
Alexia Putellas made her much-awaited return to the national team from injury coming on as a substitute. She can get the nod to start in midfield alongside Aitana Bommati who earned the player of the match against Costa Rica. The rest of the squad will remain intact.
For Zambia, Eunice Sakala will start in goal after Catherine Musonda was sent-off in the opener. Number one Henza Nali is already out of the tournament with a reported ACL injury. Grace Chanda could start to give more options upfront.
SPA-W vs ZAM-W Predicted Lineups
SPA-W: Misa Rodriguez; Ona Batlle, Irene Paredes, Ivana Andres, Carmona; Bonmati, Alexia Putellas; Del Castillo, Jenni Hermoso, Salma Paralluelo; Esther Gonzalez
ZAM-W: Eunice Sakala; Margaret Belemu, Agness Musase, Lushomo Mweemba, Martha Tembo; Susan Banda, Evarine Katongo, Ireen Lungu; Rachaeal Kundananji, Barbra Banda, Grace Chanda
SPA-W vs ZAM-W Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Misa (7.5)
DEF: Battle (7.5), Mweemba (7.5), Carmona (7)
MID: Bonmati (8.5), Putellas (9), Hermoso (9), Katongo (7)
FW: Gonzalez (9), Banda (7), Chanda (8.5)
Vice-captain: Jenni Hermoso
Captain: Aitana Bonmati