6 March 2020
Spain W and Japan W go head-to-head in the SheBelieves Cup at Exploria Stadium, as both nations look to maintain their respective runs of form.
Spain have overseen a slight upturn in results recently, going from two consecutive defeats to three straight games without a loss (W2, D1). Three of their results (win/loss) during that five-game sequence have come via a multiple-goal margin and witnessed the winner on the day win the first-half ‘to nil.’ They seem likely to extend their run of form here, as they take on a side they’ve not lost to in both of their only previous H2Hs (W1, D1). The one thing ‘La Roja’ would like to avoid here is shipping the opening goal, as they’ve done in three of their last seven outings, considering they lost all three. Jorge Vilda’s players tend to win with dignity when they do so – six of their seven triumphs over the past 13 months yielded a winning margin of at least two goals, with four seeing Spain win both halves ‘to nil.’
As for Japan, they are enjoying a five-game winning streak, with four of those successes producing a multiple-goal margin and seeing them win at least one half via at least a two-goal margin. For Japan to win here, it will require them to keep a clean sheet, considering they managed to pick up just a single triumph in the last seven matches in which they failed to shut out their opponent (D2, L4). Another potential worry for the ‘Nadeshiko Japan’ could be the fact that they’ve lost four of their seven previous clashes against European sides (W1, D2), scoring under 1.5 goals on five of those occasions.
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