Women’s World Cup: Best bets for the semi-finals
There are four teams still standing as we preview the Women’s World Cup semi-finals in Australia and New Zealand.
We are guaranteed a new champion, as none of the remaining sides have lifted the trophy before, and Spain are slight favourites in the outright winner odds.
Spain v Sweden (Tue, 9am)
Spain only scraped past the Netherlands 2-1 in the quarter-finals courtesy of Salma Paralluelo’s extra-time winner and the feeling is that they could be in for another long night at Auckland’s Eden Park.
Sweden upset the odds when beating Japan by the same scoreline in regulation play at this venue, with Arsenal centre-back Amanda Ilestedt and Manchester City midfielder Filippa Angeldahl netting.
Ilestedt has scored four goals in five games and trails only Japan’s Hinata Miyazawa (five) in the golden boot race.
Teammate Kosovare Asllani commented: “I think set-pieces is one of our biggest strengths and they are something we work on. Amanda is amazing but we have so many players who are good in the area and we work a lot on it.
“The only thing we care about is winning games but it is amazing that Amanda’s scoring goals from set-pieces, which is our biggest strength.”
La Roja are rated the more talented team in terms of skill and technique, but Sweden’s aerial strength and the outstanding form of Chelsea goalkeeper Zecira Musovic can help to even things up.
Let’s go with 21/10 for a draw at the end of normal time for the first of our Women’s World Cup semi-finals betting tips.
Australia v England (Wed, 11am)
England have laboured through most of their matches Down Under, with a 6-1 triumph over China the one exception so far, but nobody can question the spirit of this squad.
Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses conceded for just the second time this tournament late in the first half of the quarter-final clash with Colombia at Sydney’s sold-out Stadium Australia, but they were level by the break thanks to Lauren Hemp’s alert stoppage-time effort and Alessia Russo completed the comeback after the break.
A large majority of the 75,784 supporters present were rooting for Colombia and England will have to hold their nerve in a hostile environment again at the same stadium, but that does not faze their captain.
Millie Bright said: “For me, no matter who the fans are, you’re actually quite proud of it as well, we want that in a World Cup, we want it to be people turning on the TV and saying ‘god, look at the crowd, it’s incredible’.
“As a player, you feel that and you use it to your advantage as well, it’s not a disadvantage that there might be a lot of Australia fans there.”
Australia are 10th in FIFA’s global rankings, six places below England, but can boast they are the only team to have beaten the Lionesses since Wiegman took the helm in September 2021.
That victory came in April, when Sam Kerr and Charlotte Grant both scored at Brentford, but talismanic captain Kerr has been held back by a calf injury during this tournament and that could count against the Matildas here.
Coral’s Lewis Knowles commented: “The nation have really gotten behind their team in Australia during this World Cup, and no doubt it will be an incredible atmosphere in Sydney on Wednesday.
“England are marginal favourites to make it through, but this will probably be the toughest task the Lionesses have faced so far, and they’ll have to be at their very best if they are to progress to Sunday’s final.”
However, we believe the Lionesses can come through a close encounter and 4/1 for Draw HT/England FT completes our Women’s World Cup betting tips.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication