USA and Netherlands meet in the Women’s World Cup final, taking place on Sunday at 5:00pm local time in Lyon, France. The USA are defending champions, whilst the Netherlands are participating in their first ever final.

USA

USA have reached their 3rd consecutive final in the World Cup, and now have stretched their winning record to 11 straight matches on the world’s biggest stage. USA have overcome some difficult tasks in the knock-out stages, but have won 2-1 in each match against Europe’s finest talent, including Spain, hosts France and in the semi-finals, England. USA have showed their athleticism, fitness, and above all else, their world class ability to reach the final once again. England was perhaps the toughest match for them, as they had to escape a penalty miss, and a VAR goal to maintain their slender lead to eventually win.

It appears nothing can stop this USA team, as they’ll hope to win a fourth World Cup in their history, and retain the title they won four years ago. Megan Rapinoe missed the semi-final due to an injury, but is expected to return for the final, but the bad news is that midfielder Rose Lavelle may miss it due to a hamstring injury. She was undoubtedly one of the star players from their semi-final success, with lots of menacing runs and clever build-up play. Can USA continue to create history with this phenomenal team?

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Netherlands

It can be argued that Netherlands haven’t been anywhere near the levels that they reached in the European Championships a few years ago in which they won on home soil, but nevertheless, they will be there on Sunday, playing the biggest game of their professional lives. They only reached their first ever World Cup four years ago, which they reached the 2nd round, showing the huge surge in women’s football in Netherlands in recent years. In the semi-final, they played out one of the least entertaining games at this tournament against Sweden, but Jackie Groenen’s well-placed shot from outside the area broke the deadlock in the 9th minute of extra time, as they held out for the victory.

Netherlands didn’t look their best for most parts of that match, but defended resolutely, and when called upon, keeper Sari van Veenendaal made one of the saves of the competition. Aside from that Sweden semi-final, Netherlands had won all of their games in this World Cup within 90 minutes, including hard-fought wins over Japan and Italy in the knock-out stages. The likes of Shanice van de Sanden, Daniëlle van de Donk and Lieke Martens will have to improve on previous performances if they are to shock the USA on Sunday. Can Netherlands upset the odds?

Head to Head

There have been no matches between these two teams at any major competition. Who will create history in their first competitive meeting?

Predictions and Betting Tips

The USA are strong favourites to win in 90 minutes at 4/9, with the Netherlands priced at 6/1. For the sides to draw and go into extra time, that is at 3/1. To win the World Cup outright, USA are at 1/5, with Netherlands at 10/3. USA have overcome the hosts France and England in recent rounds, and based on Netherlands performances so far, the USA should find this match a tad easier. They also have the benefit of having an extra day’s rest, and played 30 minutes less in their semi-final. I will go for a USA win, via a 3-1 score line at 12/1. As a secondary option, Netherlands are capable of taking this game to extra time, so betting on either team to win it after extra time (13/2), or penalties (7/1), should also be considered.

For goal scorers, I’d recommend backing Alex Morgan to score for the USA at any time during the match at 11/8, with Netherland’s goal most likely to come from Vivianne Miedema, priced at 2/1. All but one of USA’s games have had at least three goals, so for that to happen again, its priced at 1/1 (EVENS). USA have also scored in the first 10 minutes in all their matches so far, and for the first goal to be scored in that 10-time slot (0-10), by either team, it is at a generous 10/3. If you would like to back Netherlands in some capacity, then do consider betting on them to win either half at 11/4, or even to keep a clean sheet at 9/2. Finally, USA won the World Cup four years ago scoring five in a 5-2 win over Japan, and they are at 20/1 to repeat that feat, and score 5+ goals again.

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