How will young Team USA fare vs. Europe at 2019 Solheim Cup?

When Juli Inkster had an opportunity to put Nelly and Jessica Korda on the same Solheim Cup team, she said, "Why wouldn't I put them together?" Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- Barring a tie, a three-peat looms in this week's 16th Solheim Cup.

If Juli Inkster's Team USA defies the fact that they have an unprecedented six rookies on the squad, she will become the first captain to land a hat trick of wins.

And if Catriona Matthew leads the Europeans to victory it will be the third time that the home side has triumphed at the home of golf.

The match begins Friday morning with four foursomes, followed by a quartet of four-balls in the afternoon. There is more of the same on Saturday, and then the drama concludes with 12 singles matches on Sunday.

Here's what to watch out for as the Solheim Cup plays out:

The Korda sisters make history

There's high excitement in the Korda household, as Jessica and Nelly become the first sisters in the event's history to play on the same team, and Juli Inkster is in no mood to disappoint mum and dad.

"Why wouldn't I put them together?" she asked rhetorically. "Everyone wants to see it."

Oddly, this week could have been so different, for both the Kordas and the balance of the match itself. Their parents are from the Czech Republic and Jessica represented the East European nation as a youngster. But since the family moved to Florida, there has been no question of them flying any flag other than the Stars and Stripes.

The teams are so closely matched this week, but imagine if the Kordas were competing for Europe. Of course, it's pure fun and conjecture, yet in one fell swoop, Europe would surely become the strong favorite.

How will Lexi Thompson fare without Cristie Kerr?

Two days into her Solheim Cup career, Lexi Thompson cut a downbeat figure having played two four-balls and losing both. Since then? She's unbeaten in nine matches. There's just one problem, however: Five of the seven points she has won in that period came in partnership with Cristie Kerr, who's not here this week.

Who will Lexi be paired with? Her pod is thought-provoking, including Jessica Korda (with whom she was unbeaten at the 2010 Curtis Cup), Nelly Korda (who on-site rumors suggest is the big-hitting dream duo) and, most intriguingly, Brittany Altomare.

As TV commentator Karen Stupples noted: "Lexi relied on Cristie to read the putts, and when you talk about somebody who can see putts, Brittany is your person. I think she will step up into that role very easily."

How do the captains match up?

Has there been a more delicious captaincy head-to-head in the match's history than Inkster vs. Matthew?

One is a fast-talking, wise-cracking firebrand from California who has embraced personality tests and pod systems to maximize the performance of her players.

The other is a quiet Scotswoman whose Clark Kent vibes to outsiders contrasts with her Superman reputation within the European team.

Boisterous with smarts up against reserved yet passionate. It promises to be an absorbing battle.

Which team will the course suit?

This is not just a long course; it is a long walk. In fact, buggies will ferry the players on two stretches to speed them along.

Factor in wet fairways and it's no surprise that Georgia Hall has reported hitting fairway woods into multiple par-4s.

"The greens are not super-firm, but they are firm, which makes it an extra challenge coming in with big clubs," Azahara Munoz said.

Neither team is willing to hazard a guess as to which will have an advantage, a notion backed up by the stats that shows how their driving distance stacks up similarly.

Perhaps the real key will be the wind, which is forecast to be strong, cold and blustery.

"It's going to be a big factor," Carlota Ciganda said.

Will Suzann Pettersen repay her captain's faith?

There's little doubt that the selection of the Norwegian as a captain's pick put the wild in wild card. After playing the Tour Championship in November 2017, she wasn't seen again on the course until 18 months later at the LPGA's pairs event.

Her partner? Matthew. We should have guessed there and then. Laura Davies, an assistant captain for Team Europe, had no problem with the left-field call.

"Why wouldn't you want her on your team?" she asked. "Surprise pick? Not to us. This isn't 72 holes of stroke play, it's 18 holes of match play. Suzann can be tricky out there, so the Americans won't want to play her. What she brings to our team, I would never doubt it."