Women's World Cup: Latest Odds, Expert Predictions, Semifinals Schedule

Only England stands between the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) and a third consecutive World Cup final but the Lionesses could pose the biggest threat the defending champions have faced so far.

The U.S.A. overcame France on Friday in the quarterfinals, knocking out the hosts and keeping alive their dreams of winning back-to-back World Cups.

At the end of a tumultuous week that saw her criticized by President Donald Trump for "disrespecting" the American flag, Megan Rapinoe was again on the scoresheet.

The captain has now scored each of her team's four goals in the knockout stages at this World Cup.

Eagerly anticipated as the game against France was, there is no room for the Americans to rest on their laurels. England might have got little attention compared to USWNT and France but it is steadily finding its best form as the tournament goes on.

The Lionesses, ranked number three in the world, dispatched Norway 3-0 in the quarterfinals after disposing of Cameroon by the same scoreline in the previous round.

Crucially, after seeing his team's performances fall off a cliff in the second half of games during the group stages, England coach Phil Neville has seen his players growing in confidence in the knockout phase.

The U.S.A. remains favorite but England is closing the gap quickly as the 2-2 draw between the sides at the SheBelieves Cup in March demonstrated.

In the other semifinal, defending European champions the Netherlands take on Sweden, looking for a first ever World Cup appearance after beating Italy 2-0.

Sweden, meanwhile, beat Germany 2-1 to avenge its loss in the 2016 Olympics gold medal match and is looking to return to the World Cup final for the first time since 2003.

USWNT, World Cup
The USA Squad poses for team photo during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Quarter Final match with France at Parc des Princes on June 28 in Paris, France. Marcio Machado/Getty

What the experts say

Hope Solo—Team USA goalkeeper 2000-2016

The way to win is to catch the U.S. with their lack of speed in defense and the way to do that is to play fast and direct.

England can't let the U.S. get ahead early. As the Americans showed against France, once they go one up, they can lock up the game.

Alistair Magowan—BBC Sports

Neville's claim that his team would need to improve "15 to 20 percent" to match Norway came true, but they will now have to raise their standards even further against France or United States, who are aiming for a third consecutive final.

Graham Hays—ESPN

For the past three years, the U.S. had tried to assemble a team to compete with the direction the sport is moving in. The Americans, along with the other teams that make up the rest of this year's World Cup semifinals, have emphasized a wealth of attacking options and emerging midfield talent.

Avi Creditor—Sports Illustrated

England's execution [against Norway] should be viewed as a glaring warning sign for the U.S. Should the Americans get by France—which has a dominant right-sided presence itself in Kadidiatou Diani—England has the tools to unlock that area of their defense, which has appeared vulnerable at times during their run in the competition.

Nancy Armour—USA Today

Getting past France by no means guarantees the Americans of the title. Or even the chance to play for it. England is the No. 3 team in the world, one spot ahead of France. And unlike the U.S., which struggled against Spain and needed a stellar performance from goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and its defense in the second half against France, England has looked stronger with every game it plays.

Updated odds

A 3/1 favorite before the tournament, USWNT remains the bookmakers' choice to lift the World Cup at 4/5, followed by England at 4/1, while Netherlands and Sweden at 5/1 and 8/1 respectively.

Semifinals schedule (All times ET)

Tuesday, July 2

  • England vs. U.S.A.—3 p.m. Fox

Wednesday, July 3

  • Netherlands vs. Sweden.—3 p.m. Fox
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