After seeing off hosts France in the last eight of the Women’s World Cup, the United States Women’s next challenge is a semi-final against England in the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday (3pm ET, live on FOX).
The match between USA and France was viewed by many, including the bookmakers, as a meeting between the World Cup’s two strongest teams. Having progressed from that encounter, the U.S. are now the odds-on favorites with those online betting USA sportsbooks to lift the trophy.
It wasn’t all easy going for the USWNT on Friday. They took an early lead when Megan Rapinoe’s free-kick from the left skipped past everyone into the back of the net. They doubled that advantage when Rapinoe swept in Tobin Heath’s cut-back just past the hour. France put them under pressure thereafter, got one back, and were just unable to force another.
Overall, it was a matchup in which both sides created decent opportunities. It could easily have gone the other way had things fallen a little differently. “We didn’t have the best night on the ball,” Rapinoe admitted afterwards. “But defensively, the willingness and the discipline to do what we did was impressive. We were ruthless with our chances. Moving on to the next round, that’s really all that matters.”
It was an 11th consecutive victory for the U.S. WNT, and one that kept up their record of reaching at least the final four in each and every one of their now eight appearances at the Women’s World Cup. Overall, over the last couple of years, they’ve won 37, drawn five and lost just one of their 43 internationals. That is an incredible record and an ample demonstration of their quality. Even when the tactical plan isn’t really working out, they have decisive individuals.
In defeating France, the World Cup holders have probably seen off their greatest threat, but that doesn’t mean it will be plain sailing from this point. Both Tuesday’s opponents England and potential finalists Germany are ranked inside the top four in the world by both FIFA and other rating systems. While Team USA are the best side in the world, those two aren’t that far behind them in terms of starting XI strength.
England will fancy their chances of upsetting the betting odds if they are able to replicate the performance they produced against Norway in their quarter-final. Jill Scott gave them an early lead and Ellen White doubled it before half-time. Lucy Bronze then fired in a third before the hour from Beth Mead’s drilled corner to the edge of the area. They switched off a bit thereafter and Norway created a couple of good chances but overall, England were excellent.
Indeed, coach Phil Neville seemed to get caught up in the quality of the display when he spoke after the match. “We’re playing a type of football that no one’s ever played before,” he said. “I think that will get us through the semi. I’m not getting carried away but I said to them in the huddle: are you ready to win the World Cup?”
It is certainly possible to make arguments in England’s favor. They didn’t look out of their depth in drawing 2-2 with USWNT when the sides last met in the SheBelieves Cup in March. Like their opponents on Tuesday, despite a largely attacking style, they have only conceded once during the tournament. In Bronze, the buccaneering right-back, they have one of the Women’s World Cup’s best players.
Yet it is also worth noting that this is the stage at which England have been eliminated from each of their last two major international tournaments. That was by Japan at the 2015 World Cup and the Netherlands at Euro 2017. The United States Women have much more experience of getting the job done. Aside from their disastrous showing at the 2016 Olympics, they have made the semi-finals in 12 of their 13 World Cup and Olympic tournaments to date, winning nine of them.
Our Betting Preview’s U.S. Women vs England Predictions & Picks Verdict
With the stronger squad and more players capable of individually making the difference, it is the United States who should be expected to prevail in Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup semi-final matchup. So our prediction for this match, have a wager on Team USA to make the final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup at England’s expense. Mores specifically, this is the bet we advise: