France vs. Netherlands
2:30 p.m. EST
Both of these teams are coming off on huge wins. The Netherlands absolutely stunned Brazil - actually handled them with relative ease. Meanwhile, France came out as victors in the most entertaining match of the tournament so far in their come-from-behind win against Spain. Will there be a hangover effect for either of these teams?
These teams won their respective quarterfinal matches pretty easily and are now pitted against each other in a very intruiging match up.
Russia are ambunctious, volatile and aggressive. Norway are cool, fluid and [also] aggressive. These two teams love playing the ball fast and both have loads of talent at their disposal.
For Russia that means Polina Kuznetsova, Marina Sudakova, Anna Vyakhireva, Olga Akopian and Vladlena Bobrovnikova (who's really been in good form). For Norway it's the usual suspects: Veronica Kristiansen, Nora Mork, Heidi Loke, Camilla Herrem and Stine Bredal Ostedal.
There's plenty of offense to go around and these teams are starving to work the ball on the fast break, putting pressure on the nine meter mark and looking for the interception. So what separates these two?
Russia have a knack for turning on the switch when they need to, and it's gotten the job done in every single match they've played so far. Though they are prone to streakiness, this team always finds that extra gear to storm away from their competition.
Norway, conversely, move the ball so cleanly that they rarely commit turnovers. Also, they are - aside from France - the best defensive squad in the game. They know how to close down on the center and on the wing.
It's going to be a very tense match, and both of these two teams look to be in peak gold medal form. Norway will certainly capitalize on any Russian lull and Mork will do everything in her power to put this away, but if not - and if Russia do find that extra gear and get going - then Norway might find themselves competing for the bronze instead of the gold.