Spain Women V USA Women Betting Tip: USA & Under 4.5 Goals – 24 June 2019

Improving Spain should keep this competitive

International Football Tips

Spain Women V USA Women

Monday, 24 June 2019 – 17:00 Kick-Off

International: FIFA Women’s World Cup

Pick: USA to WIN & Under 4.5 Goals – 4/6 Ladbrokes

Preview: The group stage has concluded and now the excitement of the knockouts await us at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, with the focus here firmly on the defending champions, USA, as they seek to maintain a flawless record of reaching at least the semi-final stage of all seven previous World Cups.

Their opponents in this Round of 16 contest are a Spanish side that provided plenty of resistance the last time these two nations clashed, in a narrow 1-0 win for the Americans in January. Can the Europeans exact some revenge at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims?

Spain are 8/1 to win inside normal time (9/2 to qualify). USA are strong favourites once more at 4/11 inside normal time (1/7 to qualify). The draw is 18/5.

 

Spain Women’s Preview

The Spanish have very quietly gone about their business at this tournament. A reason for that has been their understated performance so far. A fairly routine 3-1 win against South Africa was followed by a narrow 1-0 reverse to Germany, before concluding matters with a goalless draw with China (a match they were utterly dominant in). The end result was qualification as a distant runner-up, behind Germany and only ahead of third-place China on goal difference.

It’s clear Spanish football is on an upward curve, though. The team’s general performance at these finals contrasts massively to that of their last, at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, when they finished bottom of their group with a single point.

This improvement hasn’t been limited to only this World Cup, either, as some of their form in 2019 has been very encouraging. Wins over Holland (2-0) and Brazil (2-1) were the standout results, but draws with Canada (0-0) and Japan, along with tight losses to England (2-1), Germany (0-1) and USA (0-1), highlight this newfound belief to be able to really compete and hold their own against some of the very best.

Probably the strongest aspect of their game is their ball retention, and that is something which could be pivotal to slowing this game down against an opponent that are renowned for dominating sides and playing at an almost unrivalled pace, especially in the attacking phases. La Roja, as they are sometimes referred by, enjoyed more of the ball in all three group games, including the 1-0 loss to Germany (57% possession), and more of the same here could be key to keeping the opposition quiet.

The one criticism of them, however, has been an underwhelming record in front of goal. All three of their goals so far came in one game, the opener against the weakest team in the section in the shape of South Africa. That does not bode well ahead of facing a United States defence which has not conceded a single goal in its previous seven matches.

 

USA to WIN 2019 World Cup
7/4

Bet365

 

USA Women’s Preview

Credit where it is due. The United States duly dispatched with a tricky, often stubborn, opponent last time out in Sweden without too much of a fuss. Their second goal was certainly controversial (and painful, for me at least, as I tipped Sweden to avoid a two-goal margin of defeat) but the ease with which they negotiated a fixture that has caused them plenty of issues in the past was the most affirmative statement yet: the number one ranked team in the women’s game will require something extraordinary if they’re to be denied a fourth World Cup title.

That stroll in the park against the Swedes last time out extended their winning streak to nine games. To double down on how impressive that run is, it was achieved with eight clean sheets. Australia were the last team to score past them back in April, but since then coach Jill Ellis has seen her defence shut out Belgium, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and, of course, Sweden. It’s awe-inspiring form.

Next up are a team they should know a fair amount about having encountered them in a friendly earlier in the year. A strong United States team were 1-0 winners on that occasion, Christen Press scoring the only goal of the game early into the second half of a fixture played in Alicante, Spain. On the evidence of their displays so far in this tournament, Alex Morgan & Co will rate their chances of asserting themselves a little more on proceedings this time around, in more neutral surroundings.

On the topic of the venue, it is one Team USA should have fond memories of: it was the setting for their record-breaking 13-0 romp against Thailand in the opening game of the group.

 

Betting Tips

USA to WIN & Under 4.5 Goals – 4/6 Ladbrokes

 

Betting Summary

Spain have undoubtedly made progress in recent times, and have established a healthy habit for being a very awkward and difficult opponent, but this still feels like a step too far, too soon. There is every possibility they can keep it competitive, however.

Spain’s results against strong opposition this year have mostly been low-scoring, close affairs. That 1-0 loss to the United States in January being a prime example. A key factor in limiting the United States’ ability to dominate proceedings here, like they normally would do, will be to retain as much possession of the ball as possible, and there may not be a better team around at present than La Roja at doing precisely that.

Therefore this could be a tighter contest than some envisage. I mentioned Under 2.5 Goals as an option in USA’s match with Sweden but resisted the urge to tip it, regrettably. The same bet appeals again here, at 17/20 with Bet365. However, I need a winner at the moment, so I will rein in my proclivity for bold bets, for now anyway. The US should progress, so a United States WIN + Under 4.5 Goals is the bet.


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