Well team, we’ve made it. The Championship is finally here. The month long grind that is the Women’s World Cup has an end in sight. 2 games left to capitalize on nearly 2 months of research and activity.
The bulk of this article will talk about the Championship game. Frankly, I think we know what to expect from that game more than the 3rd place game. Get this, honestly I only spent about 5 minutes looking for this information but I could not find a single article on the prize payout difference for 3rd and 4th place for the Women’s World Cup. If you want an article on the pay discrepancy between the Men’s Champ and Women’s Champ there are approximately 800,000 of those. Anyways, the teams will know and maybe it’s a slight motivation to win the game? We’ll talk more about each team below in the preview.
HOWEVER, the US are going for the ship. I hope Alex Morgan celebrates with a Smoke and a Pancake she scores on the Dutch. Maybe a flapjack and a cigarette? Cigar and a waffle? Pipe and crepe? Bong and a blintz? Who knows how she’ll celebrate but I know our girls will be lifting the trophy by the early afternoon on Sunday.
To the desert!!!!
7/6 – 3rd place
- England -140 2.5 (-130o/EVENu)
- Sweden +355
- Tie +295
7/7 – World CHAMPIONSHIP
- USA -260 2.5 (-120o/-105u)
- Netherlands +700
- Tie +375
3rd Place Game –
First comes the game between England and Sweden. Sweden literally have an extra game on their legs with all of their extra time exploits. It was a valiant effort against the Dutch but here they are, vying for 3rd. Whether they win or not, this tournament has been an absolute success for the Swedes.
The English will feel a little unlucky to have matched up with the Americans in the semis instead of the finals. For those that didn’t watch, they gave the US everything they could handle and more. Houghton missed a PK to tie the game. Ellen White converted a breakaway to level the game that was called back by VAR for offside. They are a top top quality side. On paper, this is a no brainer. Here are the questions I ask in these kind of important but not really important games:
- Who does this game matter more for?
- What do the managers do with team news?
- If the managers do rotate, are the new players young and hungry or old and past it?
Obviously we won’t have the answers to all of this by the time this article is published but I’ll be in the chat room once team news is announced for those of you are playing the SD slate.
Here are my predictions to those questions above…
- This game means more to England. Phil Neville is nothing if not a prideful manager. He wants to go back to England with his chest out and his hand held high as the manager who took England to the brink of a World Championship. If not for VAR they may have made the final. A convincing win by both England and the US will have him claiming that his girls are the second best team in the tournament.
- I think we will see some rotations for both sides but England has the deeper team. There are plenty of youngsters (and older players) ready to come on and make an impact.
- I don’t know that we see a blowout either way. If Lindahl sits for Sweden it would change my opinion on this one pretty quickly….
Stay tuned for team news on this game.
Enough of the appetizers and draft beers. Give me the meat and potatoes with a fine aged whiskey! Give me the US Women. Give me the Dutch. Give me the crazy Dutch fans.
Let’s break this down for you. First of all, for those that listened to the podcast you heard what I thought about this game. Maybe the bookmakers heard me as well because we are listed as HEAVY favorites to win this game. I think that’s appropriate given what we’ve seen from either team. I honestly believe the US are better in every single phase of the game.
If the US would go to Ertz/Dahlkemper, I don’t think Holland would register a shot on goal. They won’t and it will be Sauerbrunn/Dahlkemper so we do need to be aware that this is a potential weakness. EXCEPT, Miedema is so fucking slow. Like turtle slow. Martens has been average save for her penalty conversion rate. She was so bad she was subbed off early last game. Van de Sanden and Beerenstyn are in a battle to see who is in worse shape physically. There is nothing about this attack that scares me.
Here, Ertz is a factor. I’m worried slightly about Lavelle’s hamstring. She was pivotal in our early dominance of England. She says she’s fine but that’s what all players say. Horan/Mewis are both monsters.
Spitse is a unit for Holland. Van de Donk is super crafty and has the freedom within their system to roam where she sees fit. That makes her tough to mark and our midfield three will need heavy communication to deal with her. Groenen just isn’t a very good soccer player. I was actually dumbfounded when she was the one to break the deadlock against Sweden.
This is more even than the other positions on the field but whoever wins this battle will surely lift the trophy.
Holland hasn’t seen anything remotely resembling the trouble that a front 3 from the US can cause. Whether it’s Morgan or Lloyd, Heath or Pugh, Press or Rapinoe or some combination of those 6, the US will be far more athletic and skilled than anything they’ve faced thus far.
The case with Rapinoe is very interesting. It makes sense for the US to not give out information that would potentially allow our opponents to know what we plan to do. Just flat out lying about a player’s health seems….ridiculous. I honestly think the US is BETTER without Rapinoe. Press looked fresh and active. She showed an ability to beat a player and accelerate down the line. I would like to see her keep her place.
Morgan scored a great goal and showed some better movement between the CBs to free herself for that opportunity. Van der Gragt and Bloodworth are OK. I wouldn’t call them great. Van Lunteren is better going forward than defending. Van Dongen is solid but not spectacular. I think she’ll have a tough time hanging with Heath.
Overall, I think the US is better at every single position on the field. Crucially the US has jumped all over every single opponent they’ve faced.
First goal v:
Thailand – ‘12
Chile – ‘11
Sweden – ‘3
Spain – ‘7
France – ‘5
England – ‘10
I can’t even explain how wild that is. This makes everyone’s lives so much simpler as the game progresses. The US doesn’t have to be as ambitious moving forward if they don’t want to. They can sit if they choose. They can afford to play a little more conservative and rely on their talent in the final third.
How can the Netherlands win? Hold on for dear life and pray that one of the beautiful Spitse set pieces finds a head and then the back of the net.
- Morgan – $13k
She’s in those key areas. I like her movement against England. She was getting in good areas consistently. She still didn’t get off many shots (2) but all she needs is 1 really good chance. In a game that might not feature many goals, her goal scoring odds are screaming ‘play me’.
- Rapinoe – $13.3k
Is she playing? Is she healthy? How much has the rest rejuvenated her legs? If she starts, she’s a tough fade. She takes most set pieces, especially those on her side of the field. She is popping up in the good spot. Ellis has shown that she’ll play her 90 minutes. Very expensive but safer than Morgan.
- Press – $12k
I freaking love Press and don’t care who knows it. She really took her goal well last game but without it, from a DFS perspective, she didn’t do a damn thing. 0 crosses. 0 fouls drawn. Only 2 shots with her sole shot on goal going in. If Rapinoe is on the bench and Press starts this might be a spot to FADE.
- Heath – $10.7k
If we believe in the fantasy relevance of an every-other-game pattern then we have to play her, right? Her bad games are BAD. Strictly a GPP play but I do love her matchup with van Dongen. As always, it’s a question of whether she’ll cross the ball and pick up an assist. I’m going to grab some Heath shares but let’s wait for team news to see if she makes my main.
- Horan – $10.3k
Really depends on how the US lines up. Assuming Ertz stays in the midfield then I like Horan at this price. If she sits deeper in that CDM role, this price is a little much. She is an asset on set pieces and can bully the NED defenders in the box.
- Lavelle – $9.4k
Kind of expensive for her production to be honest. She got there last game but it was thanks to 4 relatively wayward shots. She did get 2 on goal but most were from distance. Her hamstring scares me. If you’ve never had a hammy issue, they feel like they are ready to pop again at any moment. Not fun.
- Mewis – $9.8k
If she starts I’m all in. Next.
- Miedema – $8.7k
This is a fair price for a goal dependent player on a heavy underdog. Just understand that THAT is what you are paying for. I honestly don’t see her causing our back line any trouble. Players like White and Hermoso with good movement were the issue. FADE.
- Martens – $8.3k
She looked a bit like Rapinoe. Obvious quality but her legs were totally shot. Outside of PK equity, I don’t like paying for this. O’Hara has been in the form of her life as well. FADE.
- Spitse – $7.7k
She’s damn good. I do worry about her foul count and picking up a yellow card. She also has 550 minutes on her legs, I believe close to the most of any player in this game. Those are the only negatives. She’s a DFS monster and at this price, a tough fade.
- O’Hara – $7.2k
She was oddly subbed off for Krieger late but she had already done her damage. The assist was great but she put in 3 crosses, won 2 tackles and picked up an interception as well. I can see a similar game this go round. Good play.
- Beerensteyn – $6.7k
She’s only got the legs for about 60 minutes, but if she starts, I do like her to find some space against Dunn. What she does with that is the big issue. I also have a feeling they go back to van de Sanden in the starting 11.
- Van de Sanden – $6.3k
She looked better against Sweden but still showed extremely poor decision making even when she got in good spots. She’s just not that good but for this price, believe it or not, I’m going to be considering her for my main lu if she starts. Monster sub risk. Super risky play in general.
- Van Lunteren – $5.9k
The OPTA intern fell in love with her last game as she picked up 7 tackles won and 8 interceptions. Holland will be defending for large chunks of the game so I do think she can hit value at this cheap of a price. Not a lock, but a good play.
- Van Dongen – $4.7k
TOUGH matchup with Heath but this price is hard to ignore. She’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick up defensive statistics but also gets forward to put some crosses in the box from deep. To me, that is the key because she’s not a player who needs to get to the touchline to put a service in the box.
- Bloodworth – $4k
Super punt options. A shot in 2 straight helps. I think this game is more similar to Canada/Japan and her score should be similar as well. 2x viable.
ENG/SWE – Favorite players. Will know more after team news…
- White – $13.8k
Chasing that golden boot.
- Bronze – $9.7k
Her game travels.
- Greenwood – $9.3k
Guessing she’ll jump back in the first 11.
- Eriksson – $6.2k
Just way too cheap for her production.
- Rolfo – $9k
Expensive but she should be rested and ready.
- Parris – $11.5k
Who’s taking pens now? Houghton missed last. Back to Parris? I like her from open play as well.
- Janogy – $5.9k
Super active and might get the start.
- Lindahl – $5.8k
Not really big on GK in SD slates but she’s damn good and will have save opps.
- Stanway – $8.3k
The future of English football. Does she get the start? If so, she’s supposed to be great.
IN THE CHAT ROOM