Crucial Semifinal Games Ahead in Copa America and FIFA Women’s World Cup
Last week we brought you our tips for the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal ties and we had a mixed bag of results with two of our predictions proving to be accurate with the other two not quite so on the ball.
This week, we have the semifinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to look forward to with the two matches being played in Lyon on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. On the same dates, the semifinals of the Copa America will also be played in Brazil, and in this article, we are going to preview each of the crucial semifinal clashes in both tournaments.
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Let’s now preview the key games taking place this week starting with the two matches in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals in France.
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 Semi Finals
Both semifinals take place at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon and kick off at 8pm on Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd July respectively.
England v United States
Both of these teams come into this game having played five matches and won five matches in the World Cup so far. England produced their best display of the tournament in the last round when defeating a decent Norwegian side 3-0 in the quarterfinals, while the United States were pushed hard by the hosts France in their game, emerging with a 2-1 victory over the hosts.
Over the years, the United States have had much the better of things in this fixture, but England did hold the United States to a draw in the U.S. earlier in the year when the Lionesses won the She Believes Cup. Admittedly, the U.S. had the better of things in that game, but it was the Lionesses that had led 2-1 in th second hald before the U.S. managed to grab an equaliser.
Megan Rapinoe has been the star player for the US this time around, moreso than Alex Morgan, and the outspoken winger will be up against England’s star player Lucy Bronze, the talented full-back will be playing in her home club city and she will be confident having scored a cracking goal against Norway in the last round.
England have always known that to reach the final, then they would likely have to beat either the U.S. or France in the semifinals and so it has proven. It promises to be a very good game between two similarly well-matched sides and it could be how well the defences for each team plays, that will eventually decide who takes the win.
I’m expecting a really close battle here and it could even go down to penalties, in which case I think the draw at full time at 13/5 is the best value bet.
Netherlands v Sweden
Like England and the United States, the Netherlands have reached the semifinals on the back of five wins from their five games so far, although it is fair to say that they have not been as convincing performances as the other two teams have shown in the tournament thus far. That said, the Dutch were good value in their win over Italy in the quarterfinals.
Sweden produced another superb display to defeat Germany in the quarterfinals to earn this semifinal spot and they have to be respected too. They have won four of their five games, only losing to the United States in the group stages and they showed against Germany that they have the resilience to take on and beat some of the best.
I think both teams are strong defensively but better in attack and I think this means this is a game that will likely see goals at both ends of the pitch. Being a World Cup semifinal, I don’t think there will be lots of goals, but I can see both teams finding the net at least once.
For me, though the Dutch are European Champions, I’ve been more impressed with the Swedes in this tournament and as such, even though they are the underdogs, I am backing Sweden to steal the win here at 9/4 with bet365.
Copa America Semifinals
Also across the next couple of days, the two Copa America semifinals will take place in Brazil, with the first game in Belo Horizonte and the second in Minerao.
Brazil v Argentina
This is the game that most purists would have wanted for the final, but the fact Argentina won one of their group games meant that they could only qualify second from their group behind Colombia and that set them on a collision course with the hosts in the semifinals.
Brazil have not had things all their own way either. Unconvincing against Bolivia and Venezuela in the Group phase, they thumped Peru in their final game but were then held by Paraguay in the quarterfinals, only progressing thanks to a penalty shootout victory.
Argentina have won both their last two games in the tournament after their inauspicious start and in terms of form, they are arguably the pick here. However, this is a fixture that has traditionally gone in favour of the home side, although Argentina did win the last time these two teams met on Brazilian soil back in 2017.
There’s going to be so many talented players on show in this game and there is so much at stake for the home side that I feel they may just do enough to sneak the win so back Brazil at 4/5 with bet365.
Chile v Peru
The second semifinal is something of a surprise with the much-fancied Uruguay and Colombia being knocked out by both of these teams in the previous round, both by a 5-4 scoreline in their favour on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Peru were Uruguay’s vanquishers as they got back to much better form following their mauling from Brazil in the final group game. However, they would probably have preferred to face Colombia in the semifinal as their record against Chile is awful with just 2 wins from the last 14 games between the teams, Chile winning all the other 12 contests.
Chile battled past Colombia to reach this stage and they are now on the verge of a third successive Copa America final, having won the last two. This is an experienced team and one that I think has the knowhow to get the job done here against a Peru side equally as experienced but probably lacking that little bit of extra talent.
As such, I am backing Chile to win this one at 17/20 with bet365.