England and Sweden will showdown in the match for a third-place finish at the World Cup 2019 on Saturday. How will each of them approach this fixture? Will they both take the chance to give some of their squad players a bit of action? Four years ago England were in this very situation and they produced an upset against Germany. The Odds on England Women to beat Sweden Women are 8/11* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2019 at 9:10 p.m.)
England Women 8/11
Sweden Women 15/4
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2019 at 9:10 p.m.)
After winning all three of their group stage matches without ever putting together a good performance in any of their fixtures against Japan, Argentina and Scotland. But they got the job done to advance. Their round of sixteen affair against Cameroon descended into chaos, so there wasn’t an opportunity for them in that fixture to get any kind of momentum going. But then it came together for England.
In their quarter-final tie against Norway, the best of the Lioness was seen. Everyone was right on their game on the day, fluent, cohesive and positive. Their easy success over the Norwegians put them into a semi-final tie against the USA, the current World Champions. That was when things started to get real. Despite carving out some great chances for themselves in the game, England just came up short, losing 2-1 against the Americans. The biggest heartbreak was for captain Steph Houghton who missed a penalty to tie the game at 2-2.
Four years ago England finish in third place. That 2015 World Cup was the one which really put the Lionesses on the map. They were in sparkling form throughout, but they suffered semi-final heartbreak against Japan. However, the Lionesses gathered themselves up and took a win over Germany to seal the bronze medal spot. That is the best that he can hope for now as they head into another third-place playoff.
They will have to shake off some poor history against Sweden to get it. England Women are W1 D4 L4 from their nine previous encounters against the Swedes. But the Lionesses can take tremendous heart and confidence from the way that they stood toe to toe with the Americans. They should be fresher than their opponents as well having played their semi-final a day earlier than Sweden and they didn’t have to go through an exhausting extra time period like the Swedish had to.
It has been a bit of a strange campaign from Sweden. They did the jobs that they had to do in the group stage, beating Chile and Thailand. They didn’t really compete in their final group stage match against the USA, Sweden looking happy to take second place and stay in the easier half of the draw which would have meant avoiding the Americans again until the final. But they didn’t get that shot. They are beaten in extra time of their semi-final tie against the Netherlands.
That was a long game in tough, hot conditions. Sweden just had nothing left in the tank at the end of their game against the Netherlands.So often in the knockout stages, Sweden were fairly reserved and happy to play a counter-attacking game. They were absolutely perfect in their quarter-final tie, beating Germany from a position as underdogs. That was their high. When they would break they were so good and direct, and they continuously looked a threat from set pieces as well.
England are more likely to have the quality of depth if the two nations both decide to shake things up a little bit and give squad players a chance. They should have the fresher legs and of the two sides, they have been a little more positive than Sweden. The Swedes can never be written off because they pose their own quality threat. But England can win this. The Odds on England Women to beat Sweden Women are 8/11* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2019 at 9:10 p.m.)
England’s Lionesses knew at some point in the draw that they were going to hit a huge hurdle. Here comes, their semi-final against the reigning champions the USA. There is a monumental task ahead of Phil Neville’s team to pull off an upset in this one.
No-one thus far in the tournament has come close to knocking the Americans off their perch. Can the Lionesses pull off a surprise though? The Odds on England Women to beat USA Women have the Lionesses as 16/5 underdogs* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 30th, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.).
USA Women 17/20
England Women 16/5
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 30th, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.)
To be fair, none of the group stage performances from England were particularly convincing. They opened with a 2-1 win over Scotland and then edged past Argentina before sounding off with a victory over Japan. It was progress but they hadn’t put together a solid match in those three group stage games. Then came their really fragmented duel with Cameroon in the round of sixteen, which descended into chaos, so rhythm was hard to find.
But then things came together for England in the quarterfinals. They were up against Norway and right from the kickoff, England took control. They quickly got into an attacking mode and never let their opponents settle. With an early goal on the board through Jill Scott, England were comfortable throughout the 90 minutes and did a superb job of shutting down the main threats of their opponents. So the way that they played in that game will really have filled them with belief that they can go further.
England are W1 D1 L4 in six previous meetings with the USA
There was a 2-2 earlier this year at the SheBelievesCup
England have lost four of the last five meetings by a 1-0 scoreline
The USA have outscored England 8-3 in previous meetings
Ellen White has been the surprise package of the tournament for England in terms of goals. It was all about how much Nikita Parris was going to be able to deliver for them. But White has come up big time for the Lionesses, and with a five-goal haul, jointly sits at the top of the goalscoring charts with another two games to play. She looks so confident and sharp and White is at 3/1 odds in the anytime goalscorer market* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 30th, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.).
The worrying thing will be a lack of support for Whites. Parris, who scored England’s first goal of the tournament from a spot kick, has subsequently missed two penalty kicks in the tournament, Frank Kirby has continued no goals to the cause and neither has Toni Duggan. Aside from White, three of the other five English players to score at the tournament have been defenders. White can’t be expected to carry the can on her own against a formidable USA defence.
Ahead of the World Cup England had taken two clean sheets in eight games and that was a big concern for them at the time heading into the World Cup. They conceded in that opening game against Scotland, deep into the second half. However, that is the only goal that they have shipped during this campaign. It has been four clean sheets on the bounce from them and that has been a huge output from them.
Can they stand strong against a powerful USA attack? The Americans are so deadly in front of goal highlighted by their huge tally at the tournament so far. So England have to find a way to shut them down. But it is a five-match winning streak at the moment and so the Lionesses do have a bit of wind in their sails.
The performance against Norway was brilliant. Everyone will have noticed how good that one. They will be looking to banish some harsh memories of the 2015 World Cup semi final too. Four years ago when they missed out on the Final after scoring an own goal in stoppage time against Japan.
The USA can’t be taken lightly. They had a tremendously easy time of things in the group stage and they took 2-1 wins over Spain and then host nation France in the round of sixteen and quarter finals respectively. So they were challenged a little bit more. Against Spain, their only route to goal was from two spot-kicks converted from Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe also struck both of their goals in their win over France.
She is just part of a lethal attacking threat which also contains Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan. The USA have now made it to the semi-finals in all eight of their World Cup appearances which is an astonishing record. The Americans are on a ten-match winning streak in World Cup matches at the moment and are unbeaten in twelve. Their current form is spectacular too. They played out a 2-2 with England back at the SheBelivesCup and since then they have won eleven on the bounce. They have taken a tally of eight clean sheets in that sequence of fixtures.
The Lionesses are going to need the perfect performance in this one. No two ways about it. They are going to have their work cut out. But there have been moments against Spain and France where the USA have come under some pressure. England have to find that balance between defence and attacking and maybe set pieces are the way for the Lionesses. This is a huge moment.
The Odds on England Women to beat USA Women have the Lionesses as 16/5 underdogs* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 30th, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.)
England Women are back in another quarter final at a major tournament. They have actually been to the semi finals of their last two major tournaments, so can they make it three in a row? Standing in their way in the final eight of the Women’s World Cup 2019 are Norway.
Four years ago at the 2015 World Cup, the Lionesses faced Norway in the round of sixteen. England took a 2-1 victory. The odds on England Women to beat Norway Women are at 6/5* (betting odds taken from Betfred on June 24th, 2019 at 2:49 am).
England Women 6/5
Norway Women 21/10
* (betting odds taken from Betfred on June 24th, 2019 at 2:49 am)
England won all three of their group stage matches in the tournament. They took back to back one-goal margin successes over Scotland and Argentina, before beating Japan 2-0 in their final fixture. So that was the perfect start from the English as they had started the campaign as the favourites to top Group D. That put them in the tougher top half of the draw though, and after getting past Cameroon in a terrible round of sixteen game, they will face Norway for a place in the semi-finals.
England kept their professionalism and temperament high in their first knockout game against Cameroon. The African team were incensed by VAR decisions not going their way and were refusing to restart the game at one point. England produced a 3-0 win as Cameroon just capitulated in frustration, but it’s hard to get a real gauge on England’s performance. On the surface, while did well in some testing conditions, they once again did not play well.
There has been a lot of criticism fired at England because of the way that they are playing. It hasn’t been good, it has not been convincing. Their passing has been dreadful and they keep trying to play it out from the back, but far too many passes are going astray. While they have played well in patches here and there, there just has not been a complete performance from them yet where everything has come together.
Winning while not playing well is never a bad thing of course, but can they start to peak at the right time? They do have a goal scorer in form at the moment with Ellen White having taken her tally to four goals for the tournament. That’s been a great return from her so far and England, while they do look to be lacking a world-class star up front, do at least have plenty of options in the forward department.
England do look a little bit rocky at the back and they always seem to have a few nervy moments, and that’s generally ones they have created themselves. Captain Steph Houghton was the victim of an atrocious tackle at the end of their match against Cameroon but it looks as if she will be fine to carry on.
But for all that they can be picked apart for, Phil Neville’s team have taken three straight clean sheets as well. But they know that things are going to start to get much tougher now for them as they face up to a Norway side who look very settled, very together and strong.
It looks as if it will be a tight game and the odds on England Women to beat Norway Women to nil are at 11/4* (betting odds taken from Betfred on June 24th, 2019 at 2:49 am).
There have been five previous games played between England and Norway. The head to head is evenly split with two wins each and a draw. Their most recent meeting was in a 2017 friendly which Norway won 1-0. This will be their third meeting at the Women’s World Cup with them having picked up one win each. Norway’s happened in the 1995 edition, England getting their success four years ago in Canada.
Norway, of course, are not to be taken lightly. They are in the quarter finals for a reason. They won two of their three group stage games, the only loss happening against France. In that defeat, the second goal that Norway conceded was a really controversial VAR decision which awarded the French a penalty. The game could have been so different. But here they are.
Norway won the 1995 Women’s World Cup, a campaign in which they beat England along the way. They are a very tidy side and they have shown a lot of composure and quality on the ball, arguably more so than the more scrappy approach of England. Norway needed a penalty shoot out to get past Australia in the round of sixteen, so had to put in a big extra shift to get that done. Will, that have a knock-on effect in this one?
The odds on England Women to beat Norway Women at this World Cup, sees the Lioness go as the 6/5 favourites to pick up the win* (betting odds taken from Betfred on June 24th, 2019 at 2:49 am). It doesn’t look as if it is going to be an easy game for them at all as Norway are going to be tough to knock down. But in their tougher games against France and Australia, the Norwegians couldn’t come up with a win in 90 minutes. England may just be able to take their chances.
England are heading to the next round of the competition, there is just a matter of if they get there having won their group or not. Winning the group puts them into the same half of the draw as hosts France and potentially the defending champions USA.
Japan are also moving ahead but need to produce a win to top the group. They need a point to guarantee second place. They may not go too hard at it. The odds on England women to beat Japan Women are at 11/10* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 17th, 2019 at 7:11 p.m.)
England Women 11/10
Japan Women 5/2
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 17th, 2019 at 7:11 p.m.)
With two wins from two so far in the tournament, a 2-1 success over Scotland and a 1-0 victory over Argentina, England are going to the next round. There’s really no easy road to the final of course. If they win, it’s likely that will likely leave them on a collision course with either France or the USA in the semi-finals. If they end up in second place in their group they would face either the Netherlands or Canada in the round of sixteen.
So there’s no easy route to success. You wouldn’t expect there to be at the World Cup. England have yet to really produce a strong 90 minutes. They were good in the first half against Scotland, poor in the second. They were labouring for 45 minutes against Argentina before stepping it up in the second half of the game against the resilient South Americans.
England are 11/10 to beat Japan* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 17th, 2019 at 7:11 p.m.) which they did earlier this year at the SheBelievesCup. The two nations met in the final of that small competition, but Japan were using a young squad, not their full one. England raced out to a 3-0 success in the fixture. Will Japan settle for taking second place in this group and then take their chances in the bottom half of the draw?
Japan and England also played each other in the World Cup 2015 semi-final. The dreams of the Lionesses were undone in stoppage time in that game when Laura Bassett scored an own goal, handing Japan a 2-1 success. This time around for their meeting, it’s almost a game that neither wants to really win.
England are W4 L1 in their last five games played now. They have only taken the two clean sheets in their last six though, which looks like an area that needs addressing, especially as they get deeper into the tournament. If you look specifically at their World Cup form, they are W7 L1 in their last eight, the one defeat in that sequence the aforementioned defeat against the Japanese four years ago.
Japan have tremendous movement and technical ability on the ball. They didn’t really click in the final third of the pitch in their opening game against Argentina, which ended in a 0-0 draw. With the Argentine side holding out for so long against England, it put Japan’s result against the South Americans into better perspective.
What will they do here though? That is the big, interesting question. Will they bother ever chasing down the top spot in the group, or rest players and take on Canada or the Netherlands in the first knockout round? Japan are only W1 D3 L2 in their last six games played. But that is largely because they were using their younger players in their warm-up match and as mentioned, at the SheBelievesCup.
England are still looking to find an attacking quality that may not be there. It hasn’t quite come together there for them yet at the tournament. They do appear to be lacking in the creativity department a little bit. They just don’t particularly looked as adventurous as they were in their bold approach from four years ago as they finished in third place.
But still, they will likely want to go to the next stage of the competition with momentum behind them. A win over Japan would likely give them that. It is hard to imagine that this is going to be a big thriller of a game. The situation does not lend itself to being so. So the odds on England to beat Japan by a one-goal margin is at 5/2 odds* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 17th, 2019 at 7:11 p.m.).
What a tremendous showdown between France and England we have in store at the Women’s Euro 2017 on Sunday. These old rivals will go at it again. We have this situation because France surprisingly, who started the tournament as second favourites, failed to win their group in the first stage. They missed out to Austria after having some real struggles and that has given them a tougher quarter final than they would have hoped for.
But for England’s Lionesses, it is isn’t going to be easy, even with the French a bit out of form, because the French can never be written off because of the quality that they have and England are trailing badly in the head to head against their rivals.
The Lionesses won all three of their group stage matches, scoring ten goals in three games, while France just scraped to the knockout stages on goal difference and at 1-0 down against the Swiss in their final group stage match, they were going home until they found an equaliser. England have not beaten France since back in 1974. From the 21 previous meetings between the two nations, France have a commanding W10 D9 L2 record against the English and have beaten them in f the last three major tournaments.
Will England’s scoring power and defensive grit get them through what is expected to be a pretty tense affair? The Lionesses are fearless but the French are stacked with quality throughout their ranks and won’t go down without a fight.
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This is the biggest game in the history of England Women’s football. In the early hours of Thursday morning (UK time) the Lionesses will be looking to secure a win over the reigning world champions Japan Women, to book a place in the final of the World Cup. England Women are within touching distance of a historical World Cup campaign, but there is still plenty of hard graft which needs to be put in.
They have taken their chances well after suffering a setback in their opening group fixture, which resulted in a loss against France. Since then, Mark Sampson has rotated the squad, tinkered with tactics and the Lionesses have produce four 2-1 victories on the bounce. They have come in different manners, having to fight back from a goal down against Norway in the round of sixteen and then having to defend an early 2-0 lead in the quarter finals against host nation Canada.
England Women have shown that they are adaptable and they have the spirit and belief in themselves, and they have made the country proud. Will the adventure continue on for them? They are trading as 10/3 underdogs with online betting site Bet365 to beat Japan Women in the semi finals, but England went into their other two knockout stage matches as underdogs with the bookmakers, and that hasn’t stopped their progress.
England Women have conceded one goal in each of their games played at the World Cup so far, while the efficient and industrious Japan Women have banked clean sheets in three of their five matches. Japan aren’t going to be a walkover, as they are the only side to have won all of their matches in the tournament (like England, all of their wins coming by a one goal margin). But at the long price of 10/3, the Lionesses again may be worth a punt to defy the odds.
The last nation to beat Japan Women in a Women’s World Cup match was England Women. That was in the group stage four years ago, England banking a 2-0 victory. The two nations came together for a friendly a couple of years ago and played out a 2-2 draw. So there is hope for England, the big concern that punters will have about them is their failure to have captured a clean sheet. But that could send punters to some value in backing both teams to score at a price of 5/4 with online bookmaker Bet365.
It should be a cracking game and England Women aren’t out of this yet. They are 8/1 underdogs at Bet365 to go on and win the World Cup, because even if they get past the current champions, they would have to ace one of the top two nations in the world in the Final, either Germany or the USA who square off in the first semi final.
Belief, passion, willingness and determination. England Women have shown all of it so far on their historic run and they have made a nation proud. Is there more to come from them at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup?