The USWNT entered this tournament as reigning champions, the number one side in the world rankings and undeniable favourites to win the tournament. They are exactly where they expected to be. Despite winning the European Championship in 2017, the Netherlands weren’t exactly among the favourites at the beginning of the competition, with both France and England favoured ahead of them. Unfortunately for both those sides, they found themselves in the wrong half of the draw and came up against the USA in the knockout rounds, while the Dutch were able to avoid them until now.
The USWNT (United States Women’s National Team) are the team to beat in women’s football and have done their best to demonstrate that fact at every opportunity. This approach has not exactly won them any friends though. A 13-0 drubbing of Thailand drew condemnation for the eager celebrations of every single goal, while Alex Morgan’s tea sipping goal celebration against England didn’t do much for US-Anglo relations.
As mentioned above, Jill Ellis’ side have not had an easy route to the final, facing France in the quarter-final and Phil Neville’s Lionesses in the semi-final. On both occasions the US ran out 2-1 winners, a feat they also managed in the round of 16 against Spain. Alex Morgan is currently top of the goalscoring charts, on six goals, alongside England’s Ellen White. Should White draw a blank in the 3rd place play-off against Sweden, a goal in the final will bag the golden boot for Morgan. Should both players remain level, Morgan will win the tie-break due to her greater number of assists.
The Netherlands may not have entered the tournament among the major favourites, despite winning the most recent European Championships on home soil, but they were certainly considered a strong team with a good chance of making it into the knockout rounds. In only their second World Cup appearance, having debuted in 2015, the Dutch have certainly exceeded expectations.
While they’ve had an easier run through the knockout stages than their opponents, the Netherlands did top a tricky group that contained a decent Canada side. In the knockout rounds, the Netherlands conceded only one goal, overcoming Japan, Italy and Sweden along the way. The semi-final against Sweden was a dull affair, with the only goal of the match being scored by Jackie Groenen in extra-time. Midfielder Sherida Spitse has been the team’s creative catalyst and has the most assists in the tournament, with four to her name.
USA are clear favourites to win the final and retain the World Cup at 2/5. The Netherlands are very much outsiders at 63/10.
Anything other than a USA win would be a complete upset. They are ranked number one in the world for a reason and have seen off some pretty big sides in hosts France and much fancied England.
With such little value to be found in backing the USA to win, we’d opt for a specific bet relating to the scoreline. The USA have won each of their three knockout games 2-1 so we’d back them to repeat that feat and win 2-1 against the Netherlands at 32/5.
*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.