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13-Jun 2019 Thursday 1:50 PM (123 days ago)               #1
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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019: Hosts France Eyeing a Strong Start

France vs Korea Republic

The FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 is set to kick off as hosts France take on South Korea in a Group A matchup.

Most FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 odds have Les Bleues installed as the favourites to win the entire competition on home soil. But much like Brazil at the Copa America, they will have to overcome the pressure and the expectation that comes with having home-field advantage.

They can go some way toward easing that pressure by putting on a convincing performance in their opening match against Korea Republic.

As for the Koreans, they will be eager to put a poor build-up to the tournament behind them as they aim to deliver a shock right off the bat.

Talking Points

France overflowing with talent

France are right up there with the United States as the favourites to win the World Cup, and with good reason. Manager Corinne Diacre has a simply stacked squad full of talent and quality at her disposal.

Wendie Renard and Griedge Mbock, who helped Lyon win the Women's Champions League, are rock-solid in the centre of the French defence.

Captain Amandine Henry is also as reliable as they come, while 33-year-old Elise Bussaglia provides a wealth of experience.

And up front, France possess a wealth of terrific options with Eugénie Le Sommer, Valérie Gauvin, Kadi Diani, Delphine Cascarino and Gaëtane Thiney.

Gauvin and Diani are in particularly fine form heading into the tournament as they've both netted four times in their last five matches, all of which France won. In total, Les Bleues have won 13 of their last 14 matches, conceding just five goals.

While they suffered defeat to Germany in a friendly back in March, they did record a convincing 3-1 victory over the United States back in January.

On paper, this should be a matchup where France can produce some FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 highlights. They've shown that they are fully capable of taking care of business against clearly inferior sides, and with the Koreans' recent struggles, they should have few problems.

Korea Republic struggling

While France had pretty much a perfect build-up to the tournament, the South Koreans struggled mightily during their tune-up matches and could be short on confidence. They failed to win their previous three friendlies, losing to Iceland and Sweden and also drawing with Iceland.

This is perhaps the best chance for Korea's "Golden Generation" to make it deep in the World Cup. That core group is led by midfielders Ji So-yun and  Cho So-hyun, who play their club football for Chelsea and West Ham United, respectively.

Ji is the country's all-time leading goalscorer with 54 goals and will be tasked to lead the team's capable attack. Meanwhile, Cho will provide timely contributions on both ends of the pitch.

However, there are major question marks about the Koreans' defence. With their top two goalkeeping options out injured, they have been forced to turn to Kang Ga-ae, who has just nine international caps. Their defenders aren't the most sure-footed, either, and can be prone to errors.

It goes without saying that they can't afford to make too many mistakes against France, who have the quality forwards capable of capitalising on any miscue.

History

Korea Republic have featured in two World Cups in their history -- in 2003 and 2015 -- and they met France during both tournaments. France have won both of those meetings: 1-0 in 2003 and 3-0 in 2015 in the round of 16.

France still have several survivors of that 2015 side, with Renard, Henry, Le Sommer, Thiney, and Diani all playing a part in the win.

The South Koreans don't have a particularly impressive record at the World Cup. They've just won once in seven matches, with one draw and five defeats with five goals scored and 19 goals conceded.

Betting Tip

??

France vs Korea Republic France Asian Handicap -2.00 @ 1.78
June 8, 03:00 (GMT+8)

It would be quite a shock if South Korea could somehow prevent France from starting the tournament out with a win. After all, SBOBET odds have the hosts priced at 1.14 to win their opening match with Korea at 9.75.

The wiser play figures to be the Asian Handicap market. With France likely to be fired up to put on a strong performance in front of their fans and the Koreans struggling for form, this easily has a chance to turn into a big win for Les Bleues, one with a margin of over two goals.

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13-Jun 2019 Thursday 1:52 PM (123 days ago)            #2
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Women’s World Cup: Germany vs China

Germany vs China

After weeks of waiting the FIFA Women’s World Cup is finally here, and on Saturday, there’s a blockbuster start to Group B as Germany meets China.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s Germany is aiming for a third Women’s World Cup title and must be fancied to make a winning start against their opponents from China. At 2nd in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings Germany should still be around at the business end of the competition, which is more than can be said for their men’s team back in Russia 2018!

Germany and China are joined by Spain and outsiders South Africa in Group B, and this opener will give the winner a great chance of progressing in the competition. Jia Xiuquan’s China will be no pushover, ranked 15th in the world but with an attacking threat to test the dependable German defence.

Hosts France open up the tournament against Korea on Friday night, and then we have four weeks to watch the best women players on the planet; and SBOBET Asian Handicap Sports Betting is a great way to join in the fun. So we’ll be here, with all of the big Women’s World Cup 2019 news and the very best highlights as the drama unfolds.

It’s all happening this summer for football fans, with the UEFA Nations League coming to a climax, and the African Cup of Nations and Copa America just around the corner, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

 


 

 

Talking Points

Germany has a point to prove

Voss-Tecklenburg has a powerful team capable of taking on the best, as its second ranking in the world proves. But the reigning Olympic Champions haven’t fared so well in other competitions recently, failing to make the final four at the 2017 European Championships and finishing rock bottom in last year’s SheBelieves Cup.

That disappointment in the USA saw the end of head coach Steffi Jones and Voss-Tecklenburg took over. She has the pedigree, with 125 caps for Germany, and has done a good job as boss of the Switzerland team.

The team is spearheaded by Wolfsburg striker Alexandra Popp, while Lyon midfield star Dzsenifer Marozsan will pull the strings. Popp has 46 goals in 96 international games, and scored 13 in 20 Bundesliga matches last season. She is a physical presence sure to test the Chinese defence. Marozan has 32 goals in 90 internationals and, as consistently the best player, has been named captain.

Peng is in Popp’s line of fire

China’s last line of defence is the impressive Peng Shimeng, who at the age of 19 became her country’s first choice stopper at the 2018 Asian Cup. She kept 15 clean sheets in 23 appearances last season and was named goalkeeper of the season in China.

Wang Shuang has a knack for big moments and could be key for China’s success over Germany in Women’s World Cup
Wang Shuang of China runs with the ball during a friendly soccer match between France and China

Jia Xiuguan has a limited pool of players to select from but can rely on star striker Wang Shuang. The PSG player will be partnered up front by Wang Shanshan who had a superb time at the Asian Games, top scoring with 12 goals. This partnership will give Germany a good test for sure. But China isn’t in a rich vein of form so they need a quick start in France.

History

Germany is the only nation to retain the Women’s World Cup as victors in both 2003 and 2007; and they finished in fourth place at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

China has not been at the top of world football for a while, but last season came close to winning a first Asian Cup since 2007, losing to a last gasp Japan goal in the final. Xiuguan is tasked with bringing back the glory days of the 1990’s when the China team earned the nickname ‘Iron Rose’ after finishing second in both the 1996 Olympic Games and the 1999 World Cup.

The head to heads don’t look too encouraging for the Chinese though, they haven’t won in nine attempts against Germany, losing the last six. Neither does recent form; Germany is unbeaten in 12 while China has lost four of the last five.

Betting Tip

??

Germany vs China Germany -1.50 @1.88
June 08, 21:00(GMT+8)

The Germany vs China betting odds suggest Voss-Tecklenburg’s side should successfully pass its first test, with odds of 1.27 while the draw is 5.40 and a China win is out there at 6.60.

The attacking threat of Shuan and Shanshang is good enough to stretch any defence, though the German team can be formidable and is in a good run of form. With a point to prove I don’t expect the Germans to slip up in their opener and a win will put them in charge of Group B.

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13-Jun 2019 Thursday 1:54 PM (123 days ago)            #3
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Women’s World Cup: Allez Les Bleues

France 4-0 South Korea

Les Bleues are off and running! The Women’s World Cup hosts got off to a flying start tonight at the Parc des Princes with a resounding 4-0 win over South Korea to storm ahead in Group A.

Two goals from Wendie Renard and one each from Eugenie Le Sommer and captain Amadine Henry made it an emphatic victory to kick off the flagship tournament.

The Women’s World Cup 2019 betting tips have been backing Les Bleues from the off, and with home advantage they have every chance of emulating France’s men’s team which lifted the Russia 2018 World Cup in such breathtaking style.

Their opponents had been cast as Korea’s ‘Golden Generation’, hopeful of going deep into the World Cup but on their first half showing that looks a little ambitious!



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Highlights of the game

Corine Diacre set her team up to attack and it was all France in the early exchanges, with Amandine Henry having the first shot of the tournament, curling her effort just wide of the left hand post. Eugenie Le Sommer was lively from the off, and she had a shot blocked before forcing a save from Min Jung Kim who got down low to save in the corner.

The early pressure soon told and on nine minutes Les Bleues were ahead, Le Sommer was first to react to a loose ball and she lifted it expertly over Kim and into the net. The France striker had been a handful in the opening minutes and she’ll be a regular feature in the Women’s World Cup highlights as the tournament progresses.

Eugenie Le Sommer ‘s goal boosts France as they trash South Korea in their recent Women’s World Cup match
Le Sommer opens the scoring with the first goal of the tournament

France almost went 2-0 up on 27 minutes when the two centre backs combined following a corner. Wendie Renard headed a ball across the box and Griedje Mbock Bathe volleyed the ball superbly home. They players celebrated but then were sopped in their tracks by VAR which eventually ruled that Bathe was marginally offside. It was matter of inches but the correct decision.

But Les Bleus did go two up on 37 minutes when the 6ft 1 Renard rose unmarked to head the ball down and into the net. By this time France had taken 15 shots at the Korean goal in a completely one-sided first half. And the score became more reflective of that just before the break with the same scorer, Renard rising highest to meet a corner and looping a well placed header beyond Kim into the corner of the net.

The second half began as the first had ended, with France on the attack, and Le Sommer had a shot blocked before Henry had a long range effort saved.

It was a better second half for the underdogs and Korea finally had a shot, on 70 minutes, but Kang Chae Rim fired well over. France seemed happy to settle for the three goals but skipper Henry had other ideas. She scored the goal of the game, to make it 4-0, with a lovely curling effort into the far corner.

Henry said, before the tournament, that she wanted her team to enjoy themselves. Well they certainly did that tonight!

Key Statistics

Wendie Renard scored a brace for France in Women’s World Cup
Wendie Renard rises for the header to score their second goal

At fourth in the FIFA World rankings, seven places above South Korea, Les Bleues were expected to win, but they simply blew Korea away in a brutal first half, winning ten corners and having 16 shots, six on target, while the Koreans failed to register a single one.

After that embarrassment Korea woke up and did have a better second half. They eventually registered four shots to les Bleues 21, but sadly none to trouble the hosts’ keeper.

Centre back Renard is as prolific up front as she is dependable at the back and has now scored 22 goals for the international side.

And that’s now three to nil to France in the head to head clashes, while South Korea has won just one of eight World Cup games, drawing one and losing six.

What’s next?

There’s plenty more action on the way for SBOBET football fans, and in the Women’s World Cup, tomorrow’s big game is Germany against China. The Germans are ranked second in the world and will be determined to assert themselves early in the tournament, but need to be wary of a dangerous Chinese attack.

And these two teams are in action again on Wednesday, when Korea takes on Group A long shots Nigeria, while France has a more testing encounter against Norway.

Korea needs to justify its ‘Golden Generation’ tag while we can expect another attacking exhibition from the French.

 

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13-Jun 2019 Thursday 1:56 PM (123 days ago)            #4
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Women’s World Cup: USA Begin Title Defence Against Thais

USA vs Thailand

The United States women's national team will begin the defence of their Women's World Cup title with a Group F matchup against Thailand.

The Women's World Cup 2019 betting odds have the defending champions as one of the favourites to win the tournament along with Germany, who begin their campaign against China, and hosts France, who demolished Korea Republic 4-0 in their group opener.

The USWNT will be eager to kickstart their tournament in similarly impressive fashion and should have the attacking talent to do so. And it will be up to the Chaba Kaew to overcome their recent struggles if they are to prevent another heavy World Cup defeat.

Talking Points

Team USA's potent attack

Team USA will head into this year's Women's World Cup in terrific form. They won their five pre-tournament friendly matches by a total scoreline of 22-3, albeit not against the most imposing of opponents.

Prior to that, they drew two of their three matches in the SheBelieves Cup (against Japan and England), but beat Brazil 1-0 to finish runners-up in the tournament. They also lost 3-1 in a friendly against France back in January.

 

 


 

 

Although, it should be noted that that defeat snapped a remarkable 28-match unbeaten run (25 wins, three draws) that dated back to 2017.

The USWNT boast perhaps the most impressive collection of attacking talent in the entire tournament, with the likes of Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, Mallory Pugh, Christen Press, and Carli Lloyd for coach Jill Ellis to call upon. That group is certainly capable of producing a host of Women's World Cup 2019 highlights in each and every game.

The 36-year-old Lloyd, who was the co-leading scorer in the 2015 Women's World Cup with six goals, will head into this year's tournament in particularly fine form. She's scored five goals in her last handful of matches for the U.S.

Team USA's defence is a bit of a concern, particularly the full-back positions, but the Thais are highly unlikely to trouble the Americans' backline.

USA will be aiming for a strong start in the Women's World Cup when they face Thailand
Carli Lloyd celebrates with Megan Rapinoe after scoring in an international friendly match against South Africa

Thailand in trouble

Thailand are set to participate in their second-ever Women's World Cup. They made their debut in the 2015 tournament, losing 4-0 to both Norway and Germany but beating the Ivory Coast 3-2 as they just missed out on the knockout stage via goal difference.

The Chaba Kaew qualified for the Women's World Cup by reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 Women's Asian Cup, where they fell to Australia on penalties. They then emerged victorious in the 2018 AFF Women's Championship, winning all six matches and scoring 37 goals en route to the title.

However, they have not tasted victory much since. They lost nine of their 10 matches at the Women's Asian Games, the Yongchuan Tournament, and the Cyprus Women's Cup, as well as their two recent friendlies.  Although, they did put up a surprising fight against France and only lost 3-0 in one of those two friendlies.

Thailand's 2019 squad is quite similar to the one they brought back in 2015. The core of that team –defenders Duangnapa Sritala and Sunisa Srangthaisong, midfielders Rattikan Thongsombut and Taneekarn Dangda and forwards Kanjana Sungngoen and Orathai Srimanee – remains intact for another World Cup run.

Meanwhile, their big new addition to the squad is midfielder Suchawadee Nildhamrong, who is half-American and played college football at the University of California, Berkeley. The 22-year-old could partner star striker Kanjana up front and potentially trouble a suspect American defence.

History

The U.S. and Thailand have met just once previously, in a 2016 friendly match in Ohio. Unsurprisingly, the Americans came away on top in a dominant 9-0 win. Carli Lloyd had a hand in seven of those goals as she recorded a hat-trick and four assists.

The United States have never lost an opening World Cup match, winning five and drawing two of those seven matches. However, those two draws have curiously come against Asian opposition -- North Korea and China.

Betting Tip

??

USA vs Thailand USA Asian Handicap -4.50 @ 1.57
June 12, 03:00 (GMT+8)

The chances of Thailand pulling off an almighty upset against the USWNT are so remote that SBOBET didn't even post odds for the match on the 1X2 market. Although, there are odds available on the Asian Handicap market, with the Americans favoured by 4.50 goals.

With the USWNT's amazing attackers banging in goals for fun of late, the smart money seems to be on them to deliver a dominant performance en route to a comfortable win against the overmatched Thais in the opener.

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13-Jun 2019 Thursday 2:00 PM (123 days ago)            #5
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Women’s World Cup: Nigeria vs Korea Republic

Nigeria vs Korea Republic

There’s a must win game on Wednesday at the Stade des Alpes; and it doesn’t matter who you are supporting in the Women’s World Cup Nigeria vs Korea Republic clash.

Both teams fell to defeat in their opening fixture in the tough Group A, and another setback now will be the end of the tournament. Favourites France play Norway in the other fixture and Les Bleues are expected to win, so the victor in this game will be right back in the hunt.

A draw will suit neither team so there will be nothing left on the pitch at the end of 90 minutes.

Korea is in 11th position in the FIFA World Rankings, some 27 places above Nigeria in 38th. The Nigeria vs Korea Republic betting odds here at SBOBET point to a win for the Koreans and an early exit for Nigeria, but the Super Falcons will have other ideas.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Nigeria’s uphill battle

A 3-0 defeat to 1995 World Champions Norway was not the ideal start for Nigeria but it was no big surprise. The Super Falcons have won nine of 11 Womens’ African Cup of Nations but were pushed close last year by Cameroon and South Africa, and have lost their dominance of the continent.

A lack of games has been a problem. After winning the Cup of Nations in December 2016, they didn’t play again until April 2018, but they have had better preparation for this tournament. Former Sweden coach Thomas Dennerby has been brought in and he has instilled more structure to their play. But they have been handed a tough draw, and looked well off the pace in the opener against Norway.

Nigeria lost 8-0 to France in a friendly last year, so anything other than a win against Korea will spell the end for Dennerby’s team. Much depends on the form of Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala, who won the FIFA under 20 Golden Ball and Golden Boot in 2014. She has been African Women’s Footballer of the Year on three occasions and played for Liverpool and Arsenal and she scored seven goals in seven league games on loan at Barca this season.

At the back, the evergreen Onome Ebi is playing in her fifth World Cup, and at 36 she is as good as ever, combining impressive power with an astute reading of the game.

Is this really Korea Republic’s Golden Generation?

SBOBET are expecting Korea Republic to tighten their defence as they face Nigeria
Korea Republic Players during their World Cup match against France

Korea was on the end of an opening day hiding at the hands of France, blown away in a first half in which they conceded ten corners and didn’t register a single shot on the France goal. Things improved marginally in the second half but they could hardly get any worse.

Confidence is shaky in the Korea camp, arriving at the World Cup on the back of a three match winless run, losing to Iceland and Sweden in the process. But they do have players to give them hope. Chelsea’s Ji So-yun has been picked for the PFA team of the year for the last four years, winning Player of the Year in 2015 and she scored a cracking set piece goal against Lyon in the Champions League semi final.

In midfield Cho So-Hyun pulls the strings. The West Ham player is captain of Korea Republic and is the heartbeat of the team. But their defence needs to tighten up, and doesn’t always fare well against physically strong teams so Nigeria’s striker Oshoala could benefit on Wednesday.

History

We don’t have any head-to-head Nigeria vs Korea Republic results to work on so let’s concentrate on current form.

Both teams come into the match having suffered four defeats in the last six games so this first meeting between them has a lot riding on it.

Reaching the knockout phase would be a good achievement for either, Nigeria hasn’t got through the Group stage since 1999, while Korea has reached the Round of 16 just once, in Canada four years ago.

Betting Tip

??

Nigeria vs Korea Republic Korea Republic 1x2 @ 2.03
June 12, 21:00 (GMT+8)

Korea is favourite to win this game and that’s no surprise given the respective world rankings of the two teams. Nigeria is available at 3.20 and the draw at 3.40.

Although they suffered at the hands of France in the opening game, Korea’s second half was more encouraging and they at least looked more solid. And a win on Wednesday will probably mean a victory over Norway in the final game will see then through.

With two leaky defences, over 2.75 goals at odds of 2.12 is an alternative bet, but I think Nigeria will concede more.

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13-Jun 2019 Thursday 2:12 PM (123 days ago)            #6
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Women’s World Cup: Lionesses are Ready to Roar

England vs Argentina

The next big match of the Women’s World Cup takes place at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre on Friday when England takes on Argentina in a Group D clash.

It’s a chance to see one of the favourites in action as England tries to follow up an opening victory over Scotland with another three points. The latest Women’s World Cup 2019 betting odds at SBOBET have Phil Nevilles’ team as a red hot favourite to make it two wins from two against an Argentina side which exceeded everyone’s expectations by holding Japan to a draw in its opener.

Talking Points

England on the right track

There have been high hopes mounting in the England camp after a great showing in the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year when they won the tournament held in the USA. Former Manchester United and England utility star Neville has instilled a winning mentality in the Lionesses, and they hope to be there right at the end of this World Cup.

Right back Lucy Bronze starred against Scotland and says the Lionesses can go deep into the competition if they can play as they did in the first 45 minutes. Along with winger Nikita Parris, the Lyon player tormented the Scots all afternoon with raid after raid down the right flank. England flagged a little in the second half but Bronze is concentrating on the positives. She says: “It wasn’t the ideal performance, but in the first half we played extremely well. The second half has kept us on our toes, striving to improve – and you can’t ask for anything more than to win your first game in the tournament.”

 


 

 

Another positive for Neville was the form of 32 year old midfielder Jill Scott. The Manchester City star dominated the middle of the park against the Scots, breaking up play and launching England attacks with an energetic box to box performance. The head coach believes Scott has another two World Cups in her and on that showing he may be right.

England has a genuine chance to win this tournament, with Germany, holders USA and hosts France the biggest challenges to Neville’s team. Les Bleues got off to a flyer in a destruction of South Korea in the opening match and they could well be the team to beat.

 

Argentina punching above its weight

Not many people expected Argentina to pick up many, if any, points in this competition, but they fought hard in their first outing and got their just reward.

Estefania Banini put in a player of the match performance in Argentina’s opening fixture against Japan, inspiring her team to earn a tough point in a game they were expected to lose. The 0-0 outcome was pretty big Women’s World Cup 2019 news as Japan, ranked seventh in the world, were expected to brush the 37th ranked Argentines aside.

Argentina hoping for a positive result against England in their upcoming Women’s World Cup match
Sole Jaimes celebrating at the end Women's World Cup Group D soccer match between Argentina and Japan at the Parc des Princes

The Argentina men’s team is about to embark on another Copa America campaign and with a team full of world superstars they will be one of the favourites in Brazil, but it’s a very different story for the women’s team. Playing in their third World Cup, they have had little chance to build up a team spirit, hardly playing a game between 2015 and 2018.

They were back in action in last year’s Copa America and qualified for the World Cup by winning a play-off. It is also Coach Carlos Borrello’s third World Cup and he is relying heavily on captain Banini. The attacking midfielder has impressed at Levante but she needs support, and that might come in the shape of 22 year old Milagros Menendez, blessed with quick feet and electrifying pace.

She could be one for the England defence to be wary of.

 

History

These two teams have only met once before and that was way back in 2007 when the Lionesses won 6-1.

And recent form is very much in England’s favour, having won three of the last five games, while Argentina hasn’t registered a win over that period.

But in their first appearance at the World Cup since 2007, Borrello’s side will try to stay hard to beat.

 

Betting Tip

??

England vs Argentina First half over 1.50 goals @ 2.08
June 15, 03:00(GMT+8)

With England at 1.084, the draw at 6.00 and Argentina out at 30.00 in the latest odds here at SBOBET, we only see this game going one way, and while Argentina held out against Japan, I can’t see them repeating that feat.

Neville will be demanding more of the standard of play his team showed in the first half against Scotland and, if he gets it, there will be goals.

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13-Jun 2019 Thursday 2:15 PM (123 days ago)            #7
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Women’s World Cup: USA Run Riot in Record-Breaking Win

USA 13-0 Thailand

The U.S. women's national team have made it clear to their top rivals that they are indeed the team to beat in the Women's World Cup. The defending champions trounced Thailand 13-0 in their tournament opener, breaking the record for the biggest win in Women's World Cup history.

Seven different Americans got on the scoresheet, led by star striker Alex Morgan, who bagged a record-tying five goals herself.

USWNT coach Jill Ellis dusted off criticism of her team's supposed unsportsmanlike conduct by continuing to run up the score, countering that it's more respectful for her team to play hard.

The Americans certainly showed why the Women's World Cup 2019 betting odds have them as one of the tournament favourites along with hosts France and will now look to build off such a promising performance.

Highlights of the game

Alex Morgan shines in the Women's World Cup after scoring five goals against Thailand
United States forward Alex Morgan in action against Thailand in the Women's World Cup

With all due respect to Thailand, but there was always going to be one winner in their matchup with the U.S. The gulf in quality was so vast that SBOBET didn't even put up odds on the 1X2 market since they would be so skewed toward the Americans. Moreover, the USWNT was favoured by over four and a half goals on the Asian Handicap market.

As it turns out, that spread could have doubled and the Americans still would have covered it.

The American onslaught began early as Morgan put the ball in the back of the net inside 10 of minutes. Unfortunately for the U.S., her goal was ruled out for offside.

However, it didn't take long for her to officially open her account in the tournament. After some good work from Kelley O'Hara on the right wing, Morgan ghosted in between two Thai defenders inside the six-yard box and headed O'Hara's pinpoint cross into the goal.

The U.S. doubled their lead eight minutes later courtesy of Rose Lavelle. The 24-year-old took a speculative strike from outside the box, which the Thai keeper was just unable to keep out.

And it was three after just over half an hour after Lindsey Horan hammered home from close range after the ball fell in front of her from a free-kick.

The Thais avoided any more damage heading into half-time, but the floodgates well and truly opened up as they conceded four goals in a space of six second-half minutes. Sam Mewis started the amazing stretch as her shot took a fortunate deflection off a Thai defender.

Morgan then doubled her tally as she tapped in from close range after a well-worked free-kick. Mewis and Lavelle also got their second goals of the goal with similar close-range strikes.

 Morgan completed her hat-trick in impressive fashion as she expertly executed a Cruyff turn to get away from a Thai defender before delivering a clinical finish with her right foot.

Veteran Megan Rapinoe got into the act as she finished off a lightning-quick counter-attack. She then turned provider for Morgan's fourth on 81 minutes. Rising U.S. star Mallory Pugh made it 11 minutes later as she coolly rounded the Thai keeper.

Then, Morgan produced perhaps the best of her five goals as she somehow evaded a trio of Thai defenders before unleashing a thunderous left-footed strike. Expect that goal to be included in the list of top Women's World Cup 2019 highlights.

Lloyd, who came on as a second-half substitute, capped off the remarkable performance in stoppage time as she slotted home with the outside of her right boot.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Key statistics

Alex Morgan's five-goal haul ties compatriot Michelle Akers' record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup match.

Meanwhile, the Americans set a new record for both margin of victory and goals scored at the tournament. Germany previously held both records after an 11-0 win over Argentina in 2007.

In two meetings all-time, the U.S. have now beaten Thailand by an aggregate score of 22-0. Carli Lloyd starred in their first meeting in 2016 when she scored a hat-trick in a 9-0 victory, while Morgan also added two late goals.

What's next?

Next up for the United States in Group F will be Chile, which could be a bigger challenge than the Americans realize. La Roja Femenina gave Sweden a surprisingly tough fight in their opening match. They kept the Swedes scoreless until the 83rd minute before eventually succumbing to a 2-0 defeat.

Meanwhile, Sweden and Thailand will meet in the other group game. And while the Thais will likely be big underdogs once again, they will be hoping to replicate the Chileans and keep the scoreline much more respectable.

 

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18-Jun 2019 Tuesday 9:25 AM (118 days ago)            #8
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Women’s World Cup: Taylor made for England!

England 1-0 Argentina

Jodie Taylor scored the only goal of the game as England registered a second win in two games at the Women’s World Cup.

The Lionesses had a tough night at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre against an Argentina team which defended like tigers. But Taylor was on the spot to win the game on 60 minutes to put Phil Neville’s team in charge of Group D.

The pre-match SBOBET odds had England at 1.084 to win but it was never that easy. They dominated possession, and peppered the Argentina defence with crosses, but

when the chances came, they either fluffed their lines or the Argentine keeper

Vanina Correa was there to save.

But it’s job done for England with qualification to the last 16 guaranteed.

Highlights of the game

After a hard fought 2-1 win over Scotland, England wanted to gather some momentum in the run up to this game and they started brightly, breaking down the right, and when Nikita Parris whipped a cross in Lucy Bronze met it but the Lyon star headed wide.

32 year old midfielder Jill Scott put in a dominant display against Scotland and the Manchester City player was at the centre of England’s good play again, but the Lionesses struggled to make progress as the Argentina players were quick in the tackle. Lorena Benitez was a little too aggressive though with a challenge on Beth Mead, giving England a free-kick from around 20 yards. Steph Houghton stepped up but chipped her effort over the bar.

The first big drama came on 27 minutes when Linda Bravo slid into Alex Greenwood as the wide player burst into the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. There was an agonising wait before Parris struck her penalty cleanly but at a good height for Vanina Correa and the Argentine keeper got a strong hand to the ball to divert it onto the post.

Vanina Correa’s save for Argentina hands England their first-ever penalty miss in the Women’s World Cup
Argentina goalkeeper Vanina Correa celebrates with her teammates after a brilliant penalty stop

Correa denied England again on 40 minutes, making a fine save to deny Mead after a scramble in the Argentina penalty area. The underdogs were defending doggedly and reached half time level, finishing strongly with an attack of their own.

Parris continued to raid down the right wing and got two good crosses in early in the second half. And she had a chance on 50 minutes and hit a sweet strike but straight at Correa who saved well. And then Jodie Taylor got on the end of a Parris cross but headed at Correa again when a yard either side would have beaten the keeper.

Then finally, on the hour, England broke through. After a swift break Mead put in a beautiful ball on a plate for Taylor to poke home. It was a superb incisive move and one to watch on the Women’s World Cup 2019 highlights.

Scott had a great chance to make it two, on 71 minutes, when Greenwood floated a great ball in but the midfielder headed over.

Carly Telford had a quiet evening in goal for England but was called into action when Mariana Larroquette fired a shot in and Telford saved well. But that was the only effort on target from Argentina who had played with great passion, and no little aggression, but without the guile to create a really good chance.

 

Key statistics

England dominated the first half and had plenty of success down the flanks, sending 30 crosses into the Argentina box, but they couldn’t find the cutting edge, with only three shots on target.

By the end of the game the Lionesses had enjoyed 75 per cent possession and won the shot count by seven to one. Argentina goalkeeper Correa was had a good case for player of the match, but that accolade went to Jill Scott.

England have scored in eight consecutive World Cup matches but Argentina is yet to score a goal in this competition.

The USA gave Thailand a 13-0 hammering earlier in the week and the Women’s World Cup 2019 betting odds place the Americans as favourites, alongside hosts France; they certainly know where the goal is.

It’s the second time these two teams have met; the first was a 6-1 win for England back in 2007, but this time around Argentina fought tooth and nail and made it tough for the Lionesses.

 



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What’s next?

Argentina earned an unlikely point in a 0-0 draw with Japan in their opening fixture and next up England will take on Asako Takakura’s team to decide who takes top spot in Group D.

Japan have just beaten Scotland today and Argentina can still qualify if they can emulate England too and beat the Scots. They certainly have the will, but do they have the skill?

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18-Jun 2019 Tuesday 9:28 AM (118 days ago)            #9
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Women’s World Cup: Goal Crazy Americans Meet Growing South Americans

USA vs Chile

After scoring 13 in their Women’s World Cup opener, few SBOBET followers or indeed any football fan would bet against the USA right now. Some will assess the Women’s World Cup betting odds and opt for hosts France but, generally, the American powerhouses look a strong bet to retain the title they clinched in 2015. They are not necessarily universally liked and that is something they are only too well aware of. But jealousy will not prevent them from creating many Women’s World Cup highlights over the next few weeks as they look to build off such a promising performance.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Talking of promising performances, Chile may have lost their first match but Roja Femenina gave Sweden a surprisingly tough fight, keeping the Swedes scoreless until the 83rd minute before eventually succumbing to a 2-0 defeat. The South Americans will offer far more of a technical threat in the Parc des Princes than Thailand managed against the Americans. Despite his team being underdogs in their first World Cup, coach Jose Letelier insists on his idea of playing without fear. Optimism reigns in the Chilean camp after their impressive World Cup debut and the players acknowledge their concentration levels dropped after the weather-enforced break. That mean they will know how important it will be to remain fully focused against USA. La Roja can take great credit from the way they competed and their defending was near-perfect until Sweden scored their opening goal. The only problem Chile faced was a lack of attacking potency, and that will be an area for improvement in the matches ahead. Another potential weakness is their physicality compared to other top teams, a problem illustrated by the losses against the United States last autumn and a terrible 7-0 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands in recent friendlies.
Chile’s goalkeeper Christiane Endler look to be an impenetrable wall for their Women’s World Cup match vs USA

Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler denies Sweden a goal

The goalkeeper Christiane Endler gives a lot of confidence to the backline and the midfielder Karen Araya is the engine of the team, the Sevilla star ensuring there is balance between defence and attack. Next to Araya will be her teammate at the Spanish club Francisca Lara, who has made a name for herself thanks to her potent long-range shooting. Because they have already played against the world champions twice last year and, having learned from those experiences, there is quiet confidence among the players that they can cause a surprise. Of course, it would be some surprise. In their opening match, the defending champions not only trounced Thailand 13-0, breaking the record for the biggest win in Women’s World Cup history, but seven different Americans got on the scoresheet, led by star striker Alex Morgan. Morgan, who bagged a record-equalling five goals herself, was named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2019, one of only two footballers - along with Mohamed Salah - to make the list. Moreover, USA have gone over seven-and-a-half hours since they last conceded, scoring 31 goals and keeping five clean sheets in the process. Sam Kerr was the last player to score against the US women’s team in Australia's 5-3 loss in Denver, Colorado in April. USA are also unbeaten in ten matches (eight wins, two draws) since a 3-1 defeat by France in their maiden match of 2019. Germany (14 games) and Italy (11) are the only teams at France 2019 on longer undefeated streaks.  

History

In September 2018 the US and Chile met for the first time in a two-game series in preparation for this World Cup. The US won both matches (3-0, 4-0) and will look to seal a third straight victory. On that occasion, goals from Tierna Davidson and Christen Press, plus an own goal, sealed the 3-0 success. In the 4-0 rout a few days later, Mallory Pugh and Tobin Heath netted before a Carli Lloyd double rounded off the scoring. Both the matches were played Stateside.  

Betting Tip

??

USA vs Chile Asian Handicap US -4.25 @ 1.89
June 17, 00:00(GMT+8)
The US are clear favourites and the odds reflect that. In fact, I can’t recall ever seeing odds quite like the Asian Handicap ones backing the US who are -4.25 @ 1.75 with Chile – who seem destined for long spells without possession – Asian Handicap + 4.25 @ 2.09. Over 4.25 goals may not seem too many given from what we have witnessed so far, hence the odds on that priced @ 1.75 and under 4.25 goals @ 2.07. It’s @ 1.96 for an odd number of goals in the contest and @ 1.90 for an even number.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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18-Jun 2019 Tuesday 9:35 AM (118 days ago)            #10
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Women’s World Cup Japan vs England: Lionesses Looking for Revenge

Japan vs England

England are through to the Women's World Cup knockout stage after squeaking past Argentina, 1-0. The Lionesses have now claimed two wins out of two matches and can secure top spot in Group D if they avoid defeat in their final match against Japan.

The Japanese are currently in second place with four points. They would join England in the next round in the event of a draw and would leapfrog the Lionesses for top spot if they win.

These two sides met in the semi-finals of the 2015 Women's World Cup, which Japan won in dramatic fashion.

England will be eager to avoid a repeat of that result as they finally look to live up to their status as one of the tournament's top contenders, according to the Women's World Cup 2019 odds.

Talking Points

Lionesses grinding out results

Despite their Women's World Cup 2019 reading two wins out of two, Group D hasn't been quite as easy as expected for England.

They didn't entirely convince in their 2-1 win against British rivals Scotland in their opening match. And against Argentina, they were again unable to roar as they just eked out a 1-0 win.

To be fair, the Lionesses were up against a goalkeeper in inspired form in Vanina Correa, who made an excellent save on Nikita Parris' early penalty.

Jodie Taylor lead England to victory in their last Women's World Cup match against Argentina
England's Jodie Taylor celebrates scoring against Argentina

Luckily, Jodie Taylor was on hand to supply the winning goal. It was the first goal in 14 months for Taylor, who was the top scorer in Euro 2017 with five goals.

Taylor hasn't fared as well in manager Phil Neville's new playing style, which is more possession-based as opposed to former coach Mark Sampson's counterattacking game. But if their first two matches are anything to go by, it seems that the entire England team still hasn't clicked into gear.

Their matchup against Japan will easily be the toughest of the group and will more accurately gauge their progress under Neville.

While England have secured qualification, lack of motivation is unlikely to be a problem for them. Apart from securing top spot in the group, they will also have payback on their minds after their painful defeat to Japan in the semi-finals of the last World Cup.

Star right-back Lucy Bronze, in particular, will be ready to make up for that semi-final defeat after she had to come off due to illness.

Japan not yet in top gear

Like England, Japan have not looked all that convincing in their first two matches in the tournament. They were similarly frustrated by Argentina and held to a goalless draw in their opening match.

And while they picked up a much-needed 2-1 win against Scotland, they once again didn't play quite like back-to-back Women's World Cup finalists.

 


 

 

The penalty Japan received for their second goal was somewhat harsh, while the Scots also hit the post through Erin Cuthbert.

But for the first time in the tournament, Japan will face an opponent that will actually look to play football with them as opposed to merely sitting deep in defence. That may just suit the Japanese, who are technically sound and capable of capitalising if they are allowed more space with which to work.

Japan coach Asako Takakura believes that her young team is capable of playing much better. And with the quality that England have at their disposal, the Japanese will need to significantly up their game to ensure qualification to the knockout round.

History

Japan and England have met a total of three times in the Women's World Cup. Their first meeting was in 2007, which was a 2-2 draw. England then scored a win in the group stage in 2011.

And there was Japan's dramatic win in the 2015 semi-final, which came after a Laura Bassett own-goal well into stoppage time.

England were able to get some semblance of revenge recently as they thrashed Japan 3-0 at the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year.

But clearly, the Women's World Cup is the much bigger stage, and beating Japan here would be much sweeter.

Betting Tip

??

Japan vs England Draw 1X2 @ 3.15
June 20, 03:00 (GMT+8)

There's a strong case to be made that this match will end in a draw, which SBOBET odds have priced at 3.15. For one, neither team has played overwhelmingly well thus far in the tournament and may not handle the step up in competition too well.

Moreover, both teams know that a draw is a mutually beneficial result, which could cause them to not give it their full effort for this match.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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19-Jun 2019 Wednesday 1:57 PM (117 days ago)            #11
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Women’s World Cup Sweden vs USA: Top Spot on the Line

Sweden vs USA

It's been smooth sailing for the U.S. women's national team thus far in the Women's World Cup. The USWNT have claimed two wins out of two, with an aggregate score of 16-0.

But while they've qualified for the last 16, the Americans don't have top spot in Group F all sewn up just yet. That's because Sweden also have a 100 per cent record through two matches.

The two will now square off to determine the group winner, who will be on a collision course with fellow top contenders France in the quarter-finals.

This will be by far the Americans' toughest test to date, and the Sweden vs USA betting odds bear that out. Still, the defending champions will look to pass it with flying colours ahead of the knockout stage.

Talking Points

 


 

 

Sweden looking solid

Sweden's start to the tournament wasn't all too impressive as they laboured to a 2-0 win over Chile. Moreover, they had to wait until the 83rd minute for star attacker Kosovare Asllani to break the deadlock.

But to be fair to Sweden, Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler has proven to be in outstanding form in this tournament. After her tremendous performance to keep the Swedes at bay, she also prevented the USWNT from winning by a much wider margin.

But Sweden did look much better in their second match against Thailand as they produced a handful of Women's World Cup 2019 highlights. They stamped their class against their overmatched opponents en route to a convincing 5-1 win. Asllani once again got her name on the scoresheet as the Swedes had five different goalscorers.

The Swedes aren't usually that prolific in front of goal, though. They don't have the firepower to get in a shootout with the U.S. and come out on top. Then again, very few teams in the world do.

 But Sweden do still have some skilful and talented attackers on the wing capable of asking questions of the American full-backs, who are among the weaker players on the team.

Unstoppable USWNT will be well-rested

The defending champions have taken care of business in impressive fashion during the group stage. After their record-breaking 13-0 win over Thailand to start the tournament, they picked up another comfortable 3-0 win over Chile.

It speaks to the Americans' amazing depth that they had the luxury of sitting seven starters against Chile -- including five-goal hero Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Megan Rapinoe -- and replacing them with players like 2015 Women's World Cup hero Carli Lloyd, who proceeded to score two goals.

The star trio should be fresh and ready to go against the Swedes, which is yet another advantage for the Americans.

Sweden's Kosovare Asllani named player of the match following their Women’s World Cup win vs Thailand
United States' Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Women's World Cup match against Chile

The U.S. only need to avoid defeat to secure top spot over the Swedes due to a superior goal difference. But of course, the Americans will no doubt be gunning to preserve their 100 per cent record and continue to build momentum heading into the knockout stage.

With all the attacking talent U.S. coach Jill Ellis has at her disposal, it's hard to see how this team doesn't find the back of the net. With Morgan, Heath, and Rapinoe set to return to the starting XI, Mallory Pugh, Lloyd, and Christen Press will be available as options off the bench if needed.

The U.S. also displayed their terrific ability on set pieces against Chile, with Lloyd and Julie Ertz both scoring from corner kicks. The Swedes are not particularly strong defending set plays, which the Americans will likely look to expose anytime they get the chance.

History

The USA and Sweden have squared off against one another 38 times in history. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. hold the edge in those head-to-heads with 20 wins to 11 for Sweden, along with seven draws.

The U.S. beat Sweden, 1-0, in their most recent meeting, which was an international friendly back in 2017.

Somewhat surprisingly, though, it's that's the first win the Americans have had over Sweden in quite a while. The Swedes are 3-1-1 (W-D-L) in their last five matches against the USA.

Betting Tip

??

Sweden vs USA Over 2.75 Goals @ 1.98
June 21, 03:00 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds currently have the USA priced at 1.29 to win on the 1X2 market, with Sweden at 7.40. Based on recent history, taking a punt on Sweden pulling the upset doesn't seem so wild.

But for this betting tip, I would like to offer up the total goals to go over 2.75. Obviously, the Americans have been banging in the goals to start the tournament, and even though the Swedes possess a strong defence, the U.S. are still more than capable of getting a couple of goals.

The Swedes' ability to breach the American goal for the first time also shouldn't be discounted. Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson are both top-quality forwards who can give the U.S. problems.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
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27-Jun 2019 Thursday 2:57 PM (109 days ago)            #12
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Women’s World Cup: Down to the Elite Eight

Women's World Cup Quarter-finals

The Women's World Cup is now down to the quarter-final stage as the elite eight battle for a spot in the semi-finals.

Most of the big teams have survived to this point, but there is bound to be at least one huge casualty in the quarters as the two tournament favourites -- hosts France and defending champions, the US -- have been matched up against each other.

Elsewhere, England and Germany also have their sights set on making it to the semis for the second World Cup running.

Let's take a look at how all four interesting quarter-final match-ups will shake out!

England vs Norway

Norway were given all they could handle by Australia in the round of 16. The Matildas took the Norwegians to extra-time after a late equaliser, but Norway held their nerve to go through on penalties.

Despite missing star striker Ada Hegerberg, Norway still have the likes of Isabell Herlovsen, who has scored twice in the last two games,  Guro Reiten and Caroline Graham Hansen to call upon in attack.

On the other side, England have seemingly grown stronger as the tournament has gone on. They easily dispatched an overmatched Cameroon side, 3-0, in a contentious round-of-16 match. And before that, they turned in a convincing 2-0 win over Japan in their final group game.

The big Women's World Cup 2019 news is that the Lionesses could be without both starting centre-backs in Steph Houghton and Mille Bright against Norway. That would certainly make things a bit tougher.

With Hegerberg, Norway would have a much better chance of toppling England. But the Lionesses have been rock-solid on both ends of the pitch for the most part in this tournament and should possess enough quality to get past Norwegians even without Houghton and Bright.

Betting Tip: England 1X2 @ 2.02

France vs USA

The USWNT were finally made to sweat by Spain in the round of 16. The Americans needed a couple of penalties to squeak by the Spanish, 2-1.

The U.S.'s margin of victory has conspicuously shrunk as the tournament has worn on. It's gone from 13 following their record-breaking win over Thailand to three to two all the way down to one.

And now, they face the team with the next best chance to win the tournament per the Women's World Cup 2019 betting odds: France.

The hosts needed extra-time to get by Brazil as they continue to grind out results. Since their 3-0 win over South Korea, they haven't won by more than one goal in their last three matches.

Can Megan Rapinoe guide USA to reach the Women's World Cup semifinals?
USA forward Megan Rapinoe celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal against Spain

With neither top contender in particularly great form, SBOBET Women's World Cup fans should expect a closely-contested match.

But The US possess the superior depth on their bench, which should give them the ability to change the game later on. In a game that figures to be tight, that could prove to be the difference.

Betting Tip: USA 1X2 @ 2.15

Italy vs Netherlands

Italy's amazing World Cup ride continued as they cruised to a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over China. They took their two chances on goal, while the Chinese were unable to create too many clear-cut opportunities despite putting the Italians under a fair bit of pressure.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands should consider themselves a bit fortunate to beat Japan. After a strong start, the Dutch were then outplayed for most of the match and needed a 90th-minute penalty after a handball to progress.

However, the Netherlands possess the superior pedigree over Italy, who are not nearly as talented as the Japanese, especially in attack. The Dutch defence, which had so many problems against Japan, will fancy their chances much more against the Italians.

 

 


 

 

Germany vs Sweden

While the U.S. and France are considered the top two favourites to win the World Cup, Germany are going under the radar and taking care of business with typical German efficiency.

Germany are the only team who have yet to concede a single goal in the entire tournament, which is in large part because they've given up an astoundingly low six shots on target in four games.

Meanwhile, they are also set to get back star midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan (32 goals in 91 caps), who has returned to training just weeks after suffering a broken toe in the first game of the tournament against China.

That's obviously not good news for Sweden, who will most likely be on the back foot for most of the match. The Swedes were able to withstand the pressure from Canada in their 1-0 win in the round of 16, although they were fortunate that the Canadians missed a late penalty.

Kosovare Asllani (two goals, two assists) has had a strong World Cup thus far. However, she will need a lot more help if the Swedes are to become the first team to score on the Germans' well-organised defence.

Betting Tip: Germany Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.95

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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01-Jul 2019 Monday 4:43 PM (105 days ago)            #13
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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.

 

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 


 
 

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.

Can Sweden book their spot in the Women's World Cup Final?
Sweden players celebrate after the 2-1 win against Germany

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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This message was edited by SBOBET on 01-Jul-2019 at 4:45 PM


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10-Jul 2019 Wednesday 8:10 PM (96 days ago)            #14
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Women’s World Cup: The Champions of the World and Europe – This Is Their Moment!

USA vs Netherlands

It’s been a month of dramatic action and a wonderful showcase for women’s football.

Even those who question the standard of some of the matches in the Women’s World Cup – and there are those who do – as well as the attendances in some cases, cannot argue it’s been anything other than a great success.

SBOBET fans can wait for another day for the debate about the future of the game and players’ salaries. For now, there is no doubt there have been Women’s World Cup highlights galore and the best could be yet to come.

 


 

 

Talking Points

The final in the Stade de Lyon arrives as FIFA president Gianni Infantino says the game’s governing body is to increase its investment in the women’s game to $1bn over the next four-year cycle.

He has also spoken of wanting to create an international women’s league, with promotion and relegation, to help the World Cup qualification process.

It’s clear that the holders and favourites to retain their status as world number one are the act to follow.

The USA is not only the most successful team, having won the World Cup three times and four Olympic gold medals. The Stars and Stripes have also maintained a pipeline of talent via a federal law that forces universities to spend as much on women’s sport as on men’s.

The result is that while defeated semi-finalists England, for example, has 120,000 female players registered, in the US the figure is 1.6m. Focus on grassroots is clear.

After beginning with a blitz against minnows Thailand, there’s no real surprise the final comprises the World champions against the European Champions, the Netherlands.

The US is making a third straight appearance in the World Cup Final, while this is a first for Holland.

The Dutch though are not here by default.

In 2007, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) launched a women's professional league, the Eredivisie Vrouwen, which has seen several iterations and now sends its winner to the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Several members of the Dutch national team now play for teams in the English WSL, the German Bundesliga and the Spanish Primera Division, and in May, semi-final match winner Jackie Groenen became the first international signing for Manchester United of the WSL.

All of that means access to higher-quality facilities, better training and year-round competition, as well as salaries that allow them to train full time.

They have certainly not been lacking in support in France either.

The "Orange Army" has been as newsworthy as the squad with, in every city where Holland plays, a double-decker bus pulling into town and bringing with it a rowdy bright-orange celebration. Supporters of the Orange Lionesses meet in city squares to drink and sing and dance in unison.

It all could have gone so differently. Rewind to their opener against minnows New Zealand and a chance to lift the World Cup seemed very distant. They looked toothless against the Football Ferns in Le Havre, struggling to penetrate an organised defensive unit.

Can Netherlands sway the odds and claim the Women’s World Cup title against USA?
Netherlands celebrates their semi-final victory against Sweden

When the clock ticked past the 90th minute, it appeared the pre-tournament hype around the Netherlands was misconceived. Suddenly, with 120 seconds of stoppage time remaining, the substitute Jill Roord headed home from close range.

That set them on this path and the rest is history.

The conventional wisdom is that the United States will triumph. They have a belief – some say an arrogance – which is paying dividends.

Indeed, victory on Sunday would give them greater momentum in their case against U.S. Soccer, for gender discrimination, alleging the organisation doesn’t pay them their worth and offers only “lip service” to equality. (U.S. Soccer has denied such claims: the case is headed to mediation).

That is one for the courts to decide.

One thing that doesn’t require mediation is to acknowledge the success of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Now for its ultimate showpiece.

History

America have won their last three meetings, each by the same scoreline of 2-1, suggesting a close encounter is likely.

Betting Tip

??

USA vs Netherlands Total Goal 4-6 @ 3.15
July 07, 23:00 (GMT+8)

Women’s World Cup betting odds suggest Holland will have to produce a flawless performance and the US will need to suffer an unprecedented crisis of confidence if there is to be a new name on the trophy.

The USA is offered 1X2 @ 1.44, Holland @ 5.20 and the draw @ 4.30 – obviously there must be a winner on the day, whether via extra-time or penalties if level after 90 minutes.

Asian Handicap bets worth assessing include USA -1.25 @ 2.08 and Holland + 0.75 @ 2.42.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 10-Jul-2019 at 8:10 PM


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10-Jul 2019 Wednesday 8:12 PM (96 days ago)            #15
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Women’s World Cup: Peerless USA on Top of the World – Again!

USA 2-0 Netherlands

She’s outspoken, she doesn’t mince her words and has probably gone over the top with some of her past and plainly inaccurate criticism (in this SBOBET’s writers view).

However, one thing that can’t be taken away from United States captain Megan Rapinoe is her determination and winning mentality.

After her penalty kick confirmed her nation as world champions again, perhaps her belief that women’s football does not get enough respect from FIFA will carry greater weight.

Certainly, after much fanfare in the past month, this Women’s World Cup Final was far from just another game.

Highlights of the game

That was evident from the outset as the World (USA) and European champions (Netherlands) went for the jugular.

The Women’s World Cup betting odds always made the USA favourites to retain the crown they won in Canada four years ago.

Yet Netherlands, and European sides, have generally shown in this World Cup that they are catching up, as traditional powers in the men’s game put their weight behind their women’s teams.

The Netherlands had produced plenty of Women’s World Cup highlights to get this far, reaching their first World Cup final on the strength of performances from the likes of Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and Barcelona’s Lieke Martens.

As the match kicked off in Lyon, it seemed a distant memory that the European champions had struggled to qualify for this tournament, doing so via the play-offs.

This was their second consecutive major final, at only their second World Cup – an impressive rise for a nation that only established a domestic women’s league in 2007.

Yet they were up against a formidable foe in the US, chasing a fourth star and looking to match Germany in winning back-to-back championships.

USA continue to be one of the best teams after winning Women’s World Cup
USA players lift trophy after winning against Netherlands

In the seven previous World Cup finals, USA had finished in the top three: champions (1991, 1999 and 2015), runner-up (2011) and third (1995, 2003 and 2007).

Once the initial excitement of two balls on the pitch for the first 30 seconds had passed, the game took time to burst into life but, slowly, transformed into an exercise of American attack against Dutch defence or, more pertinently, goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.

The Dutch captain was in superb form, parrying Julie Ertz’s follow-up and then blocking an Ertz header before tipping Alex Morgan’s toe-poke onto the post and parrying Morgan’s pile driver in a spell of sustained US pressure before the break.

A rare Dutch attack on the stroke of half-time saw the Americans scramble the ball clear but the pattern had been set.

The question now was, would the Americans be worn down or would Dutch resistance crack?

It proved to be the latter.

Just before the hour Tobin Heath's cross was headed on by Sherida Spitse to Morgan who was challenged by Stafanie van de Gragt.

She was adjudged to have raised her boot too high and up stepped Rapinoe to slot the ball down the middle as van Veenendaal was finally beaten.

Netherlands were mentally deflated and had nothing left in the tank with which to respond.

When, just eight minutes later, Rose Lavelle drove through the centre, shimmied and placed the ball into the bottom right corner, it was game over.

It could have been more as Heath got the ball stuck under her feet as she was about to shoot, Morgan was let down by a heavy touch when clean through and Crystal Dunn was frustrated by another smart block from the legs of van Veenendaal.



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She was named player of the match and, after being released by Arsenal this summer, will surely not be without a club for long.

But for her, the Stateside crowning would have come much earlier.

For the fourth time, USA are on top of the world again.

Key statistics

Rapinoe has won the Golden Boot, pipping Morgan (who also hit six goals) because she also produced three assists in fewer minutes than her team-mate.

A third honour soon followed as she received the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player ahead of England right-back Lucy Bronze and USA team-mate Lavelle.

The US scored 26 goals in this tournament, an all-time record.

They have lost only one of their last 44 matches in all competitions (38 wins, five draws).

Since failing to score against Australia in July 2017, the USA have scored in 45 consecutive matches in all competitions, netting 148 goals and scoring at least twice in each of their last 12 games.

This was the first ever competitive match between these nations.

USA, the pre-eminent force of the women’s game at international level, had won six of their previous eight friendly meetings before today.

Sarina Wiegman, who guided Oranje Leeuwinnen to Euro success in 2017 and this final, played in the last Dutch victory over America back in 1996. Since then it’s been eight consecutive defeats with a 24-2 aggregate score.

What’s next?

The next fixture will not be on many minds right now but its not to long until the Dutch women’s team are in action again.

They travel to Estonia on August 30 for the first qualifying match for the UEFA Women’s Championship, closely followed by a home tie against Turkey (September 3).

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 10-Jul-2019 at 8:12 PM


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