England Women have never beaten Germany, but it’s been a tournament of firsts for the Lionesses who rate as phenomenal value to break their hoodoo in the World Cup’s third-place play-off.
Until they made it all the way to the last four, England Women had never won a knock-out World Cup game either, let alone two in a row.
Unfortunately tournament heartbreak and a senior England team reacquainted themselves in the cruellest of fashions during the semi-finals, as the luckless Laura Bassett conspired to put through her own net with seconds remaining against Japan.
Until that point, heading as they were into extra-time at 1-1, England had confirmed their growth in the competition by outplaying Japan for periods in the second half of the encounter, but it simply wasn’t to be.
Still, there is one last chance for Mark Sampson’s valiant squad to leave a mark on the World Cup in the third-place play-off, and perhaps more importantly, finally get one over the Germans.
Much like their male equivalents, history paints a bleak picture of England’s chances against Germany in a tournament, with the Lionesses managing just a single draw in seven prior matches since 1995 – including friendlies.
The last of those was a 3-0 friendly defeat at Wembley back in November, reflected in skinny odds of 8/5 on the two-time World champions to win the Edmonton clash in 90 minutes, with the draw a 10/3 shot and England the 9/2 outsiders.
You guessed it, there is a ‘however’ coming. England fans have reason to be optimistic and punters have reason to cash in on a below-par Germany team in Canada, who had required penalties against France before USA ended their tilt 2-0 last time.
Until Bassett’s most costly of blunders, England had won their last four matches in Canada after starting off slowly, with defeat to a very impressive French side in their very first game.
Unlike Germany, the English will rightly feel aggrieved by the manner of their exit, meaning the girls have a point to prove and the added incentive of creating even more of a legacy in North America given the opponent.
If Ladbrokes customers are still in doubt, then England’s price of 13/10 in the double chance market is a very fine insurance policy.
With the match being played at the far more genteel hour of 21.00 on Saturday as well, Sampson’s side will be conscious that many millions of eyes will be tuning into the tournament farewell as extra motivation.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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