Australia vs England odds and betting statistics
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Australia vs England match preview
Neither of these two nations have ever reached a World Cup Final before, so will the co-hosts or the European champions be celebrating history in Sydney?
It seems unfathomable that, a mere 17 days, Australia could’ve crashed out in the group stages, ultimately smashing Canada 4-0 in a must-win final group game in Melbourne.
Then, in the round of 16, the Matildas continued that momentum, swatting aside Denmark 2-0, with Caitlin Foord and then Hayley Raso the scorers.
In Saturday’s quarter-final, Tony Gustavsson’s team faced the toughest test of their tournament so far, taking on France in Brisbane.
We’ve already seen three goalless draws in the knockout stages, but this was one of the more entertaining scoreless stalemates, albeit penalties did feel like a formality at Lang Park.
All the drama was reserved for penalties with, in total, 20 spot-kicks taken, making it the longest shootout in World Cup history, on either the men’s or women’s side.
With the score 3-3, goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold stepped up with the chance to win it for her team, but her well-struck effort thwacked the outside of the post.
Arnold had to quickly recompose herself, denying Kenza Dali, only for Dali to get another go, due to encroachment, only for the goalkeeper to save down to her left once again.
After another miss from les Bleues, Cortnee Vine fired home the winner, sparking nation-wide antipodean celebrations Down Under.
This is the first time Australia have ever reached the World Cup semi-finals, so can the Matildas, roared on by a huge home crowd of course, now go one better and get into Sunday’s final?
As for England, this is the third successive World Cup at which they’ve got to the last four, hoping it’s third time lucky, following defeats to Japan in 2015 and United States in 2019.
In their quarter-final clash at the weekend, Sarina Wiegman’s team had to come from behind to oust Colombia, with las Chicas Superpoderosas going in front in the 44th minute.
Nevertheless, there was still time for the European champions to respond before half time, with Lauren Hemp pouncing on some calamitous goalkeeping to poke home in the seventh minute of injury time.
The winner then came shortly after the hour mark, with Georgia Stanway’s inch-perfect through-ball picking out Alessia Russo, who emphatically fired into the far corner.
This England side, depleted by injuries, has been far from all-conquering at this tournament, but are still in with a chance of adding the World Cup to their European Championships title.
Wiegman won the Euros on home soil with Netherlands before leading Oranje to the most-recent World Cup Final and, having masterminded England to Euro glory at Wembley 12 months ago, is hoping to do it again.
Under Wiegman, the Lionesses have lost just one of 37 matches, this a 2-0 friendly defeat at the hands of the Aussies at the Brentford Community Stadium back in April.
So, will it be Australia or England who prevail at Sydney Olympic Stadium, with Spain awaiting the winners in Sunday’s World Cup Final?
Australia team news
The Australia team news section is, and will continue to be, dominated by one name: Sam Kerr.
Their superstar striker didn’t feature at all during the group stages, having suffered a groin injury on the eve of the tournament, before coming on for ten minutes against Denmark and 65 minutes against France.
So, surely now the Matlidas’ all-time record goal-scorer is ready to be in from the start, partnering Mary Fowler in attack, with Emily van Egmond making way.
That aside, Tony Gustavsson’s team has been very settled, so the rest of his XI will be unchanged.
Australia’s left-hand-side has been their most dangerous flank, with Arsenal duo Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord linking up to great effect.
Predicted XI (4-4-2): Arnold; Carpenter, Hunt, Kennedy, Catley; Cooney-Cross, Gorry, Raso, Foord; Kerr, Fowler.
England teams news
Lauren James remains suspended, following her red card against Nigeria, although she was only given a two-match ban, so will be available for the final, or indeed the third-place play-off.
Sarina Wiegman will continue with the back three shape she switched to ahead of the hammering of China, this initially deployed to cope without Keira Walsh, who made thaa miraculous recovery.
In short, England’s line-up is likely to be unchanged, with Ella Toone attempting to fill James’ large void as the attacking midfielder.
Alessia Russo repaid the faith shown in her by the manager by bagging the winner on Saturday.
Lucy Bronze started in the World Cup semi-final defeat of both 2015 and 2019, desperately hoping for a different outcome this time.
Predicted XI (3-4-3): Earps; Carter, Bright, Greenwood; Bronze, Stanway, Walsh, Daly; James, Hemp, Russo.