It was a bitter blow to Phil Neville’s side to crash out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage yet again, but the team will have to put that disappointment to one side if they are to salvage their pride in the third-place play-off against Sweden.
The Swedes were defeated in their semi-final match against Holland, shocked by an extra time goal from Jackie Groenen. Now they will take on the Lionesses in Nice for the third-place decider.
Our football betting expert gives you the best bets ahead of the match.
England to be all White on the night
The Lionesses will still be licking their wounds from the USA match, and they will be left thinking what could have been after Steph Houghton’s missed penalty saw them spurn a golden opportunity to take the States to extra time.
But Phil Neville and his side won’t want to dwell on things too much, and they now have a chance to repeat their 2015 feat of securing third place.
The England boss may look to give squad players an opportunity against Sweden, although Ellen White is also chasing a Golden Boot award and should keep her place in attack. The Lionesses leading World Cup goal scorer is 11/5 to claim the gong, but will face a tough challenge from USA’s Alex Morgan and Jill Rapinoe.
Sweden have had a steady tournament and will provide a stern test to England on Saturday. Their forward Stina Blackstenius has three in her last three games, and with Millie Bright suspended following her red card against the States, she could cause problems for an arguably weaker Lionesses back line.
Peter Gerhardsson’s side have defeated good teams in the tournament including Chile, Canada and Germany, and they are a good price at 4/1 to add England to that list.
Third-place play-offs at major tournaments can often provide odd results, so I fancy both teams to score in this one at 4/5, while over 2.5 goals can be backed at the same price.
I think the Lionesses have more quality and depth in their squad than Sweden, and they should be able to dust themselves down to claim third place if they play to their strengths on Saturday.
England to win, both teams to score and Ellen White to score first is 13/1 using the Grosvenorsport.com bet builder, which is great odds.
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