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Women's World Cup Finals 2019: Odds for USA vs. Netherlands Championship

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 7, 2019

United States' head coach Jill Ellis gives a press conference at the Groupama stadium in Decines-Charpieu on July 6, 2019, during the France 2019 football Women's World Cup. - USA will face The Netherlands for the final of the France 2019 Women's World Cup on July 7, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

The United States are within touching distance of winning their second successive FIFA Women's World Cup crown on Sunday, but they'll have to overcome the Netherlands to do so.

The defending champions are clear front-runners to defend a World Cup title for the first time in their history, having won this competition three times in the past.

Oranje coach Sarina Wiegman didn't compete in a World Cup as a player, but she's taken the European champions on their best-ever run in the tournament to contest their first final.

It would require a small miracle for the Netherlands to upset Sunday's opponents at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, France, but this could be just the stage for such a grand surprise.

      

Odds

United States: 4-9

Draw: 7-2

Netherlands: 7-1

Via Oddschecker.com

       

Preview

The odds run firmly in favour of coach Jill Ellis' side leading up to kick-off in Lyon, with many of those in the current United States squad having played a part in their success in Canada four years ago.

Former goalkeeper and 202-times capped U.S. international Hope Solo may be biased in the matter, but she backed her old team-mates to get the job done in France:

B/R Football @brfootball

One. More. Game. @hopesolo thinks the #FIFAWWC final is #USA's to lose 🇺🇸 https://t.co/OBC0HtcIz3

The Netherlands will offer arguably the most technically adept threat that the United States have faced at this tournament, but then the reigning champions have also impressed throughout.

England proved a tricky semi-final opponent, but the Stars and Stripes pulled through to win 2-1 and edge their way into a record-extending fifth World Cup final.

Ellis has received some criticism for her management—in particular a lack of player rotation—but ex-international midfielder Stuart Holden singled out the coach for praise following their semi win:

Stu Holden @stuholden

updated: (12 wins 1 draw 0 losses) - Jill Ellis #WWC Record.

As far as the Netherlands are concerned, the opportunity is there for one of the greatest upsets in women's football history. The Oranje may be European champions, but it was only a little more than four years ago that the country had never taken part in a World Cup.

They've taken down tough opponents along the way, topping Canada in Group E before besting Japan, Italy and Sweden in their three knockout games, via Fox Soccer (U.S. only):

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

There was nothing easy about the Netherlands' road to their first-ever #FIFAWWC final. 🇳🇱 See just how the Oranje got here ⬇️ https://t.co/hn6VD7iIHV

Coach Wiegman has revelled in her first experience coaching at a World Cup, and she recently told reporters her side are out to pull off an unlikely win:

"We want to surprise the United States. They have a very strong team, loads of qualities and skills but they have struggled as well. 

"They've had some luck as well which is needed when you want to get to the finals during a World Cup. We'll have a hard time but we will definitely have opportunities to get to them and to make that goal."

Wiegman concluded: "We have to be aware of the strength and weaknesses of the opponent and that's how we play the game. The expectations are different now. They are the favourite and we are the underdog and we are fine with that."

One of their best hopes of breaking the United States' line is Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema. She sits on 61 international goals at the age of 22 and recently became her country's all-time record scorer, via Match of the Day:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Vivianne Miedema has been class for #NED so far Will she get on the scoresheet again tonight? https://t.co/b6SL4nzeMR

Miedema has only scored three times at this World Cup but is the Oranje's top scorer in France. The United States, meanwhile, boast the tournament's joint-leading scorer in Alex Morgan (six goals) and Megan Rapinoe following closely (five).

That duo will be hotly tipped to break the deadlock in Lyon and potentially make one last lunge at clinching the tournament's Golden Boot.

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