Its England Women v Australia Women in the World Cup semi final. What else is there to say?
This matchup could be viewed as a precursor to the ultimate showdown. Not just because England has been widely tipped to clinch the title and Australia is co-hosting the event, but also due to the deep-rooted rivalry between these two nations.
Adding more intrigue is the fact that many players from both sides compete with or against each other weekly in the Women’s Super League. Currently, 11 Matildas have contracts with English top-tier teams.
With Tony Gustavsson’s team boasting four clean sheets in five home games, and England maintaining three, this is set to be a closely-fought match.
Although the Lionesses haven’t fully lived up to expectations this tournament, they’ve shown resilience, having conceded only two goals till now. They stand as favorites to win with odds at 2.34, and at 1.68 to progress further.
But here’s an intriguing twist: In her 37-game leadership with the English squad, Sarina Wiegman’s lone defeat was against Australia.
This 2-0 setback took place in a friendly match in Brentford just four months ago.
What are the odds on the womens semi final?
England might have the edge in the odds (the Lionesses are 6/4 favourites to win) for Wednesday’s semi-final, but they’ll face an uphill battle against the roaring Sydney audience, decidedly in Australia’s corner.
Expect Stadium Australia to be awash with passionate Australia supporters, creating a daunting environment. To prevail, England must navigate this fervent atmosphere.
Though Wiegman’s squad has been scrapping by with wins recently, a flashback to April reminds us of when their impressive 30-match unbeaten streak was halted by none other than Australia.
With the return of Sam Kerr, among the top earners in women’s football, Australia has a potential game-changer. She could tip the scales if all aligns for the Matildas.
While Australia offers tempting odds, England’s quality and experience, fortified by their 2021 European Championship victory, cannot be underestimated.
Expect a tense match where every second counts. I’m leaning towards a draw in regulation time, but England might clinch it in extra time.
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