USA vs NetherlandsWomen's World Cup, KO: 16:00 Jul 7, 2019, Groupama Stadium
THE curtain is set to come down on the biggest Women's World Cup in history on Sunday as the reigning world champions the USA defend their crown against the Netherlands.
The States were big favourites with the bookmakers to lift the trophy before the tournament got underway and the bookies are in no doubt they will do just that with a USA win in normal time as short as 2/5 (William HIll)
The Netherlands, despite being the reigning European Champions, have surpassed expectations by reaching the 2019 final and are as big as 8/1 (Bet 365) to win their second major tournament in as many years.
To Oranje needed extra time to see off a stubborn Sweden side in the semi-finals and if you fancy the 2019 Women's World Cup final to go the distance then the draw is on offer at 19/5 (Unibet)
Late Dutch goals have been a recurring theme of this Summer's showpiece and despite leaving it late to see off the Swedes, the Netherlands have notably won their last nine fixtures.
The Dutch ladies were almost flawless in the lead up to their semi-final showdown with Sweden having topped Group E with maximum points before seeing off Japan and Italy respectively.
Yet, despite such fine form, the Netherlands are big underdogs going into this battle and understandably so in coming up against a sumptuous USA side who have remarkably only suffered one defeat in their last 45 matches in all competitions.
11 consecutive World Cup victories form part of that astronomical run, six of which have been racked up on route to this final – including a record-breaking 13-0 rout against Thailand in the States Group F opener.
Comfortable successes against Chile and Sweden followed before Jill Ellis' side recorded a hatrick of a 2-1 victories in the knockout stages against Spain, France and England.
However, despite the USA's unrivalled pedigree, their last three games have demonstrated that their defence isn't watertight and only a missed England penalty prevented probable extra-time against the Lionesses.
The Dutch, like England, have a lot of talented individuals that could trouble the US backline – not to mention the Netherlands have scored in all of their World Cup matches so far.
What's more Sarina Weigman's side have impressively registered two clean sheets from their last two outings, however it will take a heroic effort to shut out this star-studded USA side.
In considering who may get on the scoresheet I was desperately unlucky in tipping Holland hot-shot Vivianne Miedema to score against Sweden as a second half header from her cashed off the crossbar.
Both prices are enticing but I would be more inclined to opt for a USA goalscorer and one lady in particular – the marvellous Alex Morgan.
Morgan's six goals thus far sees her in contention to finish the tournament as top goalscorer and after pretending to drink tea against England, the USA striker can inspire her side to lift the World Cup by getting on the scoresheet at 23/20 (Ladbrokes)
The States have started all of their World Cup games in explosive fashion having scored within the first 15 minutes of every game to date and the 4/1 (BetVictor) on offer for them to be leading after 15 minutes could be worth a flutter.
Whether or not the Stars and Stripes score early remains to be seen, but I expect them to triumph, and consequently break more records by winning the Women's World Cup for an unprecedented fourth time.
The Netherlands are undoubtedly an emerging force in the Women's game, but I suspect that this will be a step too far for them against a superior USA side.
The odds on a USA win are not appealing, but I do expect goals, so an alternative angle to consider is combining the USA to Lift the Trophy and Both Teams to Score at 6/4 (Bet 365)
This Women's World Cup match between USA and Netherlands will be played on Jul 7, 2019 and kick off at 16:00