The FIFA Women’s World Cup is already underway in Canada, with the opening round of group matches having taken place over the weekend. The hosts, Canada, got off to a flyer with a 1-0 win over China in the curtain-raiser to the tournament, but they had to wait for a 92nd minute penalty to secure the perfect start. The Netherlands also scored a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in their opener, and the games come thick and fast over the next few days.
All of the big guns will be getting their first taste of action in the next few days, and one of the fixtures that stands out is the mouth-watering clash between England Women and France Women. The English are a very big price to win this game, but one suspects that they can more than hold their own against the French, and they represent a little bit of value.
The first thing to point out is that as the games are being held in Canada, it’s necessary to keep an eye on the kick-off times. The three matches that interest us on the next few days of fixtures start at the following UK times:
USA Women v Australia Women – Tuesday 9th June, 00:30am (BST)
Japan Women v Switzerland Women – Tuesday 9th June, 3:00am (BST)
England Women v France Women – Tuesday 9th June, 18:00pm (BST)
Starting with the big one, England against France, here are the best odds available at present:
England Women – +500 with Boylesports
France Women – -150 with Skybet
We’re sweet on the chances of this England team, and we’ve already advised backing them to win the group. However, their biggest rival for top spot is the French Women’s team, who ironically, are our other tip along with England to lift the trophy. Contesting the same group isn’t ideal, but if both can qualify in the top two places, they may be able to avoid each other again until the final – should either get that far.
This match, therefore, can go a long way towards deciding who will finish first in the group, and it promises to be a thrilling match. The French are among the favourites for the tournament, and they beat England 2-0 when the sides last met in March 2014. This is a new England side though, and they are expected to be much more competitive. Things have gone from strength to strength for the English Women since Mark Sampson took over from Hope Powell, and he has already reinstalled some squad members who were frozen out under the former manager. The two teams had remarkably similar qualification records, and if the French do come out on top on Tuesday night, it will have been a hard-fought victory.
Both teams won all 10 qualifying games; England scored 52 and conceded 1, France scored 54 and conceded 3. For out-and-out value hunters, the +500 on an England Women win is very tempting, but for more conservative punters, the win/draw double chance looks a viable option.
England Women or Draw Double Chance – +130 Bet365
Better than even odds on England avoiding defeat is well worth taking in an opening group match. Colombia and Mexico are the other two sides in the group, and both England and France would fancy their chances of beating those two teams. Getting a point on the board will be important for both teams at this stage of the competition, and England represent the value here.
USA Women v Australia Women
USA Women are the outright favourites for the tournament, and they can be backed to get off to a great start against Australia Women in the ‘midnight’ game. This one starts at half-past midnight on Monday night/Tuesday morning, so make sure you get your bets placed by Monday evening.
USA Women are too short to back to win the game, with most firms offering no more than -500 but goals could well be on the menu at a much more palatable price.
Over 3.5 goals – +115 with Betfair
Both sides have a penchant for goals, and the last time they met it finished 6-2 to the USA. Australia recorded that same scoreline when they beat Czech Republic Women in a recent friendly, and each of their last four games has seen at least three goals. USA have had 5-1 and 4-0 victories in two of their last friendlies and they will want to get their tournament off to a flyer, while sending a signal of intent to the other teams in the competition. It would be considered a failure if USA Women don’t make it as far as the semi-finals at least, and they are fancied to rack up a few goals against the Australians.
Japan Women v Switzerland Women
The current World Cup holders, Japan, also open their account in the small hours of Tuesday morning, kicking off against Switzerland Women at 3:00am BST.
The Japanese are a strong side, and they are also worth backing to come out on top with victory over the Swiss. Japan Women have won 8 of their last 10 matches, with the only defeats coming against France Women and Denmark Women. Switzerland’s form has been up and down – they’ve won 4, drawn 1 and lost 5 of their last 10 games, and they appear to struggle against the better international teams. They’ve recorded 5-0 and 7-0 wins over Malta Women and Serbia Women in recent games, but they’ve suffered heavy defeats to the likes of Germany Women, USA Women and Brazil Women.
It was something of a shock when Japan Women won the 2011 World Cup in Germany, but they will be looking to get their defence of the trophy off to a good start here, and can be backed to do just that.
FIFA Women’s World Cup Matches, Tuesday 9th June:
England Women or Draw Double Chance – +130 Bet365
USA Women v Australia Women, Over 3.5 goals – +115 with Betfair
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