We’re heading into the knockout stages of the Women’s European Championship this week and for the bwin Predictor we have our eye on the first quarter-final between hosts the Netherlands – who romped through Group A with only one goal conceded – and Group B runners-up Sweden.
As we’ve done for the last few weeks, we’ve looked back over every game in this competition involving one of these two teams – including qualifiers – back to its 2005 incarnation to work out when the opening goal in the Netherlands Women vs Sweden Women game is likely to be scored.
A first-half opener looks very likely from recent evidence, with almost 80% of the deadlocks being broken before half-time in matches where one of these two sides was involved. Almost half of these came in the opening 20 minutes, with the scoring drying up a little as the interval approached, so an early breakthrough would come as no surprise.
With only a handful of opening goals coming in the final half hour, there’s not likely to be much value in a late bwin Predictor estimate here: there have been as many netted in the five minutes immediately preceding the hour mark as in the remainder of games after it.
When we compare the two sides’ recent records we find an interesting difference. While the hosts have been relatively quick off the mark – converting their opening goals in the 29th minute on average in their last 20 competitive fixtures – the Swedes have struggled to get going lately. Only five of their last 14 competitive games have seen Sweden net the opener and they’ve needed until the 39th minute on average to break the deadlock across their last 20.
Therefore the Dutch scoring statistics may be worth paying more attention to, with six of their last seven competitive games seeing them draw first blood. Four of these goals have come in the first half and all within the first half an hour, so the Swedish defence will need a more disciplined performance than in their 3-2 defeat to Italy – which saw them concede after just four minutes – if they’re to spring a surprise here.
Data correct as at July 25, 2016
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