Canada vs Ireland Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview

Canada vs Ireland Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview article feature image
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Stephen McCarthy/Getty. Pictured: Marissa Sheva.

Canda vs Ireland Odds

Wednesday, July 26
8 a.m. ET
FS1
Canada Odds-143
Ireland Odds+250
Draw+500
Over/Under2.5 (+150 / -200)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(+140 / -187)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

Christine Sinclair's missed penalty in Canada's opening match against Nigeria left the door open for some potential chaos in Group B of the World Cup. Canada settled for a goalless draw, and that means that Ireland need at least a point on Wednesday to keep their World Cup hopes alive after a razor tight 1-0 defeat to the hosts Australia in their first match.

Ireland weren't able to find the breakthrough goal in that contest, and they did get to face the Aussies without top striker Sam Kerr, but that shouldn't undersell what was an impressive overall performance. Australia are one of the six favorites to win this entire tournament and were playing in front of their home fans, yet the game finished 1.6-0.6 on xG and was basically even if you subtract the controversial penalty decision awarded to the Aussies.

Ireland's scrappy and physical defensive approach could prove difficult to break down in the second match against a Canada side that lacked real creativity and chance creation in the draw with Nigeria.

Canada Showed Worrying Signs in First Match

Canada's goalless draw with Nigeria was a very underwhelming attacking showing. If you take out Sinclair's penalty miss, the Canadians created just 0.65 xG from open play. They had decent ball progression through the midfield and were able to get the ball into the penalty at a decent clip. The attacking quality broke down from there.

They progressed the ball into the penalty area 15 times through passes, crosses and carries. Substitute winger Cloé Lacasse was Canada's best ball progressor in the match as she had three carries into the box, one into the final third and received six passes as an outlet. Her lively showing provides some hope for improvement in attack in match day two, but Canada failed to create any real big scoring chances. Most of the attacks broke down on the edges of the penalty area and it was quite easy for Nigeria to claim their deserved point.

Ireland a Team of Two Sides

Ireland's defense held Australia to just nine total box entries via passes, carries and crosses in the first match. The improved defensive solidity was also on display in the pre-tournament friendly matches against the United States, which makes me believe it may not be a fluke.

They held the United States to just two non-penalty goals in two road friendlies. Ireland also lost 1-0 to Sweden and drew them 1-1 in World Cup Qualifying. Combine that with a goalless draw with China in a pre-tournament friendly and an excellent defensive showing in match one and it's hard not to respect the Irish defense.

The question is whether or not they can create consistent chances at the other end. Quality shot production has been an issue for Ireland because the passing in build up hasn't been consistent enough. Ireland completed 59% of their passes in the first match, which is 22nd out of 32 teams in the competition thus far.

They did have 14 attacking penalty area touches, but most came in the final 15 minutes once down a goal already.

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Canada vs Ireland Pick

The story of the 2023 Women's World Cup has been the lack of goal scoring. Through the first 18 matches, there have been 32 goals from 18 matches – an average of 1.78 per match. Five of those 32 goals have come from the penalty spot, which means 1.5 open play goals per match. Those 32 goals have come from 49.1 xG, which suggests there's been a lot more chances created than the resulting finishing would suggest.

The market has reacted accordingly to the goal drought by lowering the scoring environment considerably. This has moved the market toward underdogs almost uniformly. Canada were -200 on Monday morning and now are down to -143. Ireland only need a point to stay in contention to advance on the final day, and I still think they're a bit undervalued to get one. Canada's unimpressive attack and Ireland's solid defense should play this game closer to even.

I'd bet Ireland +0.5 at anything plus money.

The Pick: Ireland +0.5 (+100 or better)

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