The Lionesses of England will play the Albicelestes from Argentina Friday, June 14, 2019 in what will be the second of three group stage matches for each squad in this year's FIFA Women's World Cup. This match can be viewed on FOX in the United States. The match is at 3:00 PM EST on Sunday, June 16, 2019. England, currently ranked 3rd in the FIFA Women's World Rankings, sit atop the Group D Table with 3 points, having beaten Scotland 2-1 in their first match. Argentina, currently 37th in the World Rankings, is tied for second in the group, having earned a hard fought 0-0 draw with Japan.
This looks like quite a mismatch on paper between two teams separated by 34 places in the World Rankings. Coincidentally, it is the same number of places that separated the 1st United States, and 34th ranked Thailand, a game the finished 13-0 in favor of the U.S. This game should be much closer however, as Argentina seems to be a team that is better than their ranking, having already earned a draw against 7th ranked Japan.
Five Points That Shouldn’t be Overlooked
In spite of being the lowest ranked team in their group, Argentina's draw against Japan gives them a real shot at advancing. While expecting them to win against England is going to be a tall order, keeping it within 2 goals will put them in good position mathematically.
The player to watch for England is 25-year-old forward Nikita Parris, who scored on a penalty kick in the first game with Scotland. She has 13 goals in 25 caps of England so far. In her club career, she most recently played for Manchester City W.F.C., scoring an impressive 33 goals in 59 games. In the upcoming season she will be making a move to France to play for Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
The player to watch for Argentina is Florencia Soledad Jaimes. The striker has scored 6 goals in just 13 international appearances for Argentina. She is also Parris's teammate with Lyonnais.
England is coached by former Manchester United and Everton star Phil Neville, who had over 505 appearances in the Premier League. Argentina is coached by Carlos Borello, who first became an assistant coach with the Women's National team all the way back in 1997. In 1998 he ascended to head coach, and with the exception of a period from 2014-2017 he has managed them ever since. Borello never played professional soccer.
Fara Williams has been a staple with England's since 2001. She is their most capped player with 170 appearances, and second highest all-time goalscorer with 40. She also scored a deciding goal in their bronze medal run in the 2015 World Cup. However, in spite of still being an active player, she was left off of this year's roster.
England vs Argentina Prediction
The key for Argentina's hopes to advance lie in keeping this game close, rather than needing to shock the world, and win it. As mentioned above, I expect the game to be much closer than it looks on paper. I wouldn't even be surprised if it goes into the half 0-0. Argentina will be looking to slow down the pace and play defense, and they have already proven against Japan that they are capable of keeping a top end opponent off of the score sheet effectively. The difference is that England is in that first tier of elite teams in the world. Japan, on the other hand, is firmly in that second tier of elite teams, and there is a reasonable sized gap between the two tiers. At some point, the levy is going to break and England is going to score, they just have too much firepower to be shut down for a whole game by Argentina. Once the first goal happens, I think it's really going to open up the floodgates. By the 75th minute of the match I expect that the Lionesses will have the game put away.
Prediction: England 4 Argentina 0