England beat Norway to face the three-time Women's World Cup winners the USA in the semi-finals!
The Lionesses beat Norway 3-0 in last weeks quarter-final to reach the semis for the second consecutive time. It was a very good performance by Neville's side who got off to a great start. Jill Scott scored after just three minutes and England were in control. Ellen White double the lead on the 44th minute to get her fifth goal on the tournament. Lucy Bronze then confirmed England's semi-finals place with a screamer from the edge of the box on the 57th minute. Neville's side has never won the World Cup and is desperate to change that this year.
Going into this year's World Cup, the USA were the favourites. They have won it three times, more than any other country and are the current World Cup holders from 2015. In the quarters they came up against their biggest competition for the trophy, France. The host nation has many good players in their side but couldn't stop Rapinoe scoring twice to send the USA through as 2-1 winners.
England vs USA
Going into the semi-finals, the USA are the favourites. They have been at this stage before and have experience of high-pressure games. Having won three World Cups already they will know what to expect. The majority of their squad played in their last World Cup win in 2015. The USA hasn't lost a game at this year's competition and has beaten England ten times in 16 attempts.
England is also going into this game off the back of five wins. As the tournament has progressed they have looked far more confident in each game. Since their first game against Scotland, they haven't conceded a goal, showing how hard they are to break down. The other advantage they have is the manager. Phil Neville is far more tactically aware and adventurous than Jill Ellis. Ex USA goalkeeper Hope Solo has expressed her admiration this week for Neville as a manager!
One good market to bet on is anytime goalscorers. White (England), Morgan (USA) and Rapinoe (USA) are the current top scorers in this year's competition, all with five each. Morgan is at 5/6 on Bet365 to score any time. She has over 100 goals for the national side but hasn't scored since the first game against Thailand. Rapinoe is priced at 15/8. She has scored all four of the goals the USA have scored in the last two games. She is in good form and could definitely get her sixth of the tournament. White is at 11/4 with Bet365. Four of her goals have come in the last three games and she has been really important up front for England. If they are going to win, White is going to have to be in top form.
Another interesting one is both teams to score. For this to happen or not to happen is priced the same on Bet365 at 5/6. As said before England haven't conceded since the first game showing how solid they are. But the USA has two of the competitions top scorers. England is known for their fast-paced attacking football suggesting this one could be end to end. It's going to be tough to see both sides stopping each other from scoring given how well they can attack.
It's going to be an exciting game with both teams full of quality. It will be a suprise if England wins but if they play how they've shown they can this summer they have every chance. Let's just hope it doesn't end up like the England vs Cameroon game!