The Swiss women’s team will have their first major meeting in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup on Friday. Nils Nielsen’s selection will challenge Italy from 5.30 pm in Palermo.
Quarter-finalist of the 2019 World Cup and 14th in the FIFA rankings, Italy is logically the favorite of Pool D. But, after four days marked by as many victories, the Transalpines are still tied on points with Switzerland.
The Swiss are even at the top of the standings for having scored one more goal, their goal average being 17-1 against 16-0 for Italy. The first confrontation between the two teams therefore promises to be crucial, especially since only the winner of the group qualifying directly for the World Cup.
Nils Nielsen nevertheless tried to put the importance of this duel into perspective. The Dane obviously wants to leave Palermo with at least one point. But « a good result will be useless if we do not win the other matches », recalls the Swiss coach.
In a good mood, Nils Nielsen estimated the chances of victory at « 51.27% » in favor of the Italians, whose transition game he praised. He nevertheless underlined in a press conference that the way in which Italy defends suits his team perfectly because it opens up spaces for him.
“But we won’t be able to just rush forward on counter-attacks either,” continued the Danish technician, aware that Italy has still not conceded a goal in these qualifiers. « It’s true. But they haven’t yet played against us either, ”he said mischievously.