|Megan Rapinoe to score first||4/1||888Sport|
The USWNT will be bidding to win their fourth Women’s World Cup, having triumphed in 1991 and 1999 before completing the hat-trick in 2015, with Jill Ellis’ side having produced a series of strong performances in France which included a 2-1 semi-final win over England.
The victory wasn’t without its drama, with Team US enjoying a dominant first-half display which gave them a one-goal advantage before making life difficult for themselves by adopting defensive tactics, something which saw the Lionesses have a goal chalked off for offside before missing a VAR-awarded penalty.
However, there’s so much to like about a team who were missing the injured Megan Rapinoe in that particular match, with replacement Christen Press scoring the opener against England before captain Alex Morgan was able to bag from another header after an excellent build-up.
Rapinoe Set to Return for USWNT
There’s little doubt that this team are full of goals and it could be that Rapinoe returns (4/1 with 888Sport to score first) to the starting line-up for this weekend’s final, while Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn form a strong central defensive unit in front of the inspirational Alyssa Naher.
The States scored eighteen goals during the group stage of the Women’s World Cup and have since overpowered European opponents in the form of Spain, France and England to book their place in the final, with the bookmakers pricing them as overwhelming favourites.
As for the Netherlands, they had never reached the semi-finals of a World Cup before this tournament and are definitely in unchartered territory after making the final. Indeed, this is only the second time they have qualified for the competition which illustrates the massive strides that have been made in the past few years.
Can the European Champions Land a World Crown?
Four years ago, the Dutch made the last sixteen of the 2015 World Cup before building on that achievement to win the 2017 European Championship, with Sarina Wiegman’s side enjoying comprehensive wins over Sweden, England and Denmark to be crowned queens of the continent.
Many would argue that the Leeuwinnen have come through the easier half of the draw, with the Netherlands having beaten Japan at the last sixteen stage before a victory against Italy in the quarter finals. They then scored an extra-time winner against a modest Sweden team to earn their final place.
However, this is a side who have been getting the job done ever since Jill Roord scored that last-gasp winner against New Zealand in their opening group game, with further victories over Cameroon and Canada earning the right to be placed in the favourable section of the draw.
Holland will know that they are underdogs for this clash with the top betting sites. While conquering Europe two years ago was a fantastic achievement, the US Women’s team came into the 2019 World Cup as top seeds and clearly set the benchmark when it comes to the women’s game.
Love betting on Football? Take advantage of a free bet offer for your next wager!
Team USA Winning Streak Extends to Twelve Games
Since the SheBelieves Cup took place in late February and early March, the Americans have been on a massive charge of victories, with the latest win against England meaning that Ellis’ side now have a dozen consecutive W’s on the board and the squad have belief and confidence coursing through their veins.
The US team will be looking to start the game quickly as they have done throughout this tournament, with the strategy clearly being to get themselves into an unassailable position and then defend for their lives, with the side often reverting to a back five towards the end of matches as they did against France and England.
The Netherlands will have to meet fire with fire in those opening exchanges and will also be wary of conceding from an aerial route after England were badly exposed by the US in this way. The Americans also have so many potential goalscorers, with Morgan and Rapinoe having their own private duel for goals throughout the World Cup.
However, Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis have also collectively scored nine goals and it will be interesting to see whether the Dutch continue with their 4-3-3 formation or instead look to play a more conventional 4-4-2 in order to protect the full-backs.
Can Miedema Follow in Ellen White’s Footsteps?
As always, Vivianne Miedema will be the attacking focal point of this Netherlands team and the Arsenal forward will have noted the way that Ellen White got between the centre halves to score against the US in the semi-final, while White also burst through twice in the second half to score a disallowed goal and then get fouled for the penalty.
Jackie Groenen illustrated that she has a powerful and accurate shot from range when firing home the winner against Sweden and the new Manchester United recruit will hope to work similar openings in the final although we suspect she could be spending more time tracking back and helping her team out.
While the Netherlands won’t be a pushover and have that recent experience of winning a major tournament final, this is a step up for their players and we’re going for the USA to get the job finished, with Rapinoe on penalty duties if she’s passed fit for this encounter and she’ll be our pick to be the woman for the big occasions.