The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup rolls on Friday with a Group D game between England and Argentina. The English side is heavily favored with a line of 2.5 goals and a money line of -1111. Meanwhile, Argentina has a money line of +2344, while a draw is listed at +750.
England entered the tournament as one of the favorites to win it all, and that hasn’t changed after their 2-1 win over Scotland in their opening match. Despite being a little sluggish and conceding a goal in the second half, England showed signs of being a genuine contender. The Three Lionesses can all but secure themselves passage to the knockout stage with a win over Argentina on Friday.
Meanwhile, Argentina pulled off one of the surprise results of the tournament thus far by holding Japan to a scoreless draw. The South Americans had just 39% possession in that game and managed only one shot on goal. However, they dug in defensively and frustrated a technically proficient Japanese team to earn their first-ever point in a World Cup game.
Stick to the Plan
If Argentina is going to take anything out of their game with England, they will once again have to play strong on the defensive end. Despite not having a program for more than two years from 2015 to 2017, the Argentine side has managed to show improvement with several key places playing for major European clubs. That applies specifically to the backline, which was able to clamp down on Japan with good organization and a little bit of physicality.
Of course, they will have to replicate that kind of performance against a more difficult opponent. England features a more experienced team than Japan and arguably has more attacking talent than the team Argentina faced in their first game. Confidence will be high for the Argentine side, but they need to stay strong and focused for another 90 minutes because any slip up against England could be costly.
If there was any criticism of England from their first game, it was taking their foot off the gas after taking a 2-0 lead. Doing so against Argentina may not be as much of an issue, as the South American side isn’t all that dangerous going forward. However, the Three Lionesses need to keep improving their form and growing into the tournament, and that means putting together a quality performance over 90 minutes.
England will also be facing a defense that will sit deep and force them to be crisp with their movement and passing. With the likes of Nikita Parris, Ellen White, Fran Kirby, and others, the talent is there, but they will have to prove that they can penetrate the blue and white wall that Argentina will put up.
Given England’s attacking talent, it’s hard to foresee Argentina being able to keep them off the scoreboard for 90 minutes. Betting on them to cover the 2.5 goals could be risky after Argentina was so stout defensively in their first game. However, England is too good not to win this game. Even with a money line of -1111, betting on the English is a safe bet.