New Zealand vs Philippines Pick & Prediction | Women’s World Cup Preview

New Zealand vs Philippines Pick & Prediction | Women’s World Cup Preview article feature image

Xinhua News Agency/Getty. Pictured: Katie Bowen.

New Zealand vs Philippines Odds

Tuesday, July 25
1:30 a.m. ET
New Zealand Odds-275
Philippines Odds+800
Over/Under2.5 (+110 / -143)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(+175 / -250)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

New Zealand pulled off a stunning upset to open the World Cup with a 1-0 victory at home against group favorite Norway. To this point in the Women's World Cup, New Zealand are the only underdog to win outright. The Football Ferns will now be the heavy favorite in their second match of the group stage against the Philippines on Tuesday. 

A win would make them a heavy favorite to advance to the next round, while dropped points could leave New Zealand vulnerable heading into the final day of the group stage next week. The market tends to overreact to a one-game sample in the World Cup, and in this case the market seems to be overreacting to the lack of consistent scoring in the opening round of fixtures.

Let's look at this New Zealand vs Philippines World Cup clash.

New Zealand Comfortable With Tactical Plan

New Zealand showed real signs of attacking life in the match against Norway with 1.7 xG created, six passes and six carries into the opposition penalty area. The defensive solidity and pressing ability was perhaps most impressive, as they held Norway to just a 61% pass completion rate and 1.2 xG in total.

The Football Ferns let Norway's back line play short passes into the midfield as they wanted, but then sat in a mid-block approach that prevented any real Norway penetration into the final third. Almost all of Norway's ball progression into the final third was forced and funneled into wide areas and they weren't able to consistently break down New Zealand's defense in the center through crossing.

The challenge and tactics become much different in a match like this where New Zealand have the attacking impetus entirely on themselves. The Philippines are at a talent deficit and have no incentive to come out and leave space in behind up the wings — where New Zealand's goal ultimately came from in the first match.

Against Vietnam, New Zealand had 27 shots but didn't generate a ton of high quality looks in front of goal and yet still comfortably won 2-0. It's the only match in 2023 where the Football Ferns scored multiple times.

Philippines Lack Prestige at Highest Level

The Philippines weren't totally outplayed on the scoreboard in their 2-0 loss to Switzerland to begin group play, but they also didn't produce much in the underlying metrics to suggest they were close to actually scoring a goal. They finished the match with 0.1 xG, they were outshot 16-3 in total and managed just four total box entries through crossing and passes.

The Swiss totaled 24 box entries including 15 carries thanks to their significant athleticism and technical edge in the matchup. New Zealand don't have as much dynamic attacking ability compared to Switzerland, but they still should be able to live in the Philippines' penalty area and consistently apply pressure.

Philippines haven't really been tested much throughout the last calendar year. New Zealand are the only other World Cup team they’ve played in the last year, and prior to that matchup they lost to Scotland, Wales and Iceland by a combined 8-1 scoreline. 

The must-have app for Soccer bettors

The best soccer betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

New Zealand vs Philippines Pick

These two sides met in a friendly in Sept. 2022, where New Zealand came from behind to win 2-1 after trailing in the first half. The final shot count for the game was 14-8, and New Zealand held a surprisingly low 58% of the possession.

That suggests to me that New Zealand really aren't all that comfortable in playing as a favorite with a lot of the ball against a very defensive low block side. The Football Ferns shouldn't have a ton of issues defensively, but the lack of goal scoring output from them in the last calendar year is enough for me to hold my nose and bet yet another World Cup under.

If the market moves to where New Zealand are just a one-goal favorite at or near even money, then I'd consider laying New Zealand. But you're paying a bit of a tax on New Zealand now because of the first upset win, and they're still not dynamic enough to separate, even against one of the worst teams in this competition.

The Pick: Under 2.5 (-143 via bet365)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.