Women’s World Cup Prediction: Netherlands vs Portugal Women – July 23, 2023
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP PREDICTION: NETHERLANDS vs PORTUGAL WOMEN – July 23, 2023 — The run to the 2019 Women’s World Cup Final for the Netherlands was a joyride. This is a mission by contrast, as the current World Cup will be the very last one for a significant number of the Oranje’s current stars.
With top players Sherida Spitse, Danielle van de Donk and Lieke Martens now on the wrong side of 30, the Dutch don’t have much time left with what’s been a very successful group. They start this tournament with a familiar foe, as Portugal was one of their group stage opponents at the European Championships last year.
Slowly, the Seleccao has turned itself into a quality side, making it to the Women’s World Cup for the first time this year and qualifying for the past two Euros. They also held off reigning European champions England for 90 minutes in a friendly earlier this month, but this will be a much more difficult situation.
Both teams should smash Vietnam, who have the misfortune of opening against the USWNT. Meanwhile, both will consider it a job well done to take anything off the United States. That means this match could very well decide who joins the Americans out of Group E in the knockout stage.
Netherlands vs Portugal Women – Match Preview
- When: Sunday, July 23rd at 3:30 a.m. EDT
- Where: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand
- Spread: Netherlands -1/Portugal +1
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.
Are the Dutch still world class, or is this a tournament too far for their golden generation? That question popped up after the 2022 Euros, when they went out to France after a poor game. It was a far cry from taking the United States to penalties at the 2020 Olympics.
If the Netherlands are going to get something out of this match, the partnership of Van de Donk and Martens has to be at full strength. In World Cup matches, Van de Donk has opted to be more of a brilliant creator than a scorer, as she’s never scored at a World Cup match.
Martens, on the other hand, has scored in four of the Oranje’s five matches this year, and the Dutch count on her greatly up top. Currently second-favorite to score first, she has to make an impact for the Netherlands to take control of this match.
Portugal has never gone beyond the group stage at a major tournament, and their chances of amending that aren’t great on paper. What we know for sure is that a repeat of last year’s defensive woes at Euro 2022 will see Portugal sent home after three games.
So much depends on Ines Pereira, and whether the back four can keep the pressure off her. Last year in England, that didn’t happen. The Netherlands and Sweden both peppered the Portuguese goal for 35 shots, getting 14 on frame. Eight wound up in the net, which reflects how good a look the attackers got against the Portugal back line.
Like the Dutch, this is an older side. However, this side doesn’t have winning experience to fall back on. Portugal has only recently become a respected side in the women’s game and makes its World Cup debut here. Carolina Mendes has been a solid attacker for the Portuguese, but at 35, she’s likely to be a spot performer here.
Netherlands vs Portugal Women – Match Bets
Netherlands win to nil (+160)
There’s one big change since these teams last met: Netherlands goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar. Last year, Van Domselaar was pressed into action as the No. 2 keeper after injury to Sari van Veenendaal, but with Van Veenendaal now retired, the net is all hers.
During her club season in the Dutch Eredivisie, Van Domselaar’s Twente side outscored its foes 81-6 largely because of her skills in goal. She’s now a world-class keeper, and Portugal’s likely to have a hard time getting anything past her.
Under 2.5 (-110)
Last time out in Euro 2022, the Portuguese fell victim to a very leaky defense, conceding 10 goals in three matches and allowing seven in the first half. To its credit, Portugal battled back after falling behind 2-0 against both Switzerland and the Netherlands, but they cannot afford to go behind early against such explosive sides.
However, I don’t expect this match to open up very much. Portugal was willing to play more open last time because it knew it was the fourth team with nothing to lose in its group. This time, Vietnam fills that role, and Portugal enters this match knowing that it can’t afford to lose if it wants to progress. Expect a slow-paced match.
I’m not completely sold on the Netherlands as a favorite, given how things have gone over the past two years. But I do think they’re the stronger side and should come out ahead in a fairly defensive match. I don’t think we will see a repeat of the fireworks from last year, but I think the margin is the same. My verdict is: Netherlands 1, Portugal 0 (+600).