England face Argentina in the second game of their Women’s World Cup 2019 campaign, currently sitting at the top of Group D after beating Scotland 2-1 in their opener.
Any hopes of an easy ride to the knockouts were derailed by an organised Scotland performance. The Lionesses started impressively but did drop off in the second half, allowing Scotland back into the match.
Meanwhile Argentina, who are joint-second in the group, managed a 0-0 draw with Japan on Monday, providing them with their first-ever point in the competition. They only registered one shot on target in that game and just 28% possession.
Japan, finalists in 2015 and winners in 2011, were disappointing. England should expect much fiercer opposition in their final group game on Wednesday. However,they first must overcome a stubborn Argentina side.
Our football betting expert gives you the best bets ahead of the game.
It’s easy to see why the South American outfit are as big as 22/1 to beat the Lionesses in Le Havre on Friday. The team was disbanded for several years in 2015, and England’s world-renowned stars should have no trouble breaking them down.
They will struggle against England’s quality and will not have much success with the defensive football employed by manager Carlos Borrello against Japan. They were given an opportunity by the Japanese to pick up a shock result. Yet they lacked the ambition and creativity to impact the match going forward.
It might be a slightly different line-up for the Lionesses, with starting centre-back Millie Bright having been taken off last time out after sustaining a shoulder injury. This could see the SheBelieves cup winner Abbie McManus given a starting spot.
The ever-reliable Toni Duggan is also due to have a fitness test before the game and, should she pass, the Barcelona forward could do some real damage in the attacking third for England.
England will have learnt from their late laziness against Scotland and will be primed to not let that happen again here. It helps that Argentina are pretty toothless in attack though and I expect Phil Neville’s side to ease to a 2-0 win at 5/1.
Nikita Parris continued her good international form with a goal in the opener. She scored six goals in the qualifiers and has become a key pivot in the Lionesses attacking unit. A 2-0 win, with Parris to score at any time could be good value at 8/1.