England and USA meet in the Women’s World Cup semi-final on Tuesday night, kicking off at 9:00pm local time in Lyon, France. Two of the World Cup’s heavyweights will go head to head in one of the most anticipated World Cup matches of all time. Who will book themselves a place in the final?
After reaching the semi-finals in the last two major tournaments, manager Phil Neville has managed to match that feat by completing that goal once again. The mission now is to create history for this Women’s team, and for them to reach their first ever World Cup final. The interest in England has spiked up significantly courtesy of this tournament, and the Lionesses have not failed to deliver.
They have won every game in the competition so far, and haven’t conceded a goal in almost 400 minutes of action. After some mediocre performances to begin with, England have grown from strength to strength in the tournament, with their best performance coming in the quarter finals against Norway, in which they won 3-0. Star performer of the match, Lucy Bronze, played a huge part in the first two goals before sealing the win with a stunning strike from outside the area.
England suffered heartache in 2015 World Cup semi-finals and 2017 European Championships, so they are more determined than ever to get the victory here at any costs. Can England create history?
USA have reached their 8th consecutive semi-final in the World Cup, by the virtue of beating hosts France in a fantastic game – an excellent advert for women’s football – this past Friday night. USA, along with England, keep up their record of winning every game so far as this tournament inside 90 minutes, and combined with their previous World Cup, makes that record stretch to 10 consecutive wins. The captain Megan Rapinoe, who has had a Twitter spat with president Donald Trump, won the game for the USA, scoring twice as she did in the previous round against Spain.
Other key strikers Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan haven’t kept up their promising form since the group stage, as the USA have been over-reliant on their captain. USA are hoping to be the 2nd team ever to retain their title, and win their fourth ever Women’s World Cup. Not many now would back against them winning the competition, but England are perhaps in the best position to stop them. Can USA continue being the unstoppable force and book themselves in a fifth World Cup final?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Head to Head
USA have a superior head to head record against England, and in the recent 5 meetings, have won three times, drawn once and lost once. The most recent meeting was in the SheBelieves Cup which finished 2-2, with Houghton and Parris scoring for England, and Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath scoring for USA – who were the hosts. England went on to win that competition for the first time. Their only ever previous World Cup meeting was in the 2007 World Cup quarter finals, which USA won 3-0, as they blew away England in the 2nd half with three quick-fire goals inside 15 minutes. Can England get revenge?
Predictions and Betting Tips
England are at 3/1 to win, with USA ranked favourites at 10/11. For the two teams to draw and go into extra time, that is at 23/10. To qualify for the final outright, England are at 13/8, and USA are at 4/9. The USA are understandable favourites due to their footballing heritage in this competition, but this should prove to be a close encounter.
The odds suggest it should be a USA win, but in my eyes, its 55/45 in favour of the Americans, so for the tipster, you should be somewhat confident in backing an England win. Consider backing England to win after extra time (16/1), on penalties (12/1), or even win by a 1-goal margin in 90 minutes at 11/2. Semi-finals rarely see too many goals due to what is at stake, so backing there to be a 1-0 win, either for England (9/1), or USA (11/2) would be my tip.
For goal scorers, Ellen White for England (14/5), and Alex Morgan (13/8), are the favourites to score at any time. For the first goal scorer, as it is in the semi-finals, it may from a set-piece or free-kick that opens the scoring, so back Steph Houghton for England to score first at 33/1, or Julie Ertz for USA at 14/1. Alternatively, you can back any player to score in the first 10 minutes for fantastic odds, so for Megan Rapinoe to do it again, as she did against France, it’s at 22/1.
Finally, due to the unpredictability of the World Cup, consider some outlandish bets such as USA to score 4+ in a thrashing at 12/1, or England to win from behind at 18/1.[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
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