Australia vs Denmark Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview
Photo by Aitor Alcalde – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images. Pictured: Pernille Harder.
Australia vs Denmark Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+135 / -175)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(+110 / -150)|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.|
Monday night (morning in the U.S.) at Stadium Australia in Sydney will be rocking. Around 75,000 fans are expected to cheer on 2023 Women's World Cup co-hosts Australia as it takes on Denmark in the round of 16.
The Matildas have both thrived and capitulated under the pressure of playing in front of their raucous home fans. The 3-2 defeat to Nigeria felt like a moment when the crowd, and the moment, became too much. But in the 4-0 thrashing of Canada, the noise became fuel and inspiration.
On Saturday, Denmark captain Pernille Harder joked to the media that she had a plan for controlling the atmosphere in the stadium.
"I think I'll just imagine they're cheering for Denmark instead of Australia," Harder said.
Although both teams enter this match with the same record in the group stage — two wins and one defeat — Australia are the favorites to win (-106) or to advance by any means (-225). The vibrant home-field advantage, and higher FIFA ranking, surely give them the edge.
The biggest question for the Matildas is whether Sam Kerr will play.
The Chelsea FC forward has yet to see the pitch due to a calf strain that she sustained on the eve of the World Cup. As the face of the Australian women's national team, and the co-host's all-time leading scorer, the tournament hasn't quite felt the same without her.
In Australia's opening two matches, the absence of Kerr cast a shadow over the team. There was no target in the box. There was no clinical finisher or much shooting at all.
Winger Caitlin Foord was tasked with playing more central, and the shifts to the 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 lineup made many players uncomfortable. Out of desperation, head coach Tony Gustavsson even moved defender Alana Kennedy into the center forward position to try and win more aerial duels — a department Kerr flourishes in.
On Match Day 3, when Australia needed a win in order to avoid being eliminated, the Matildas put in their best performance so far. Foord was switched back to the left wing, and linked up beautifully with left back Steph Catley. Emily Van Egmond and Mary Fowler combined well as a physical and technical forward duo.
In the 4-0 win over Canada, Australia doubled the amount of open-play goals it had previously scored, plus registered its best single match xG (2.7) so far. Bring those performance levels with Kerr in the mix and Australia could start to hit its potential.
On Saturday, Switzerland and Norway were sent packing by much better opposition in the Round of 16. Even in the knockout rounds of a World Cup, there can be a gulf in class. Could Denmark be heading in the same direction?
Australia are probably not as technical as those two eliminated nations' respective opponents (Spain and Japan), but undoubtedly it would be another tournament shock if Denmark knocked out the co-hosts.
Lars Søndergaard's team entered the World Cup with lowish expectations. It was the nation's first tournament since 2007. And it is now the first time the Scandinavians have advanced to the knockout round since 1995.
Going forward, Denmark are a quintessential slightly above average side — 14th in goals scored, 15th in xG, 17th in progressive passes and 19th in progressive carries. At the back, it has been marginally more impressive. Ninth for goals conceded, ninth for xG against, 14th in progressive passes allowed and 25th in progressive carries allowed.
Australia vs Denmark Pick
Cosmically and emotionally, it feels far too early for Australia to exit this competition. And so far, we haven't seen enough from Denmark to suggest it can step up to knock out more elite teams — especially if Kerr is fit to get significant playing time.
We already saw really high scoring matches to start the Round of 16, and based on seeing nine total goals in Australia's last two matches, I think we're going to see more fireworks in front of this raucous crowd.
The Picks: Pernille Harder to score anytime (+333); over 2.5 goals (+135); Australia to win and over 2.5 goals (+250).