England Women will be looking to follow up on their slender victory over Haiti with another victory on Friday morning (09.30) when they take on Denmark Women at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The Lionesses are 4/11 to make it two wins from two to start their campaign, although they were anything but convincing as Georgia Stanway’s penalty earned a 1-0 win over the Caribbean minnows in Brisbane.
The Danes are also bidding to start the tournament with back-to-back victories after edged past China in their opening group game.
England have a clean bill of health for their second group game.
The big news ahead of the tournament was that Beth Mead, Fran Kirby and captain Leah Williamson would all be missing the World Cup due to injuries sustained in the build-up to the tournament, but Sarina Wiegman is fortunate not to have any injury issues among the 23 players in her squad.
Like their opponents, Denmark boss Lars Sondergaard could also opt for consistency and name an unchanged side for Friday’s contest.
England Women to win and under 2.5 goals @ 13/8
England scored a tournament-high 22 goals en route to winning last year’s European Championship but goals have proved hard to come by in recent months.
A period of transition has struck the Lionesses harder than they expected with Ellen White and Jill Scott having retired and they headed Down Under without Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner Beth Mead.
England’s lack of goals against Haiti were not for the want of trying and 11 of their 21 shots were on target, five of which came from Alessia Russo, who got the nod ahead of Rachel Daly in the central striker role.
However, I can see their struggles in front of goal continuing here, which is why I’m backing under 2.5 goals but for the Lionesses to edge the game.
Rachel Daly to score in 90 minutes @ 11/8
Daly wasn’t in the starting lineup against Haiti but I can see Weigman giving her the nod here as victory over Denmark could turn out to be decisive for the latter stages of the tournament.
The Aston Villa striker was subbed on against Haiti though, and with the record she has in WSL this season, it would be a huge surprise not to see her net at least one in the group stages.
The 31-year-old has netted 22 goals in 22 matches in her first season in the Super League with Villa having only had nine previous matches in the 2020/21 season.