Two titans of women’s football clash in the first of the 2015 World Cup semi-finals and with pundits and Ladbrokes alike struggling to pick a clear-cut winner, taking a punt on USA over Germany is the order of the day.
These nations own a third of the six World Cup titles since the inaugural 1991 tournament each and somewhat ominously for England, when these sides have met in three previous competitions; each time the victor went on to lift the trophy (USA in 1991 and 1999, Germany in 2003).
After squeezing through rather than smashing their way past their respective quarter-final opponents, Ladbrokes make Germany the narrowest of 6/4 favourites to win in 90 minutes, the draw a 11/5 shot and USA marginal 19/10 outsiders.
Given the Germans required an 84th-minute equaliser from the spot before penalties ultimately sealed France’s fate in the last eight, this is not the only market which renders the US the value bet of choice.
In a two-horse race where the stats are so finally balanced it seems to make financial sense to take the best price.
Germany have scored the most goals in the tournament for instance, but then the Americans have the meanest defence.
USA have a far better overall head-to-head record against their European counterparts, but Germany have successfully negotiated three of their four previous semis, compared to three in six.
Such logic once again presents Jill Ellis’ finalists of four years ago as the more value-laden bet to qualify at 1/1, above the skinny-sounding 8/11 on Silvia Neid’s Die Nationalelf.
One key stat that could also bear fruit in the difficult-to-judge affair is that the USA have done the majority of their scoring in the second half of games.
It’s 11/10 that the second period contains most goals, while the 21/10 about the Americans winning either half is also appealing.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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