Wednesday 19 June: 8pm KO
Live on BBC One
It’s all gone well so far for England as they bid to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time. Wins over both Scotland and Argentina have seen them qualify for the last 16 with one game to spare. They play Japan and avoiding defeat will see them finish top top of the group.
England go into this final group fixture in the Women’s World Cup with increasing confidence. Their opening victory over Scotland wasn’t the greatest perfomance but the win was what they needed. They followed that win up with a 1-0 win over Argentina to clinch their place in the knock-out stages. England are now 7/1 (8.0) at Unibet to win this tournament.
The win over Argentina could have been more than 1-0 if not for their in-form goalkeeper Vanina Correa. That included a penalty save from Nikita Parris. She’s 12/5 (3.4) at BetVictor to score in this game. England didn’t look in danger of losing that game against Argentina but this is a tougher task.
England lead the group by two points and are 1/4 (1.25) at Betfred to win the group. Just a draw will do the job for Phil Neville’s team and winning the group would likely see them face either China or Spain in the last 16. Finishing in the runners-up spot however would take them into a possible game against the Netherlands or Canada and a likely quarter-final against Germany.
There’s an element of revenge in this match after Japan’s win in the 2015 Women’s World Cup semi-final. Since then England have won the SheBelieve Cup since then and also reached the last four at the 2017 European Championships. They may well struggle when up against sides ranked higher than them but should be able to win this match. You can get 21/20 (2.05) on them beating Japan on Wednesday.
Japan have also already qualified for the knock-out stages of this tournament. They are ranked seventh in the latest FIFA rankings (four places below England) but didn’t arrive in France in good form. Japan had only won one of their last six games before taking on Argentina in their group opener.
That game only ended in a goalless draw but Japan bounced back with a 2-1 win over Scotland to clinch a place in the last 16. However, that could yet be as one of the best third-placed teams if England win this game and Argentina defeat Scotland. That could see them having to take on either France or Germany. Japan are 3/1 (4.0) at Betfair to win this match and win the group. The odds on them winning the Women’s World Cup are 35/1 (36.0) if placing your bet at 888sport.
England beat Japan 3-0 in March of this year on their way to winning the SheBelieves Cup. The loss to Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup semi-final is their only defeat in five meetings. Both of the last two games have had over 2.5 goals scored in them. You can get 5/4 (2.25) at Betway on that stat coming up in this match.
There are no major injuries reported for this game.
Second Half Strike
The last six England games have all seen at least one goal scored in the second half. The odds of the second half of this match seeing the most goals scored are 11/10 (2.1) at BoyleSports.
England fans are used to a nervous final fixture in group matches. Thankfully, qualification for the knock-out stages is assured but they will want to go on and win the group. The problem with finishing top is it will put them in the same half of the daw as the USA. England have made a steady if not spectacular start to the tournament, but played better than Japan. A bet on England to win and under 2.5 goals scored has odds of 11/4 (3.75) at SkyBet.