The Women’s World Cup has been a sensational tournament and the biggest dramas are yet to unfold as both semi-finals are played during this week. The hosts Canada were beaten by England’s Lionesses in the quarter-finals to bring to an end home interest, while Japan continued their perfect tournament run with a 1-0 victory over plucky Australia. USA Women and Germany Women were the two favourites at the start of the competition, and both made their way through to the business end, although Germany had to resort to penalties against France. USA saw off China in a one-sided 1-0, and that completed the line up.
Both Games kick off at midnight, so make sure you get your bets placed by Tuesday/Wednesday evenings for these two clashes.
USA Women v Germany Women, 00:00 (BST) Wednesday 1st July
Japan Women v England Women, 00:00 (BST) Thursday 2nd July
We predicted four correct results in the quarter-finals, and if you followed our tips you should have made a tasty profit. England Women provided great value in their win against Canada, and they look a fair bet to overcome the odds again against Japan, while the USA and Germany look very evenly matched.
USA and Germany Set for Stalemate
These two sides headed the betting markets prior to the tournament, with USA trading at +300 and Germany priced at +400 . That should be no surprise as the pair have two World Cups each, but by the end of the game in the early hours of Wednesday morning, one of the two will be packing their bags for home.
One suspects that the quarter-final epic against France may have taken its toll on Germany, and USA might prevail in the end, but over ninety minutes the smart money is on a draw.
USA Women – +200 with Betvictor
Germany Women – +163 with Paddy Power
Draw – +225 with Bwin
Both sides have recorded some emphatic results on this World Cup journey, with Germany’s 10-0 victory over Ivory Coast a real stand out result. USA have won four games and drawn one – the 0-0 draw with Sweden in the group stage. Germany drew with Norway in the group stage, but won every other game leading up to the quarter-final with France. They were outplayed on the night by the French, but showed their experience and resilience to emerge victorious. The Germans have won two of the last three World Cups, and can never be underestimated.
USA have probably performed the better of the two teams so far in the competition, but they haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders – only managing 1-0 wins over Nigeria and China. Germany are a better calibre of side than they’ve faced so far, and they will have to be at their best to win. The USA have two World Cups to their name, but they haven’t won since 1999, and lost the final in 2011 to Japan.
Three of the last four games between the two have ended all-square, and another stalemate could well be on the cards.
England Overpriced for Japan Test
The other semi-final is between England and Japan, and the Lionesses have already performed beyond many people’s expectations. We tipped them as an each-way fancy before the tournament at a tasty +2500 and anyone who took that advice is one game away from landing a certain profit and a shot at a huge payout.
Can England go all the way and win it? Well make no mistake, they will have to beat some very good teams to do so, starting with Japan. The current holders have eased through to the last four, winning every game by a one-goal margin, and they look ominous in their defence of the trophy. However, just as they were in the quarter-final against Canada, England are worth a punt at very generous odds to make more history.
England Women – +320 with Betvictor
Draw – +230 with Bwin
The English Women have fought back after a disappointing start when they lost 1-0 to France, and have gone on to win every game since. They beat Mexico and Colombia 2-1 in the group to qualify in second position behind the French. They went on to beat a very strong Norway side by the same scoreline in the second round, before once again completing a 2-1 victory in the quarter-final, this time against Canada.
Japan recorded a 1-0 win over Switzerland in their first game and followed it up with a 2-1 victory over Cameroon. They beat Ecuador 1-0 in the final group game for a 100% record and 9 points. They beat Netherlands 2-1 in the second round, before leaving it late against Australia in the quarter-final. It took an 87th minute winner for them to come through against the Matildas, and that will give England’s players hope that they can hold out against the Japanese attack.
There have been some defensive lapses in the England back line, and they will have to cut out any errors here or the World Champions will punish them. The head-to-head record shows that England are no forlorn hope in this game, as two of the last three match-ups have been draws. The other game was in the group stages of the last World Cup in 2011, where England won 2-0 although it was Japan who went on to lift the trophy.
England have developed a real feelgood factor under new coach Mark Sampson, and he has already taken them further than they’ve ever been in a World Cup. They’ve been the underdogs in each of the knockout games, but have caused a shock in both and there’s no reason why they can’t do the same to Japan in the semi-final.
Women’s World Cup Semi-finals:
USA Women v Germany Women – Draw – +225 with Bwin
England Women – +320 with Betvictor
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