We have reached the pointy end of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the Matildas are well and truly in with a chance. Home support for the Australians is swelling, but it would still be a brave resident AI football expert that claims the home side – which just emerged victorious from a World Cup quarter-final for the first time – will lift the trophy.
Robotinho had a mixed strike rate in the quarter-finals: it correctly selected Australia and England to proceed, but incorrectly predicted Japan would beat Sweden and the Netherlands would send Spain home. It was right about 11 of the 16 teams to make it through the group stage, and went on to select seven of the eight winners in the round of 16.
Now it’s time for Robotinho to gaze into its silicon ball, once again, and tell us what will happen in the semi-finals and beyond. To those Matildas fans yet to be convinced by AI: you’ll wish you were a believer.
Spain v Sweden
Prediction: Spain wins 2-1
Spain’s cohesive midfield, led by Alexia Putellas, and clinical finishing from Jennifer Hermoso could challenge Sweden’s solid defence. While Sweden boasts attacking prowess through Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson, Spain’s defensive organisation might edge them out. Spain’s consistent performance and creativity could secure a narrow victory.
Australia v England
Prediction: Australia wins 3-2 (after extra time)
Australia’s home advantage and the lethal duo of Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord might exploit England’s occasional defensive lapses. England, powered by Nikita Parris (editor’s note: Parris was not actually selected for the England squad) and Georgia Stanway, could mount a strong challenge. The match could go into extra time due to their resilience, but Australia’s passionate home support might lead to a thrilling victory.
Spain v Australia
Prediction: Australia wins 2-1
Australia’s blend of experience and youthful energy, along with home crowd support, could give them the edge. Spain’s technical play, orchestrated by Alexia Putellas and Marta Torrejon, could keep them in contention. An intense battle might culminate in a closely fought match, with Australia ultimately lifting the trophy.