Look ahead to this 2023 Women’s World Cup Group C match at Eden Park, Auckland with our Spain vs Zambia preview and prediction.
Spain vs Zambia Stats: Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer expects this to be a very one-sided affair, with Spain given a 93.1% win probability to Zambia’s 3%.
- Zambia were beaten 5-0 by Japan in their tournament opener, while Spain beat Costa Rica 3-0.
- Spain managed a whopping 46 shots last time out; Zambia didn’t tally any.
Spain will once again be heavy favourites on Matchday 2, having flexed their muscles and coasted to a 3-0 win over Costa Rica in their Group C opener against Costa Rica.
That win was Spain’s biggest ever at a Women’s World Cup, and their 46 shots, 80% possession and 117 touches in the opponents’ box were all highs for a game at the tournament since at least 2011.
Wednesday’s game could be a long one for Zambia, whose inauspicious start saw them battered 5-0 by Japan. The debutants failed to register a single shot in that match and their chances of producing a shock against Spain were dealt a further late blow with the red card for goalkeeper Catherine Musonda.
Zambia were always likely to be heavily reliant on Barbra Banda going forward, and she had three of their five touches in the Japan box on MD1. But by comparison, eight of Spain’s 15 outfield players used against Costa Rica had as many touches in the opposition’s box as Zambia’s entire team, highlighting how much of a mismatch this could end up being.
Esther González (21) and Jenni Hermoso (20) accounted for a lot of those touches in the Costa Rica area; no other player tallied as many as 20 in a single game at any of the previous three Women’s World Cup tournaments.
Zambia’s MD1 defeat was the third heaviest suffered by an African nation after Ivory Coast’s 10-0 loss to Germany in 2015 and Morocco’s 6-0 defeat, also to Germany, in this tournament. Given the domination Spain enjoyed against Costa Rica, it’s difficult to see Jorge Vilda’s side not cruising here.
If there’s one omen Zambia can look to, it’s that Spain have lost on MD2 in each of their two previous appearances at the Women’s World Cup – admittedly, those were inflicted by Brazil (2015) and Germany (2019).
Spain vs Zambia Head-to-Head
Spain have only ever played one match against an African nation at the Women’s World Cup; they beat South Africa 3-1 in their tournament opener in 2019.
Their last game against an African country in any match was way back in October 2021 when they defeated Morocco 3-0.
However, Zambia did beat Germany 3-2 during their Women’s World Cup preparations, also pushing Switzerland all the way in a 3-3 draw.
Spain vs Zambia Prediction
We’ve already seen some big scores and one-sided matches at this tournament, which was perhaps to be expected given the expansion to 32 teams; there’s a significant chance this trend will continue here.
The Opta supercomputer considers Spain massive favourites for this match, rating their win probability at 93.1%.
That means Zambia have less than a 7% chance of getting just a point, with the likelihood of them winning just 3%.
Make no mistake, a Zambia victory would be one of the biggest Women’s World Cup upsets ever; it seems far more likely Spain will rack up a big score.
Spain vs Zambia Squads
Spain: María Isabel Rodríguez, Enith Salón, Catalina Coll, Ona Batlle, Irene Paredes, Ivana Andrés, Oihane Hernández, Laia Codina, Olga Carmona, Rocío Gálvez, Teresa Abelleira, Aitana Bonmatí, Irene Guerrero, Alexia Putellas, María Pérez, Claudia Zornoza, Mariona Caldentey, Esther González, Jennifer Hermoso, Eva Navarro, Salma Paralluelo, Alba Redondo, Athenea del Castillo.
Zambia: Catherine Musonda, Eunice Sakala, Hazel Nali, Margaret Blemu, Martha Tembo, Lushomo Mweemba, Agness Musase, Esther Banda, Judith Soko, Mary Mulenga, Vast Phiri, Ireen Lungu, Hellen Chanda, Evarine Susan Katongo, Mary Wilombe, Susan Banda, Avell Chitundu, Hellen Mubanga, Xiomara, Mapepa, Grace Chanda, Racheal Kundananji, Barbra Banda, Ochumba Lubandji.