Women’s World Cup Prediction: England vs Haiti Women – July 22, 2023
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP PREDICTION: ENGLAND VS HAITI WOMEN – JULY 22, 2023 — I will at least say this for Haiti: they don’t mind doing things the hard way. Les Grenadières had to come through a pair of elimination matches against Senegal and Chile just to qualify, and they duly made it to the World Cup for the first time in their history.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that they’ve got to open against the clear No. 2 team in the world in England. The Three Lionesses brought home their nation’s first piece of silverware in decades at last year’s European Championships. As for their last venture into this competition, they’re coming off a semifinal loss to the United States in 2019.
But health is not on England’s side as it enters this tournament. Beth Mead and Leah Williamson both tore their ACL and Fran Kirby blew out her knee, leaving England down three key players as its World Cup begins.
Could England’s injuries lead to a shock debut win for Haiti, or will the European champions swat them aside?
England vs Haiti Women – Match Preview
- When: Saturday, July 22nd at 5:30 a.m. EDT
- Where: Lang Park, Brisbane, Australia
- Spread: England -3.5/Haiti +3.5
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.
Even in poor health, the English are a force, losing just once in 16 matches. They still have Keira Walsh dominating the midfield, and with the Barcelona playmaker being so used to setting up Spain’s star scorers, her ability to get the ball into the Lionesses’ final third will be crucial.
With Ellen White retired and Beth Mead injured, the job of scoring goals falls to Chloe Kelly, the hero of the 2022 Euro final. Kelly and Lauren Hemp both tend to get overshadowed at Manchester City by fellow scorer Khadija Shaw. But with Shaw playing for Jamaica, both forwards should have their chance to shine.
Given that the defense is not watertight, England’s attackers will need to be at the top of their game. Across six matches in 2023, the Lionesses have kept just two clean sheets, though the quality of opposition is a consideration there. Notably, Haiti represent England’s first opponent in 11 matches who’s ranked outside the top 25 in the world.
Ultimately, winning the title might be a tough task. But England should still be able to dominate the group and get started with a win.
This is a side that’s building, thanks in part to the language connection. Many Haitian players choose to compete in France, and the side features 14 players who play club matches in the French system. Les Grenadières’ best player is also one of its youngest, as Melchie Dumornay is establishing herself as a genuine star at Reims.
She scored the two goals to fire Haiti past Chile and into the World Cup, and she’ll be the key if Haiti is to get anything out of its three matches in Australia.
Haiti’s struggled since February, losing five of its past six matches and only beating a weak Moldovan side. Only five players are above the age of 25, so this tournament’s a learning experience for the Haitians. They’re going to have a hard time keeping England from scoring, but the fact that they’re here is success enough.
England vs Haiti Women – Match Bets
England -3.5 (-110)
England really needs to establish some early confidence. The Lionesses aren’t at 100%, but they need to make sure their current team knows that things can be okay with the lineup as constructed. That means England needs to score early and often, and the English have shown that they can put up big numbers against quality sides.
As shown below, Sarina Wiegman’s side memorably smashed eight goals past Norway at Euro 2022. And they’re clearly very capable of putting up a lot of goals in this matchup.
Over 4.5 (-110)
I think Haiti’s going to get aggressive and try to find a goal, rather than attempt to park the bus. Losing this match really isn’t that big a deal for Haiti, as nobody expects the Haitians to still be around after the third matchday. The goal difference doesn’t really matter to them as much as scoring on England would.
I think value exists on a Haitian goal. With Steph Houghton having retired from international competition, the English defense hasn’t really shown that it can keep opponents from finding a marker. A consolation goal could very well happen here, and I think it comes near the end of the match. My call for this one is: England 5, Haiti 1 at +1300.
See all of Dan’s Women’s World Cup predictions here.