England’s women head to Canada for next month’s World Cup as 20/1 shots to win the tournament, a price that ranks them as the eighth favourites for glory.
Considering the number of experienced internationals in their squad, including players with knowledge of playing in north America, perhaps that price is a little bit long.
Having reached the quarter finals in the last two tournaments, a side with as many as seven players boasting 80 caps or more (and four with over 100) should be looking to do better this time around.
Arsenal pair Alex Scott and Casey Stoner, the former captain, bring nous to Mark Sampson’s back line, while Liverpool’s Fara Williams provides goals from midfield as her country’s most-capped player.
Up front, Karen Carney completes the 100-club quartet and is one of a number of squad members who have taken their talents to play in the USA.
Beyond the experience – Katie Chapman, Jill Scott and Eniola Aluko complete the senior section of the squad – there is emerging talent in youth that gives this party of 23 a complimentary balance.
Manchester City’s Toni Duggan is a fleet-footed forward with an eye-catching record in front of goal, but became national news when posing for photographs with Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal hours after the Red Devils beat Man City in the Premier League.
Fellow attacker Jodie Taylor is the only member of the squad currently playing in the National Women’s Soccer League – America’s female version of the MLS – although there are others who have crossed the Atlantic at one time or another in their careers.
Beyond Taylor, seven of Sampson’s squad have experienced playing at various levels across America, which should help them to quickly adapt to playing conditions at the tournament.
Throw in the fact that seven of the roster will be featuring in their third World Cup campaign and there is certainly reason to be optimistic of the side outperforming their price.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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