England got their Women’s World Cup campaign off to a flyer against Scotland and were handed the advantage in Group D as in the other match, what looked to be their main opposition of the group, Japan, drew unexpectedly against Argentina.
The Lionesses have a two-point lead in their group and should improve on their first performance.
Their 2-1 opening win was not without its challenges. What could have been a nervy first half was, in fact, very open, with England dominating the opening period.
They had 66% of possession and with that they created eight attempts, with five on target but it was the controversy of VAR (yet again) that helped break the deadlock after 14 minutes when it was deemed that Nicola Doherty handled in the area.
It was time for Nikita Parris to shine and to show what new club Lyon were getting. She converted from the spot to make it 1-0; her first World Cup game had been gifted with a goal. The overwhelming English attack didn’t stop there, not long after Ellen White had a goal ruled out for offside. It didn’t matter too much though, as she scored the second in the 40th minute.
It was a confident and almost ruthless first half. But, the second half was an entirely different story.
Did they relax too much? Yes. As the saying goes, “2-0 is the most dangerous lead,” and Phil Neville’s team proved that. They sat back and invited pressure from a talented Scottish team.
Kim Little, Erin Cuthbert, Lisa Evans and Claire Emslie, the latter two getting the assist and goal, were too hot to handle, taking control of possession and creating chances.
Should the match have gone on for much longer they just might as well have gotten an equaliser. But, they didn’t. Oh well…
England are 1/16, which isn’t attractive, and their opponents just held the 2011 champions to a 0-0 draw.
Japan suffered to create anything of note against Argentina and had three shots on goal throughout the 90 minutes, this won’t be a problem for England, with their abundance of talent up front.
Argentina are more than likely to set up how they did in their last match, invite pressure on, defend like a Jose Mourinho-style team and try to hit on the counter. Honestly, this won’t work well for them and England to Win to Nil is the easiest way to pump up the price.
Best Bet: England to Win to Nil – 8/15
The game is expected to be more defensively charged by the Argentinians and trying to predict the Under/Over 2.5 line is too hard for the prices involved. It could be lower scoring, as we’ve only seen two real drubbings across the first round of group games, or the quality of England could be so far ahead of their rivals that we could get a 5-0.
If you’re feeling brave, the England and Under 3.5 goals maybe value at Evens.
Apart from that, I’m sticking with goal scorers, and I was impressed with Parris in the first match.
She’s a little rocket. Fast, demanding and technical. And with Lucy Bronze behind her, they devastate teams on that right-hand side. I can’t see her not scoring, so, get on her at 4/5 to score anytime and 10/3 to be the first goal scorer.
I’m also going to go for a Same Game Multi in terms of goal scorers, as Beth Mead impressed on the left flank for the Lionesses in the game against Scotland, and I believe this will be the perfect match for her to flourish in.
Back both her and Parris to net anytime.
Same Game Multi: Nikita Parris and Beth Mead to score anytime – 2/1
* All odds correct at time of posting.