Women's World Cup Betting: Bookies struggle to split France and USA but value lies elsewhere

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MARK RALSTON
Les Bleues have home advantage ahead of this summer's tournament, but the three-time champions are also given leading claims of retaining their crown

Much like their male counterparts, France's women have a good chance of being crowned world champions this summer - at least according to the bookmakers.

Corinne Diacre's side have home advantage of course, but their squad is full of quality and they're joint-favourites at 7/2 (4.50) with bet365.

Despite a lack of pedigree at this level - their best finish came in 2011 when beaten in the third-place play-off - a nucleus of players from a Lyon team that have dominated the European club scene of late gives France leading hopes of silverware.

Seven of the squad play their club football with the Champions League winners, including Eugenie Le Sommer who boasts 73 goals in 159 appearances for the national side.

Julie Debever France women's team 2018

The hosts will draw confidence from a record of six wins from seven friendlies since the turn of the year, including a 3-1 triumph over holders USA.

That was the last defeat the reigning champions suffered, and Jill Ellis' team are also at the head of the market at 7/2 (4.50) as they look for a fourth victory on the world stage.

There have been plenty of changes for the Americans since their 2015 victory in Canada. Only 12 of the 23-player squad were involved four years ago but there is still a wealth of experience including Carli Lloyd, Ali Krieger and Alex Morgan. Every USA player heading to France plays their club football in the NWSL.

Women's World Cup Winner Odds

Germany come next in the betting at 11/2 (6.50). Finishing last in the SheBelieves Cup in 2018 prompted a change in the dugout with Martina Voss-Tecklenburg taking over on a permanent basis following an interim spell from the experienced Horst Hrubesch, who led the team to World Cup qualification.

The question seems to be how a lack of preparation time will impact a transitional squad that will be without the likes of Anja Mittag, Annike Krahn and Melanie Behringer, who have over 400 senior caps between them?

Initial signs are encouraging though, with the win over co-favourites France in February an eye-catching result. Boasting an intriguing blend of youth and experience, at 11/2 (6.50) with bet365 Germany offer solid value to win a third World Cup this summer.

England women team 2018

6/1 (7.0) chances England will hope to better their third-place finish at the last edition of this tournament and a semi-final defeat at Euro 2017.

Now under the stewardship of Phil Neville, the Lionesses won the SheBelieves Cup in March but recent friendly defeats to Canada and New Zealand will be a concern ahead of the campaign getting underway. Even with what looks to be a straightforward group including Scotland and Argentina, there appear to be better options elsewhere in terms of the betting markets.

Australia are 14/1 (15.0) having replaced coach Alen Stajcic with Ante Milicic in late January. The same price is available on a Netherlands team that won Euro 2017 but may fall short of the very top teams in the women's game over the coming weeks.

Likewise, 2011 champions Japan may also struggle against the elite sides on show in France. Asako Takakura's side have only won two of their last seven games and may come up short in the knockout stages.

Bigger prices include 20/1 (21.0) on Canada and 25/1 (26.0) about the trio of Spain, Brazil and Sweden but the best selection appears to be backing the 11/2 (6.50) on a Germany side aiming to return to the top of the Women's game under their new coach.

Odds correct at the time of publish. Please gamble responsibly.

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