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Women’s World Cup: Lionesses Look to Dethrone Champions

Women’s World Cup: Lionesses Look to Dethrone Champions

Women’s World Cup 2019 Semi-finals

The USWNT are still on course toward defending their Women’s World Cup title. The Americans successfully passed their toughest test to date by beating hosts France 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

However, they will need to earn their third consecutive trip to the Women’s World Cup final as they face an in-form England side that has found a new gear during the knockout stage.

And in the second semi-final, the Netherlands are set to take on Sweden, who defied Women’s World Cup 2019 odds as they knocked out Germany.

England vs USA

England put together arguably the most impressive quarter-final performance with their 3-0 victory over Norway. They pounced quickly with a third-minute strike from Jill Scott and didn’t look back.

Their attack, which impressed in their last group game against Japan, has continued to grow more crisp and clinical as the tournament has gone on. Meanwhile, the defence shut down a quite capable Norwegian attack as the Lionesses kept their fourth clean sheet in a row.

The big Women’s World Cup 2019 news surrounding England prior to that match was that starting centre-backs Millie Bright (virus) and Steph Houghton (ankle) were significant doubts to play. But both eventually played and contributed to their impressive display.

However, that England defence will have its hands full against the US, who outgunned hosts France in a thrilling 2-1 victory, as we tipped in our quarter-final preview.

USA Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 1.88

Over 2.25 @ 1.91

Total Goals 0-1 @ 2.49

Megan Rapinoe, who has been involved in a high-profile war of words with President Donald Trump, starred once again as she scored both goals for the Americans. The 33-year-old Rapinoe has been in brilliant form, scoring all four of the US’s goals in the knockout round thus far and is tied for the tournament lead with five.

But of course, the US have more weapons to call upon besides Rapinoe, which is a major reason why they are the best team in the world at the moment. And despite question marks about their defence — particularly goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher — they did not break amid late pressure from the hosts.

Given how well England have been playing at the moment, the US will likely be in for another difficult challenge. The Lionesses have rounded into shape and appear to have the tools on both ends of the pitch to dethrone the defending champions.

However, it’s still hard to bet against the USWNT, who are slight favourites according to SBOBET odds. They have proven time and again that they can rise up to the occasion.

Their deep and talented forward line is more than capable of breaching the English backline, and as they showed against France, their own defence can hold up against a top-class attack.

Betting Tip: USA 1X2 @ 1.90

Netherlands vs Sweden

The Netherlands breezed into the semi-finals with a strong 2-0 win over Italy. Despite taking more than an hour to break the Italians down, the Dutch dominated the match as they had 59 per cent of possession and held an overwhelming 21-6 advantage on total shots.

Much like their male counterparts, the Orange Lionesses have displayed some impressive performances on the attacking side of the ball. Vivianne Miedema, who scored the opener against Italy, and Lieke Martens are top-quality forwards capable of unlocking any defence.

However, their own defence is not particularly strong. They were fortunate to escape against Japan, who were able to move the ball around the Dutch with relative ease.

Sweden are unlikely to hold onto possession as well as the Japanese, but as they showed in their shock 2-1 win over Germany, they are a major threat on the counterattack. They did not get many opportunities to attack the Germans, but when they did, they were quite clinical.

Meanwhile, their defence recovered after conceding an early goal as they proved to be too well-organised for the Germans to break down.

This semi-final could end up being quite similar to Sweden-Germany, with the Netherlands controlling most of the possession and the Swedes content to sit back and defend. The big question will be whether the Dutch defence can prevent getting exposed by the Swedes on the break.

The answer to that question is probably not. While the Dutch have had a strong tournament, the Swedes are the more well-rounded of the two and likely have enough quality to make it through to the final.

Betting Tip: Sweden 1X2 @ 3.00

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.






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Brad Taningco
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