The USA will step out in Paris on Sunday for the Final of the Women’s World Cup, looking to secure a title defence. They have once again proven to be the ones to beat at this level and while they have been challenged, they don’t look like losing their grip on their status of World champions at any point.
The odds on USA women to beat Netherlands Women will see the Americans kick off as 4/9 favourites* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2019 at 9:10 p.m.)
USA Women 4/9
Netherlands Women 15/2
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2019 at 9:10 p.m.)
The Americans found themselves as second favourites in the pre-tournament outright winner market to France. That was because the French were in form, are stacked with some of Europe’s best talent and had home soil advantage. It didn’t take long for the reigning champion the USA to march their way back to the position of being favourites. From their opening 13-0 win over Thailand, the USA once again haven’t looked back.
Building on that remarkably opening win, they then beat Chile 5-0 and Sweden 2-0. So it was a big return from the USWNT early on. But were they simply on a path to burn out a little bit early? Not at all. While they have had tougher challenges as they would have expected in the knockouts, they haven’t looked like falling to anyone that they have been up against. If they win on Sunday it will be their fourth World Cup title and mean that they have won half of the eight editions of the tournament. The odds on USA to beat Sweden to nil are at 5/4* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2019 at 9:10 p.m.). Four years ago they thumped Japan 5-2 in a lop-sided final for their third title.
Carli Loyd won the Golden Ball for best player and was joint top scorer in the tournament alongside Germany’s Celia Sasic, four years ago. It has largely been all about Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe this time around. Morgan is the darling of the USWNT, a player who transcends her sport amongst.
She fired off five goals in their opening win over Thailand and didn’t add to that tally until the semi-finals when she netted against England. She hasn’t quite looked at her best, but she has goals in her. Megan Rapinoe who scored the USA’s two goals against both Spain and France is just one behind Morgan in the race to win the Golden Boot.
The Americans have a huge fitness level advantage. You can see it in their matches. They often look a step quicker than anyone else, they move the ball in a much quicker way than any other team can do and their stamina doesn’t seem to wane. Their superior fitness levels have been noticed more and more through the knockouts stage, where they have taken three consecutive 2-1 success over Spain, France and England.
Any time you look at the Americans you think that it is going to take more than one goal to beat them. That’s a huge problem for any opponent. This is a team now who are on an eleven match winning streak in World Cup matches and who are unbeaten in thirteen. They thrive at the top and here they are again. They are riding another huge wave of form and they are going to take some stopping. In their current form, they are on a twelve-match winning streak. They have scored at least two goals in each of their last eleven.
To make the Final the Netherlands had to come through an extra time period against Sweden. The Dutch were on an eight-match winning streak of form before playing out to a 0-0 draw against Sweden over 90 minutes. So they had from behind them. They have scored at least two goals in four their six World Cup this campaign, but still, they haven’t looked particularly impressive side.
They have relied on moments of magic from key players and have barely raised themselves above looking like an average side at the best of times. This is their first experience of a World Cup Final. They are the reigning European champions but they were playing much better, much stronger stuff on their way to the European title than they have done at this World Cup. They are now facing the elite. At no stage of their campaign have they faced such high quality.
It is hard to see where the Netherlands get a foothold in this game. Their midfield area is nowhere near as good as that of the Americans. At times the Dutch have looked really ragged and a bit short of quality. They have some star power that can rise to the occasion, but as a team, they fall a long way short of the quality of the Americans. The odds on USA women to beat Netherlands Women will see the Americans kick off as 4/9 favourites* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2019 at 9:10 p.m.) and it’s hard to question that.
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.)
It will be an all-European clash in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup down in the bottom half of the draw. Reigning European Champions the Netherlands have already put together their best ever run at a World Cup. Can they put themselves on the brink of a potential holding both European and World crowns at the same time? Or will Sweden, who have put together a tactically solid campaign, cause an upset?
The Odds on Sweden Women to beat Netherlands Women are at 21/10* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 30th, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.)
Netherlands Women 13/10
Sweden Women 21/10
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 30th, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.)
Everyone seemed pretty impressed by the tactical approach from Sweden in their quarter-final tie against Germany. Sweden had been underdogs against the Germans, who had not conceded in the tournament up until that point. When Sweden fell behind in the game early on, things looked ominous for the Swedes. However, they nullified the threat of the Germans from there on and managed to work their way back in the game to take a 2-1 win.
They produced a wonderful balance between attack and defence and came up trumps. The key factor about Sweden’s performance in that game was their threat on the counter-attack. Throughout this tournament, particular in the knockout stages, they have been happy to play to their defensive strengths and look for the counter-attacking opportunities. They did in the round of sixteen when they were up against Canada, picking their opponents off in a 1-0 win.
Their hero in their last two matches has been Stina Blackstenius who has been superb. She has netted the winner in their two knockout stage matches. She has taken the chances for them on the break. But again, all of their work was built off of their defensive performances. Their full-backs against Germany nullified a huge threat from Germany and they are going to have to be on their toes signs against the dynamic triple threat up front of the Netherlands.
Sweden are the only side to have come from behind to progress through a knockout stage tie in this World Cup. That shows the depth of their resolve really. Their success over Germany extended their streak of having scored in every single one of their World Cup knockout stage matches that they have played in their history. That will be a total of 22 goals across 14 fixtures.
In the group stage, Sweden were up against the USA. Both teams had won their opening matches ahead of their meeting in the final round of matches. Instead of the Swedes pushing on and challenging the Americans to top the group, they didn’t really seem to be that interested in doing so. At that stage, there was no point busting a gut trying to win out in toppling the USA to getting first place.
Sweden went under strength for the game, resting some key players and settled for second best. That meant that were likely to get an easier run in the bottom half of the draw because it sent the USA up to the top half of the draw alongside France and England, two of the other main contenders for the title. It was realistically, only Germany that they had to deal with down in that bottom half of the bracket. So it may have been a calculated risk not to challenge the USA when it didn’t really matter to do so.
The defence of the Swedes then is going to be the key component in this semi-final duel. They are not suddenly going to go and get expansive and take on the Netherlands in that manner. Sweden have won five of their last six games and across that sequence of games have taken a total, of course, clean sheets. In their last ten games played they tallied up an impressive number of seven clean sheets. So their defensive strengths are certainly there. Will they be able to keep the star power of Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema quiet.
The Dutch have taken their current winning streak to eight. That’s obviously not to be sneezed at and it makes for impressive reading. However, they have not at any point during this tournament looked as convincing as they could be. They are blessed with top talents Vivianne Miedema and Lieke Martens and they have both come to their country’s call at times in this tournament.
But they have looked a little rocky and have needed late interventions like their stoppage-time winner against New Zealand in the group stage and a 90th-minute penalty in their round of sixteen tie against Japan to squeeze through. They have just one clean sheet in their last five. They will be expected to do most of the attacking in the game. But will they be able to crack the tough Swedish defence?
Sweden look a viable option here. They are strong defensively and they are not worried about playing on the break and not being an expensive side. Those are their strengths. They have some big players to try and shut down in this one, but they performed so well in defence against Germany that they can follow up against the Netherlands. The Odds on Sweden Women to beat Netherlands Women are at 21/10* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 30th, 2019 at 9:02 p.m.)
The biggest match of the 2019 Women’s World Cup so far will happen on Friday. This will be the quarter-final showdown between France and the USA. Pre-tournament it was France who had been backed into favourites, with them holding home advantage as hosts.
But some powerful performances from the Americans has shifted things in their favour. Who wins this heavyweight duel? The odds on France Women to beat USA Women are at 6/5* (betting odds taken from bet365 on June 27th, 2019 at 12:36 pm)
US Women 6/5
France Women 9/4
* (betting odds taken from bet365 on June 27th, 2019 at 12:36 pm)
The French do have home advantage and on such a big night that would make a world of difference for them. At times the hosts has been simply brilliant in this tournament. They have rocked things out with some supremely impressive spells of attacking football. Of course, no team in the world is going to be able to sustain high standards match after match. The French have had bits of luck go their way, such as their winning goal against Norway in their second game.
They also had a retaken spot kick to beat Nigeria in their final group stage game. But the thing about them is that they create chances. So they do in large chunks create their luck almost. They have such a wonderfully strong core of players, most of them from Lyon and it comes together well for them. They have pace and finishing power in Eugenie Le Sommer and Valerie Gauvin up front.
Amandine Henry pulls the attacking strings from the middle of the park and you have serial winner Wendie Renard at the back. The French have also unleashed one of the quickest, most devastating wingers in the world as well. That will Kadidiatou Diani who is blisteringly quick, although her crossing has let her down at times. But France have pace, they have power and skill. Will it be enough to see them knock out the USA?
The French, despite winning their group, weren’t rewarded with an easy round of sixteen tie either. They had to go up against Brazil and that was an extended game going through extra time. It was Amandine Henry who settled it before the dreaded penalty shootout game along.
But that was a series test of their character and how well they can handle pressure in such a big tie. They got through that challenge, and it was a good test, especially when the Brazilians just started to throw caution to the wind and attack, of how well the French may be able to compete against the USA.
The French are undefeated in their last three games against the USA so there has been a bit of a minimum shift between the two nations. Their most recent meeting was back in January this year with the French winning 3-1. That is two wins in their last three games now that they have taken against the Americans (D1). It is clearly perceived that they are the ones who are the most likely to prevent the USA from winning the title again.
No one is expecting the reigning champions the USA to go down without a fight of course. They are the most successful nation in the history of the tournament. They are also physically supreme, one of the big advantages that they have over the other nations. They play the game at a high pace and that alone is something that opposition really struggle to live with over the course of 90 minutes.
After a perfect group stage campaign, the USA though did show some vulnerabilities in their round of sixteen tie. Spain turned up and delivered a very good tactical performance against the USA. The Americans did get the win, but only thanks to two penalty kicks which were converted by Megan Rapinoe. The second of those was a really soft one as well. So Spain highlighted some vulnerabilities that the USA may have and it will have given hope to France.
There is no team better equipped in this tournament to stop the Americans than the French. They have great depth, they have had their moment where they have looked rocky as well in this tournament, but have kept finding ways to win. The pace that they have could be key here because they are likely to press and harass the USA more so than any other team can.
France has wonderful power down the flanks and that is something that is going to keep the USA occupied and it means that Americans won’t likely be able to play things the way that they would like to. France aren’t just going to sit back and try to defend their way to the title. They are ambitious and they have quality.
The odds on France Women to beat the USA Women are at 6/5* (betting odds taken from bet365 on June 27th, 2019 at 12:36 pm) and that looks a nice bit of value. If it doesn’t happen here, it’s hard to see the USA being stopped in their title defence.
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?
England Women take on Colombia Women in their third and final group match of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Group F is set up for a really dramatic finish with all four teams still in the qualification picture and therefore by default, all four of them are still in with a possibility of crashing out of the tournament.
Heading into the final round of group matches, England are sitting in second place behind Colombia by a point. So England Women take on the south Americans knowing that only a win would see them in with a chance of finishing top of the group. But the big threat behind them is France, who are expected to beat Mexico in their final group match and with the French starting on level points with England then everything is up in the air.
What makes Group F even more interesting is that the teams are really scrapping to finish second and not first in the group. For progress through the knockout stage, finishing runner-up in Group F would see that team move through to the easiest quarter of the draw. The team who wins the group would likely get to go against the powerful German Women in the quarter-finals, while a third place finish in the group would likely mean a clash against the strong USA Women in the round of sixteen.
So for England women to finish second, they would need everything to stay as it is. A draw against Colombia and a failure by France to beat Mexico would suit England. However, if France win, then England would also have to win, but the Lionesses would then hope that France take the top spot in the group by goal difference, leaving England in second. So there is a fascinating position and jostling for a spot in this one and the Lionesses are 3/5 favourite to beat Colombia, who in turn are running at 6/1 with Bet365 for the win.
If England and France both happen to lose their final games, then that would leave a goal difference battle between the two Europeans to cling on to third place. Six of the eight third-placed teams from the group stage will move through to the knockout stages along with the two automatically qualified nations from each group. England really needs to carry through their momentum from their win over Mexico in their second group game.
We have seen two sides of England so far, one who was conservative and just set out to contain the powerful French side in their opener, worried about conceding too many goals probably and the Lionesses lost 1-0. They then adopted a far more attacking mindset for the game against Mexico, but while they were far improved going forward, holding a lot of attacking possession and looking pretty fluent, they looked a bit flustered in front of goal itself, particularly star striker Eniola Aluko who hasn’t impressed in the tournament so far.
So with all the drama that could unfold in Group F in the final round of matches, following the games with live in-play betting at online bookmaker Bet365 will add a great dimension to your betting experience. Enjoy over 70 live markets after kick off in a game and new customers opening an account with Bet365 can enjoy up to a free £200 bet as a welcome bonus, the bookmaker matching the value of your initial deposit as a free bet.