Women’s World Cup Prediction: United States vs. Netherlands Women – July 26, 2023
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP PREDICTION: UNITED STATES vs NETHERLANDS WOMEN – July 26, 2023 — Truth be told, neither side comes in all that thrilled about their opening game performance.
Both the Americans and the Dutch picked up three points and have a shot to essentially wrap up qualification to the knockout stages, but neither was impressive in their opening match.
Tale of the Tape
That said, the Netherlands probably feel better about their situation. They got Portugal out of the way, and with Vietnam their final group stage opponent, they have the luxury of opting to play for the draw and taking their chances in the last match.
The Oranje’s opener was workmanlike, but the back line did what it needed to do and keeper Daphne van Domselaar was barely tested.
She should have more to do this time, although the Americans’ finishing left much to be desired against Vietnam.
The United States took 27 shots, but failed to put 17 of them on frame and wasted several good chances. Alex Morgan in particular looked off, as her penalty was poor and ended up saved.
If not for Sophia Smith, the U.S. could have gotten off to a much more worrisome beginning. As it is, they’ve started on three points, but they’re well aware that what they showed against the Vietnamese won’t be good enough moving forward.
When: Wednesday, July 26th at 9 p.m. EDT
Where: Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand
Spread: United States -1/Netherlands +1
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.
Scouting United States
On one hand, it’s hard to be disappointed in a 3-0 win when your opponent didn’t even register a shot, let alone put one on target. But this is the United States, four times world champions, and the expectations are much higher for them than they are for the rest of the world.
And up until Rose Lavelle entered the match, the Americans weren’t good enough against Vietnam. Part of that was because of physical play from the Vietnamese, particularly on Trinity Rodman, but part was because the Americans didn’t look cohesive. The opportunities were there, and according to xG, the U.S. should have come away with at least two more goals than they did.
Lavelle still isn’t fit enough to play a full 90 minutes, which means the U.S. has to adjust and get more from its big names. In particular, Morgan can’t have another showing like she did against Vietnam. The Americans made a bold move naming her the only striker on the roster, and they’re going to ride or die with her through the tournament.
Last time out, the match never came to life between the Netherlands and Portugal. Part of that was the wet conditions, but part was because the Dutch knew their class and knew they could boss the game as soon as they got a goal.
That won’t work this time, and they know it. The communication has to be better between Danielle van de Donk and her forwards, as the Dutch finishers couldn’t really get themselves in space against Portugal.
The one goal against the Portuguese came when Stefanie van der Gragt scored off a set piece, and waiting for the Americans to offer an opportunity like that is likely a fool’s errand. The Dutch have to be much more aggressive and trust that Van Domselaar and her back line can hold off the U.S. attack.
Under 2 Goals (+110)
This match will likely look more like the 2019 encounter at the Women’s World Cup than 2021 at the Olympics. In 2019, the Dutch only got one shot on frame all evening against the Americans, and it looks pretty unlikely that they’re going to iron things out quickly after a disjointed attack against Portugal.
The Americans weren’t on the same page either, which says this is likely a tough ask to see more than two goals scored. One might be enough to win it.
United States win to nil (+145)
In a low-scoring affair, it seems the U.S. has a bit more quality on the attack. The Netherlands also have to be careful, with Van de Donk sitting on a yellow card.
The Netherlands could probably survive Vietnam without her. They’d only need a draw and a U.S. win over Portugal to advance, but they’d rather not take that chance.
Expect the U.S. to go all-out to frustrate Van de Donk. The Americans will try to force Van de Donk into less aggressive play in order to avoid suspension. If she isn’t getting things forward, the Dutch don’t really have a Plan B.
The way the teams opened was worrisome. However, the U.S. does have a history of improving over the course of a tournament. Their lineup had never played together before facing Vietnam, and it showed. I think the nerves have calmed down some, and they’ll look more like themselves here. I’ll back the United States 1, Netherlands 0 (+450).