The Lionesses roar into Lyon this evening looking to make their first ever Women's World Cup final after being eliminated at the semi-final stage in Canada four years ago. Standing in their way are reigning champions United States, who are on a mission to prove themselves as the best in the game by winning a record fourth trophy.
Both teams are unbeaten throughout the tournament and have conceded a combined three goals in 10 games, with the Lionesses recording four consecutive clean sheets. The spine of the English team has been vital with central defenders Steph Houghton and Millie Bright both completing 90 minutes against Norway after injury concerns, while Jill Scott has worked tirelessly in midfield, moving from box to box and was rewarded by getting the early opener in the quarter-final.
Much has been made of Ellen White's finishing, but it is this core that has allowed the full-backs to push on and support Nikita Parris and Toni Duggan in wide areas and Alex Greenwood and Lucy Bronze will continue to test the US full-backs.
The US will be a step up in competition undoubtedly, and while the Americans haven't hit the highs from their opening performance against Thailand, they comfortably swept aside France in the last round after tactically nullifying the French wide threat and hitting them on the counter attack in clinical fashion, inspired by the constant motor of Megan Rapinoe.
GIVEMBET looks closer at this exciting match:
- England have liked to use Parris and Bronze in tandem on the right flank, however, Dunn, the US full-back, has shown her class especially in the quarter-final where she was a constant disruption to Les Bleus. While her methods were effective, it did lead to the US conceding seven corners in the match. England have targeted set pieces this tournament and have notched a goal from well worked dead ball routines in consecutive games, so expect them to attack the full-backs to force the US to scramble and concede set pieces. Over 4.5 England corners is 6/5 with GIVEMEBET
- An early goal is always crucial, and England and the USA have been the masters of finding the net in the first 15 minutes. So far in the tournament, England have gotten on the scoreboard inside the opening quarter of an hour in four of their five matches, while the US go one better and have scored in the first 15 minutes in every game they've played in France. A goal for either side in the first 15 mins is 5/2 with GIVEMEBET
- The US got their World Cup campaign off to a flyer, routing Thailand 13-0, drawing criticisms along the way for their celebrations. That day Alex Morgan was the architect of the damage, scoring five times and providing three assists. Since this match, however, she has failed to add to her goals tally, but has been the consummate professional doing a lot of the dirty work while her team play on the counter. It's unlikely the US will play as deep as they did against France, so Morgan can expect more support which will reduce the pressure and afford her more space. Space is deadly to a striker of Morgan's talents, and she will be looking to claim the golden boot. Morgan to score anytime is 4/5 with GIVEMEBET.
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