2019 Women’s World Cup: predictions for the semi-finals

The 2019 Women’s World Cup has now reached its crucial stage. The tournament started with 24 teams and has now dropped down to four teams. With only six days remaining to the finals, the fight for survival has intensified.

England will take on the USA, while the Netherlands will face Sweden in one of the toughest semi-finals ever. The two-day event is expected to be thrilling and entertaining to watch as either side will be crossing their fingers for the game to go their way. We take a quick look at the four teams to analyze the outcome of the 2019 Women’s World Cup semi-finals.

England’s stats

England are currently ranked third in FIFA world rankings with 2049 points. Phil Neville’s side booked a slot in the final four after beating Norway 3-0 in their quarterfinal match at Stade Oceane. The Lionesses were kicked out of the 2015 World Cup in Canada after they fell to Japan 2-1. This time around, they will be looking to prove their critics wrong when they take on the US on Tuesday.

The Lionesses have won seven of the last nine matches played this year. England carried the SheBelieves Cup home for the first time after winning with Japan 3-0 on March 6. England are upbeat after bagging a number of wins, but a win in the semi-finals is not a given.

England’s coach Phil Neville has stated that it would be “considered a failure” if the Lionesses fail to defeat Jill Ellis’ side and make it to the finals. England have never made it past the semis in the tournament and the Tuesday’s encounter provides them with a golden opportunity to do so.

The USA’s stats

The USA are currently the top women’s team in the world with 2101 points. They are one of the best in the world and one of the favorites for the 2019 Women’s World Cup title. Tuesday’s clash against England is a do-or-die match for Jill Ellis’ side. In 2015, the USWNT won the third World Cup title after thrashing Japan 5-2 at BC Place Stadium in Canada.

The US have been facing criticism recently for being ‘arrogant’ after members of their staff penetrated the hotel where the English team is staying. Jill Ellis has come out in their defense claiming they just want to be prepared.

The USA passed one of their toughest tests in the tournament, after beating France 2-1 in one of the most anticipated quarterfinal matches on Friday. The US are currently the only team to score the most goals in the tournament, after thrashing Thailand 13-0 in their first group stage match on June 11. Jill Ellis’ side have won all their last nine matches.

England vs USA h2h

The two teams have faced each other three times in the last two years. Both sides have won once and drawn once in the process. The Lionesses and the US drew 2-2 in their last encounter in SheBelieves Cup on March 2. The US is first-placed in FIFA world rankings while England are third. Phile Neville’s side have won seven of their last nine matches while the US have won all the nine matches.

The Netherlands’ stats

The Netherlands are in eighth position in the world. The Oranje reached their first semi-final in the tournament after winning with Italy 2-0 in Valenciennes on Saturday. Sarina Wiegman’s side will be looking to make history this time around when they face Sweden on Wednesday.

The Oranje failed to make it to the quarters during the 2015 Women’s World Cup after they lost to Japan 2-1 in their last group stage match in Vancouver. In 2017 the Netherlands lifted the UEFA Women’s Championship title after crushing Denmark 4-2.

Holland have won all their last five matches played this year. They finished 11th at Algarve Cup after beating China in penalties on March 6.

Sweden’s stats

Sweden stunned Germany with a 2-1 result on Saturday to sail through to their first semi-final ever in the tournament. Though it appeared difficult from the start, the Swedes fought to the end and proved to Germany that they are equal to the task.

Sweden have won four of the last five matches they played. They emerged second in the 2003 World Cup after they lost to Germany 2-1. Their last few victories have boosted their confidence in the tournament and they will do whatever it takes to win the semis on Wednesday.

Peter Gerhardsson’s side lifted their first major title in the UEFA Women’s Euro Cup in 1984 winning with England. The Swedes were defeated 6-5 by Canada in the 2019 Algarve Cup on March 6. Sweden are currently ranked ninth in the FIFA world rankings with 1962 points.

Sweden vs Netherlands h2h 

The Netherlands have won with Sweden two times in their last three encounters. Sarina Wiegman’s side beat Sweden 2-0 in their last match in UEFA Women’s Euro 2017. Sweden have won four of their last five matches while the Netherlands have won all their five matches. Both sides have never won the World Cup and will be having a shot this time around.

The USA and Sweden are the favorites to reach the finals

Judging from the above data, I would bet on the USA and Sweden to win in the semis. The US are in good form as opposed to England. The fact that they were able to get an edge over France, one of the toughest teams in the tournament, means the US could easily carry the day on Tuesday. But it won’t be a walk in the park as the Lionesses come into the tournament prepared. England have shown that they are the team to beat in the tournament, having defeated a number of tough opponents. The US should be careful with them to avoid an upset.

Sweden appears strong and ready for the task as opposed to their opponents, Holland. Their win against Germany on Saturday, means that they got what it takes to repeat the move against the Netherlands. The Oranje on the other hand, have won twice with Sweden. Wednesday’s semifinals could go either way as the two teams have almost equal abilities.

Photo by joshjdss via Wikicommons (CC BY 2.0)