Womens World Cup Semi-final Preview: Netherlands Vs. Sweden

profile

Netherlands (5-0-0) vs. Sweden (4-0-1)

Wednesday, July 3, 3:00 PM EST

Free Soccer Pick: Over 2.5 +120

Recommended Sportsbook: Bet365

Dutch Courage

Netherlands advanced into the final four following a victory over Italy. The Dutch were favourites to get past Italy all along, coming through for their backers at +105 to win straight up. In the R16, Netherlands edged a very tough Japan 2-1.

For Netherlands, this is unchartered territory as they reach their first-ever World Cup semi-final in the women’s game. They could potentially make further history and reach their first-ever World Cup final, should they beat Sweden in Wednesday’s highly anticipated showdown. Netherlands to qualify for the World Cup final is priced at -163 with Bet365.

Sweden Upset Mongers

The Scandinavian side are the big outsiders of the competition and have been underestimated throughout. Indeed, in the quarterfinals, they masterminded one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, defeating Germany 2-1.

Sweden have punched above their weight class since the knockouts. They are the lowest ranked side still alive in the competition, ranked ninth in the world. They emerged from a tough group (containing the USA) in second-place after losing to the defending champions 2-0 on match day 3. Albeit winning the final match wouldn’t have changed the group makeup – USA had a massive goal differential that secured top spot, and with the Swedes already through they rested many of their starters. That proved the smart move as they upset a favoured Canada in the R16 2-1 to move into the last eight. Sweden to qualify for the final is priced at +125.

To Win Outright Markets

Going into the last four, the USA are the top bet to complete their title defense campaign successfully. Priced at -125 with Bet365, the USWNT are the quintessential runaway favourites in the competition, the lone side to hover in minus money. England come in as the second best bet at +350, but their course into the final goes through the USA. A tall order. Netherlands, meanwhile, are the third best bet at +450, and Sweden round out the quartet as the longshot in the competition at +600.

Netherlands vs. Sweden Match Betting Markets

Few had this matchup pencilled into their bracket at the start of the tournament, but here it is. Semi-final debutants Netherlands taking on a resilient Sweden for a spot in the Women’s World Cup final. It’s a tough matchup to call for all sorts of reasons.

The Dutch are favoured at +120 in fulltime betting markets while Sweden are at the disadvantage at +225 and the draw is priced at +225 with Bet365. There is value on both sides of the coin for the win, especially where Sweden are concerned.

The Swedes clearly don’t mind being the underdogs and have risen to each and every challenge along the way. They can’t be ruled out from orchestrating another upset in World Cup betting markets, which makes them a tempting bet at +225. Those looking to hedge their bets, Sweden to win or draw (double chance betting) is on offer at -143 with Bet365. A pricier bet, but not out there.

Sweden striker Stina Blackstenius has been instrumental during this run of form, scoring the equaliser against Germany and the winner against Canada. Soccer bettors can back Blackstenius at +700 to score first or last, or at a tempting +260 to score anytime.

The Dutch have size, strength and technique on the ball that could give Sweden’s backline fits. Vivianne Miedema and Lieke Martens are a spectacularly dangerous duo up front and if they are on top form they’ll be difficult to contain. Miedema is priced at +375 to score first or last, and at +130 to score anytime. That’s a solid soccer pick to consider.

What might tip the balance towards the Dutch is recent big-match experience and overwhelming fan support. The Dutch are European Champions. They are enjoying a sublime run of form, winning 11 matches in a row in major competition from the Euros to WWC (includes win over Italy in the quarterfinals). They were crowned on home soil two years ago, after winning all six matches, including a 2-0 win over Sweden in the quarterfinals, a 3-0 win over England in the semis and a 4-2 win over Denmark in the final.

In summary, a bet on either side makes sense for many reasons. The Dutch have experience while the Swedes are resilient, all the while both sides have quality up and down the pitch. For our money, we’re shading the Dutch to win, but if Sweden comes through we won’t be shocked. For those on the fence and looking for an innocuous bet on this semi-final matchup, the total market may be the best choice. The OVER 2.5 is trading at +120 with Bet365.

Soccer Free Picks: Over 2.5 +120 at Bet365