There’s nothing quite like tournament play. The "do or die" of the 3 points.

Round one of this FIFA Women’s World Cup saw each nation suffering nerves like no other match. They carried the hopes of their nation and four years of hard grind onto the pitch. Each team has talked the talk, but until the three points are on the board, it’s even stevens.

Round two had a different feel. Confident play, reputations put aside as underdogs took it to the big nations and took points off them, and team strategies adjusted to account for injuries and early tournament fatigue.

And here we are in round three already.

Australia go into the final round of group matches in second position and the Matildas are well placed.

They minimised the damage against the world’s number two nation USA, conceding three goals but pulling one of their own back, and better still, showing the world some of the best football this tournament has seen. The only real casualties were the injuries to Laura Alleway (hip) and Lisa De Vanna (ankle) but both played strongly against Nigeria and will be managed carefully through the tournament.

Their match against Nigeria was classy. The defence held off the onslaught of the quick, physical and passionate Nigerians and as Steph Catley said afterwards “… we scored when we needed to.” Kyah Simon’s inclusion added a natural flow to the forward line, combining effortlessly with team mates Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord, and set up for her first by Lisa DeVanna who has shone as Australia’s captain in the early rounds.

Catley said after the match that she doesn’t think Australia has played their best football yet, an exciting prospect for fans who are sitting up and taking notice of Australia.

Their opponents, Sweden, came to the tournament with high expectations. They are one of the more experienced teams, rocking household names like Lotta Schelin, Nilla Fischer and Caroline Seger. Their squad is bolstered by the next wave of national team players in Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson who have grown in stature even since the London 2012 Olympic Games, products of the Swedish national league, one of the world’s best.

Tactically, coach Pia Sundhage appears to be having some fun out there. In defence, the team against the USA dropped to a compact 4-4-2 formation and in possession, they expanded out to more of a 4-3-3, using every inch of the pitch, including the sidelines and goal lines to stretch the US team. We could see them implementing this same tactic against Australia, having taken the USA to a 0-0 draw in the last match.

Sweden didn’t appear so well organised against Nigeria. Their backline was constantly turned around and leaked three goals which restricted Sweden to a draw in a match they might have expected to take more points from. Their conditioning was also exposed with some players suffering cramps with 15 minutes to go.

While this game is not a do or die for either team, they will both be desperate for the 3 points. A win for Australia, combined with Nigeria winning or drawing to the USA would see them take first position in the group, avoiding an arduous trip to Moncton for the knockout round.

The pressure is greater on Sweden. They are playing not only for a place in the next round but a place in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, as UEFA continues to use the Women’s World Cup as the qualification route.

Expect to see the Matildas continue to play their fast paced attacking game, motoring down the flanks and transitioning through the silky Emily Van Egmond, Katrina Gorry and Elise Kellond-Knight who have all been outstanding this week. Their biggest test will be breaching the clutches of Hedvig Lindahl, Sweden’s keeper who was outstanding against the USA.

From Sweden, their set plays will be dangerous. Against the USA they had a different set up for every corner kick. They lined up their tall, strong bodies in a different direction each corner, and in one case, would have scored if it wasn’t for a goal line clearance headed off the line. Sweden know how to protect the ball and they defend stoicly. The biggest risk for them will be the space behind their backline that was so exposed against Nigeria.

With the benefit of two rounds behind us, this match up has turned into one of the most anticipated of the tournament, after the highly fancied Sweden’s stumble against Nigeria and Australia’s impressive early showings.

World Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist for the US women’s national team, Tiffeny Milbrett, has called out Australia as one of the standout teams of this tournament. “Sam Kerr has been super impressive, as has Emily Van Egmond. From what I’ve seen of Australia, I’m very impressed. They’re fun to watch. Their creativity on the ball should making the team proud. Whatever they’ve been doing over the past few years, it’s working.”

While there could be a sizeable local contingent backing Sweden in Edmonton, the Australians might just feel right at home, surrounded as they will be in the auditorium of 53,000 green and gold seats that comprise the Commonwealth Stadium.