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The United States women’s national team are favorites to win the Women’s World Cup
The Republic of Ireland have also qualified for the tournament in July and August
The USWNT beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in the first leg of this double-header
The odds for USWNT vs the Republic of Ireland have been supplied by the FanDuel sportsbook, where you can get a no sweat first bet up to $1000.
Another clean sheet beckons for the USA, who should score more than twice on this occasion. Back both teams not to score and over 2.5 goals. (+105)
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The USWNT beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 on Friday in the first installment of this double-header. Emily Fox gave the home team the lead in the 37th minute at the Q2 Stadium before a Lindsey Horan penalty late on wrapped up the win.
It was a closer contest than many had expected. The USA are top of the FIFA Rankings. They are the reigning world champions and are favorites to win the Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand later this year. Ireland, meanwhile, are 22nd in said rankings and will be making their World Cup debut in July.
In knockout soccer, the result trumps all. But in international friendlies, the performance is arguably more important. Vlatko Andonovski will therefore want to see an improved display from his side on Tuesday.
The USA were not at their best last time out. The game was in the balance until the 80th minute when Horan converted from 12 yards to double their lead.
The hosts, as expected, had more of the ball, averaging 69 percent possession. But while the USWNT created more chances than their opponents, Ireland had opportunities of their own and could easily have tied the match.
The game was overshadowed by the horror injury suffered by the American forward Mallory Swanson. Subsequent scans revealed that the Chicago Red Stars attacker has torn her left patella tendon, the same injury sustained by Brazilian legend Ronaldo in 2000. She will play no part in the World Cup.
Tuesday’s encounter is the USWNT’s last before Andonovski selects his 23-woman roster for the tournament, so every player in the group will be looking to make a positive impression against Ireland.
The manager still has plenty to ponder as the USA continue their preparation for a competition they are favorites to win with the best online sportsbooks.
Ireland may have lost 2-0 at the weekend, but they could be pretty pleased with their overall display. They made the match a physical one and ensured the USWNT had to really earn their victory.
Vera Pauw’s side made a quick start, confounding predictions that they would simply sit back and defend. They did spend most of the game without the ball, but they were always competitive and demonstrated considerable fight, grit and resolve against the best women’s team on the planet.
On this evidence, Irish soccer fans may be quietly confident of advancing to the knockout phase of the World Cup. They will not face a side as strong as the USWNT in their group, which contains co-hosts Australia, Canada, and Nigeria.
None of those will be easy opponents, of course, but Ireland’s section does not include one of the favorites to win the tournament - the USA, England, Spain, Germany, or France. Australia and Canada will be widely fancied to progress, but Ireland will relish their status as underdogs.
This is a good time for women’s soccer in Ireland. The national team has never been higher in the FIFA Rankings. This year’s competition in Oceania is not only their first World Cup appearance but also their first in any major tournament.
Pulling off a shock victory over the USWNT would only further whet the Irish public’s appetite for Australia and New Zealand. A win might be unlikely, but Ireland could cause their more illustrious opponents one or two problems again.
This is unlikely to be the USWNT’s final game before the World Cup, with warm-up friendlies likely to be held before the big kick-off. But as mentioned above, this is their last match before the squad for the tournament is named.
The USWNT will want to sign off with a more handsome win than they managed last time out. They have more strength in depth than Ireland, which could be a factor given this is the second match in the space of a few days.
Ireland will again battle hard and they will hope to have some joy on the counter-attack and from set-pieces. But despite the positives they could take from their display at the weekend, Ireland managed just one shot on target. The USA largely held them at arm’s length.
We expect something similar on Tuesday, with a clean sheet well within the grasp of the Stars and Stripes. At the other end of the field, we could see more goals. The USA should be more fluent and they are also likely to be more clinical in and around the penalty area.
From a betting perspective, both teams not to score, and over 2.5 goals is the way to go for this one.
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Teams: USWNT vs Republic of Ireland
Location: CityPark, St Louis, United States.
Date and Time: Apr. 11, 2023, 7.30 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Universo, Peacock Premium
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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