Tuesday 2 July: 8pm KO
Live on BBC One
It’s not quite the euphoria of a year ago when the England men’s team reached the World Cup semi-finals, but it’s getting there. Phil Neville’s team are in another Women’s World Cup semi-final and just two games away from lifting the trophy. They face a tough battle to reach the final with their opponents being the defending champions USA, who disposed of the tournament hosts in the quarter-finals.
The momentum is building and England are in sight of reaching their first ever Women’s World Cup. Their performances in this tournament have gradually been improving as each match goes by. The opening 2-1 win over Scotland got them off to the winning start they wanted, but critics were of the view that the top teams in this tournament had little to worry about.
That’s not the case now and the teams left in this Women’s World Cup have every reason to fear England. Phil Neville’s team are now 4/1 (5.0) at Berfair to lift the trophy but this semi-final really is the crunch match. The improvement they have been showing probably has to go up another gear if they are to reach the final. It’s 8/5 (2.6) at Betway that England qualify for the final.
England’s most recent performances against Japan, Cameroon and Norway do provide them with plenty of hope going into this semi-final. They haven’t conceded a goal since the 2-1 opening victory over Scotland. That’s four straight clean sheets but it’s 3/1 (4.0) with SkyBet that they can keep the Americans out. A win to nil has odds of 11/2 (6.5) at Unibet.
The USA are 4/5 (1.8) at William Hill to retain their Women’s World Cup. They have been dominating the world of women’s football for years now. Their 2-1 win over France didn’t just break the hearts of the host nation, but kept up their incredible record in this tournament. They have reached the semi-finals in each and every tournament winning three titles. However, they have lost three semi-finals and are 1/2 (1.5) to qualify for this final if placing your wager with Ladbrokes.
You have to go back to 2011 for the last time the USA lost a match in the finals of the Women’s World Cup. Since a loss to Japan in a penalty shoot-out, they have played 12 games with 11 wins and a draw. You can add on another 12 unbeaten qualifying games (all with clean sheets) and that shows you how dominant they have been. Oh and there’s the four Olympic gold medals too.
The American team have won all of their five games in France beginning with that 13-0 demolition job on Thailand. Their last two wins have both been narrow ones though. The last 16 and quarter finals saw them defeat Spain and France respectively by a 2-1 scoreline. Could we see another 2-1 win in this semi-final? You can get 8/1 (9.0) at Coral on a 2-1 win for the USA.
They are a side that is packed with experience. Eight of their squad have won over 100 caps and Cari Lloyd is nearing the 300 mark. 11 of their squad are aged at least 30, it’s likely for that several of them this is the next year or so will see them playing in their last World Cup and Olympics tournaments. It’s 11/10 (2.1) at William Hill they win this game in 90 minutes.
The two countries met earlier this year in the SheBelieves Cup. That game ended in a 2-2 draw. Fancy this game to end level after 90 minutes? It’s 12/5 (3.4) at Sportingbet. England did beat the Americans in that tournament in 2017 and BoyleSports will give you 3/1 (4.0) that England win this match in 90 minutes. Two of the last three games have had under 2.5 goals scored in them. The odds of that stat coming up in this match are 4/6 (1.66) at Betfred.
More Goals from Rapinoe?
Megan Rapinoe has scored two goals in both of her last couple of games in this tournament. She’s 5/1 (6.0) with Unibet to score the first goal in this match. Rapinoe scored twice from the penalty spot in the USA’s win over Spain in the last 16. It’s 7/1 (8.0) at Bet365 USA score a penalty in this match.
Top Tournament Goalscorer
The USA’s Alex Morgan is 11/10 (2.1) to be the tournament’s top goal scorer if you place your bet with Paddy Power. She faces opposition from her team-mate Megan Rapinoe (both have scored five goals) who’s available at odds of 2/1 (3.0) at Bet365. The same bookmakers offer 4/1 (5.0) that England’s Ellen White, who also has five goals in this tournament ends up top goalscorer.
Morgan leads the race as she’s had three assists, the same as Rapinoe but from less time on the pitch. Remember this isn’t the final game the losing team will play. There’s still the third and fourth place play-off game that no one ever really wants to take part in.
The heart says England, they are in form and strong defensively. The head says that the USA are the best team in the world and know exactly what is needed to win tournaments. A draw with both teams scoring is 18/5 (4.6) at SportPesa. A penalty shoot-out determining the winners has odds of 12/1 (13.0) at William Hill.