The first semifinal of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will be kick off on Tuesday night at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, as tournament favorites and the world's top-ranked side USA take on a buoyant England.
Both teams have won every game so far, with the US having romped through their group, before two Megan Rapinoe-inspired 2-1 victories in the knockout stages over Spain and France respectively.
The left winger scored twice in both games, as the United States kept up their record of having made the semifinal in every single edition of the World Cup.
England, on the other hand, have not conceded a single goal since their opening game, when they beat Scotland 2-1 in Nice.
Two 3-0 wins in the knockout stages so far mean that England arrive in Lyon for this semifinal clash full of confidence, and in Lucy Bronze, they have the best defender in the world in their ranks, too.
Kickoff time: 21:00 local time (00:30 IST, 20:00 BST)
Venue: Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon
Live telecast: Sony Pictures Network (in India), BBC One (in the UK)
The US are unlikely to make changes, even as coach Jill Ellis has come under criticism from some quarters, including former goalkeeper Hope Solo, about being a little too conservative in not picking Lindsey Horan over Julie Ertz.
Ellis, though, has realized the need for pragmatism, and that paid dividends against France. Even though the US faced pressure throughout the second half, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher barely had a save to make, which reflected how well the defence, marshaled by Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn.
USA Predicted XI
Alyssa Naeher (GK), Kelley O'Hara, Abby Dahlkemper, Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, Samantha Mewis, Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan
England, on the other hand, might contemplate a few changes, especially in the midfield. Keira Walsh, while being tidy in possession, has sometimes been missing in a defensive sense, and against the likes of Lavelle and Mewis, that could end up being fatal.
Fran Kirby, too, hasn't set the world on fire at this tournament, and with young Georgia Stanway bursting at the seams for her place in the side, it would not be a surprise if Neville decides to twist in the attacking midfield role.
England Predicted XI
Karen Bardsley (GK), Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Millie Bright, Demi Stokes, Jade Moore, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, Nikita Parris, Toni Duggan, Ellen White
Even though England would be confident, one would be prudent to assume that the US have enough in the tank to reach the final, and have a chance to retain the title they won in Canada in 2015.
Prediction: England 1-2 USAPublished 01 Jul 2019, 12:39 IST