Spain vs England Odds, Pick, Predictions | Women’s World Cup Final
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Jennifer Hermoso.
Spain vs England Odds
The narrative entering the women's World Cup in Australia/New Zealand was that the 2023 edition was the most wide open field we'd ever had. The United States entered as the betting favorite and two time defending champions, but they bowed out in the round of 16. Now, second and third pre-tournament favorites England and Spain are set to meet for the biggest prize in women's soccer on Sunday.
Both are chasing history with the chance to win the women's World Cup for the first time in their nation's history. Neither Spain nor England have ever progressed past the semifinals until this tournament, and oddsmakers have this final as a coin flip.
Spain lost their final group stage match to Japan and finished second in the group, but the Spanish have produced the best underlying numbers throughout the entire tournament. Spain crushed Switzerland in the round of 16 then scored late winners to beat both the Netherlands and Sweden to progress to the final in matches that the Spanish outplayed their opponent overall.
England haven't lost a match in this World Cup, but they have had the easier path to the final. The Lionesses beat Haiti, Denmark and China to win their group. They then beat Nigeria on penalties and found second half winners to beat both Colombia 2-1 and Australia 3-1 en route to the final.
When you look at recent history in international tournaments, you'd make England a favorite because of manager Sarina Wiegman and their Euro 2022 title. If you base it off of in-tournament form, though, the Spanish should be a favorite.
Let's get into the Spain vs England Women's World Cup final.
It's hard to poke holes in the underlying profile of Spain in this tournament. They've produced 18.3 xG in six matches, which is more than 3 expected goals per 90. They have a +2.47 xGD per 90 minutes in this tournament, and no other nation is above +2.00 per 90. Spain have far and away the most shots attempted, most passes into the penalty area, most carries and crosses into the box and most passes into the final third.
The Spanish have completed the highest volume and percentage of passes while also conceding the fourth lowest pass completion rate in the tournament. Unlike the Spanish men's team in Qatar, which had a lot of defensive possession but struggled to turn it into high quality chances, the Spanish women's team is purposeful and poised with the ball at their feet.
Spain have conceded seven goals in this tournament, but they really haven't been bad defensively. It's come from just 3.5 xGA and Jorge Vilda's side has yet to concede more than 0.9 xGA in a single match. There's always the risk that Spain are vulnerable in transition or immediately after losing possession.
Despite that fact, Spain have conceded fewer box entries and passes into the penalty area than England and conceded fewer xGA overall.
England will have joint top tournament scorer Lauren James back from suspension to help bolster the attack for the final. She was suspended for two matches following her red card in the round of 16 against Nigeria. She'll join Alessia Russo and Lauren Hemp as the primary goal threats for Wiegman's side in this final. All three have scored three goals each for England down under.
The Lionesses have been quite effective at game management in this tournament, but they haven't popped in their underlying numbers to the same level that Spain have. While Spain dominated inferior competition in the group, England squeaked by with average performances against Haiti and Denmark. It was easy to excuse those average showings once the Lionesses thrashed China to conclude group play, but England have now played three knockout stage games with a total xG tally of 3.7-3.1.
Australia finished the semifinal with the better of the chances overall, but Sam Kerr's two close misses from inside the penalty area bailed out England, who were more clinical in front of goal. It's been a theme of England to consistently outperform the underlying metrics in the Euros and at this World Cup, but I'll always trust the underlying data going forward.
As well as England have played in stretches, Spain have had the higher level.
Spain vs England
Pick & Prediction
Spain have been the best team at the Women's World Cup across the aggregate. The matches against the Netherlands and Sweden came down to the final moments, but Spain were the better side throughout both when you consider the possession in dangerous areas and chances created.
The Spanish have also faced a considerably more difficult schedule of opponents when compared to England. The English seem to never lose under Wiegman — the Lionesses beat Spain in the round of 16 in a coin flip match en route to the Euro title on home soil last year and have overcome some up and down performances throughout this tournament to reach the final.
For the first time all tournament, however, England will face an opponent that will press them high and aim to hold a majority of the possession. Spain have more attacking depth and while the defense has switched off in key moments, they've still conceded fewer xG and shots when compared to England by a decent margin.
Spain should be more of a favorite to win the World Cup final.