The tournament that has taken women’s football to a whole new level comes to an end this Sunday, with favourites USA taking on underdogs the Netherlands in this Sunday’s final in Lyon. The Americans have won all of their matches in the tournament so far, including overcoming England in the semi-final and beating hosts France in the earlier rounds. Holland will have a real task on their hands to beat this American team.
This is the first ever World Cup final for the Netherlands women’s team, and they will hope to have more good success than their male equivalents have had over the years at this stage of World Cups. The Dutch enjoyed a hard-fought win over a strong Sweden side in the semi-finals, and know how to win big games.
USA vs Netherlands Prediction: USA 2-1 Holland
World Cup finals can be tricky games to predict, but it is hard to look beyond an American victory in this game, however much the heart might love to see the underdogs from Holland take the title. Our prediction for this game is that the heroic Dutch will fall just short, with the Americans winning 2-1 after extra time. It would also not be too much of a surprise if the game ended up going to penalties. The Americans have the experience and depth of quality needed to win the trophy, and the feeling is that they will edge this game.
Our recommended tip: USA, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from Betway, who are offering odds of 12/5 on the USA to win and both teams to score. This bet matches our prediction of a 2-1 win for the American women perfectly, and also gives you a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to the actual final scoreline. We suspect that the Dutch have enough quality to score at least one goal, and may well take an early lead in the game. In the end, though American power and quality will prevail. Odds of 12/5 also offer you decent value.
The Netherlands have enjoyed a relatively recent rise to the upper ranks of the women’s game, so this will be the first time that these two sides have met in a competitive fixture. There have been two encounters in friendly internationals in recent years, though. Both of these games have ended in 2-1 victories.
The most recent of those two games took place in 2016 in Atlanta. Shanice van de Sanden opened the scoring for the Dutch after just two minutes that day. The Americans responded with goals from Carli Lloyd and Allie Long, though, to run out as winners in the end.
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Players to watch: Megan Rapinoe & Sari van Veenendaal
The biggest star of the tournament has undoubtedly been American midfielder Megan Rapinoe, as much for her outspoken political stances as her performances on the field. She scored two goals in the quarter final win over host nation France, but was named on the bench for the semi final against England. Rapinoe has a hamstring injury and has been reported as being 80% fit. Her absence would be a big blow for the Americans.
Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal will be a very important player for the Netherlands in Lyon on Sunday. The Arsenal number one had an outstanding game in the semi-final against the Swedes and she will need to show the same kind of resilient skill when she faces the awesome American attacking line-up this weekend. If Van Veenedaal plays well, the Dutch have a chance of victory, especially as star outfield player Lieke Martens is struggling with injury.