England v USA Side Bets: Early goals the bet in close semi-final

England's Nikita Parris
England winger Nikita Parris

It promises to be a cracker when England play holders USA in the Women's World Cup semi-final on Tuesday and Max Liu has delved into the range of Betfair markets to see where the value lies...

"The Lionesses are 7/2 to go all the way, the same price as the Netherlands who play outsiders Sweden 15/2 in the other semi-final on Wednesday."

USA are favourites at 20/23 to beat England in the semi-final of the Women's World Cup on Tuesday night. That won't worry England, as you'd expect holders USA, who are 8/11 favourites to win the tournament, to be the shorter price going into the match.

But the odds could prove to be the wrong way around. The way England dispatched Norway in their quarter-final last Thursday makes the 10/3 on the Lionesses to win inside 90 minutes an appealing bet.

Either team to win in extra-time is 5/1, while England to win in extra-time is 14/1.

Lionesses will be fearless

Phill-Neville-1280.jpg

Today, USA's star striker Megan Rapinoe, who's 7/2 to score first on Tuesday, called England's quarter-final performance "totally dominating."

England head coach Phil Neville, meanwhile, has thrown down the gauntlet to his players, asking: "Are you ready to win the World Cup?"

If England beat the USA, it will be a long time before you find such generous match odds on them again. The Lionesses are 7/2 to go all the way, the same price as the Netherlands who play outsiders Sweden 15/2 in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

There is a feeling that the winner of Tuesday night's match will probably win the World Cup, that the match against the USA will define the tournament for England win or lose.

Both teams likely to score

Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.jpg

England have played five matches at this World Cup, scoring 11 goals and conceding only one - in their opener against Scotland.

England haven't faced an attack of USA's calibre yet and both teams to score on Tuesday is 9/10.

USA have scored much more - 22 in total - but 13 of those came against Thailand. They conceded in both their knock-out games, winning 2-1 against Spain then France - and both of those matches were tougher than England's. Will they be tired? Hmm, we said that about Croatia before England's men's team's World Cup semi-final last summer.

Both teams start fast, so back an early goal?

In four of their five matches, England have scored inside the first 20 minutes. Three of those goals came in the 14th minute, and USA are fast starters too, so it might be worth taking the 10/1 on England's Ellen White or USA's Alex Morgan scoring in the first 15.

White 3/1, Morgan 5/4 and Rapinoe 7/4 are battling to be the tournament's top scorer.

Both teams to score in the first-half is 4/1, while you can get 12/1 on both side scoring in both halves.

Neither of those sounds implausible, especially if you agree this match will be close.

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