The 2023 Women’s World Cup is finally here and the opening day of action produced wins for both of the tournament’s co-hosts New Zealand and Australia.
New Zealand shocked Norway 1-0 in the curtain-raiser before Australia replicated that scoreline in a gritty affair with Ireland.
On Friday, Nigeria are up against Canada and Spain take on Costa Rica but wedged between those games is an intriguing battle between debutants Philippines and Switzerland.
Here is a look at how the other opening match in Group A could unfold.
Midfielder Tahnai Annis is set to captain the Philippines at their debut Women’s World Cup campaign while Carleigh Frilles will likely lead the line.
Iman Beney, 16, suffered an ACL injury recently and is set to miss out, while veteran Lia Walti should start for Switzerland.
Philippines +2 on goal handicap @ 6/5
The Women’s World Cup is uncharted territory for the Philippines, who are one of eight teams making their tournament debut this month, but punters should not be quick to write them off against the Swiss.
The Philippines qualified for the Women’s World Cup thanks to their performance at the Women’s Asia Cup last year.
They reached the semi-finals of that competition, losing to South Korea after having finished second in a group featuring Australia and beating Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals.
The Philippines have also won five of their last six matches heading into their Women’s World Cup opener and, while Switzerland will be tougher opponents than what they are used to, the Europeans have not exactly been firing on all cylinders.
To reach the Women’s World Cup, the Swiss scored in the 121st minute of their play-off with Wales in October last year and they have failed to win any of their matches since then, losing to Iceland and registering draws with Morocco, Zambia, China and, on two occasions, Poland.
That should give the Philippines an injection of confidence heading into this opening encounter and a bet on them at +2 on the handicap could be the way to go with the Swiss unlikely to run riot in their first match.
#PickYourPunt – 4 Or More Corners in Each Half @ EVS
An alternative angle for this Group A encounter is for both teams to have four or more corners in the match.
The Philippines are not expected to play on the front foot in this contest but as mentioned they can keep it competitive and could be problematic on the counter-attack.
In their recent friendly against another team making their Women’s World Cup debut this month, Morocco, Switzerland racked up five corners but conceded four, while their corner total also reached four in friendlies with China and Zambia earlier this year.