Netherlands vs Portugal Odds, Prediction | Women’s World Cup Preview
Jacques Feeney/Getty. Pictured: Dolores Silva.
Netherlands vs Portugal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-138 / +108)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-120 / -120)|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.|
After the United States comfortably won their opening game of the Women's World Cup against Vietnam on Friday, Portugal and the Netherlands will have a critical clash to potentially decide second place in the group. Both teams will get their shot at the Americans later in group play, but the odds and Elo ratings suggest that these are the second and third-best teams in Group E with a large gap between both of them and Vietnam.
The story of this World Cup through the opening round of fixtures has been the lack of goals, especially from open play. Eight of the nine matches have gone under the closing total and the underdog has covered the spread in all but two contests. The market has moved solidly toward Portugal in the week leading up to this matchup as well.
Let's get into my Netherlands vs Portugal Women's World Cup preview.
Netherlands Not the Team They Once Were
Netherlands' form in the last calendar year could best be described as inconsistent. They've had some bright spots, but the underlying performances at the Euros last summer and the inconsistent results in recent friendlies have them potentially vulnerable entering group play. The Dutch advanced out of their group but were only marginally better than Switzerland and Portugal to do it. They made the quarterfinals and played France, but were entirely uncompetitive on that day and conceded 4.7 xGA in a 1-0 defeat.
World Cup Qualifying was mostly stress free for them, but the only other worthy foe they faced did manage to draw them in both matches (Czech Republic). In the friendlies leading up to this event, a 1-0 loss to Germany is a fine result but a loss to Austria is harder to explain. The lack of data to go deeper into these friendlies prevents me from reading more into it, but the Dutch side doesn't feel nearly as good right now as the one that went toe-to-toe with the Americans in the 2021 Olympic quarterfinals.
One main reason for that is Vivianne Miedema's injury. She led them in goals in qualifying. The Dutch will still be excellent on set pieces thanks to midfielder Sherida Spitse and they're not without attacking talent overall, but the defensive questions still exist for this team in a big way.
Portuguese Program Developing Quickly
A lot of Portugal's talent plays together in the Portuguese league, which is still developing and expanding as more investment comes into the fold. Portugal had a decent showing at the Euros last summer, playing close to even in a draw with Switzerland and a loss to the Dutch before getting blown out by a superior Sweden side in the final match of the group.
Portugal lost both of their matches in qualifying to the Germans, but followed it with a resilient interconfederation playoff victory to qualify for this tournament. They've followed it up with some really encouraging friendlies results — a 5-0 win against New Zealand, a 2-1 loss to Japan and a goalless draw with England. The Elo ratings have Portugal as the 33rd-best team in the world, but it's important to note that they are one of the fastest risers in the last two years and it's possible Portugal have made even more progress that the models and projection systems are not accounting for.
They don't have as much talent as the Dutch overall, but they have a well defined system, they're comfortable playing without the ball and Jéssica Silva is one of the more underrated forwards at this event. She's scored 18 in 18 games for Benfica this year, she formerly played at Lyon and she excels in counterattacking situations.
Portugal won't have a ton of the ball in this match because the Dutch are so possession heavy, but they've been using a 4-4-2 out of possession and are capable at playing out from the back under pressure without a ton of high giveaways.
Netherlands vs Portugal Pick
This is a rematch of their group stage matchup at last year's Euros. The Dutch won that 3-2, but the match was relatively competitive on the day. The Netherlands had the better of the chances with 16 shots and 1.8 xG, but Portugal weren't overwhelmed and generated 1.4 xG, nine shots and nine box entries via pass or carry.
Portugal aren't quite as talented as the Netherlands overall, but the loss of Miedema really lowers the ceiling of this Dutch side and takes away their most effective attacker and talent separator. Even though they've been playing without her for a while, the results have been considerably more inconsistent as a result.
I'd bet Portugal +1 at -130 or better,
The Pick: Portugal +1 (-130 or better)