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HomeSoccerFIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC)WWC News: Public moves Spain to favorite vs. England ahead of WWC...

WWC News: Public moves Spain to favorite vs. England ahead of WWC final

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England has enjoyed a dominating run into Sunday’s final at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but strong support for Spain has flipped the odds since the matchup was determined.

England opened as the +175 favorite at BetMGM, but Spain has drawn 67 percent of the total money wagered on the match, moving them from +175 underdogs to a slight +160 favorite. England has shifted to +185 while being backed by 55 percent of the total match bets.

Both countries will be playing in their first WWC final.

England handled co-host Australia 3-1 on Wednesday to earn a place in the final against Spain, which had survived a dramatic 2-1 win over Sweden the previous day.

Sunday’s final will kick off at 6 a.m. ET at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

England reached their first final after falling in the semis in each of the previous two WWC. It comes on the heels of winning Euro 2022, ending a long wait for a major trophy.

“This is the one thing I’ve always wanted, to make finals at a World Cup, and after two times of getting huge disappointment, honestly I can’t believe it,” England defender Lucy Bronze said. “We all dreamed of being in the final and all our family and friends who booked to stay here until the final because they all believed in us.”

England coach Sarina Wiegman switched to a 3-5-2 formation during the tournament, and the move has paid dividends. They will also see the return of Lauren James from suspension, creating a difficult decision at forward for Wiegman between her and Ella Toone.

Spain outlasted Sweden in a much tenser semifinal. After Salma Paralluelo broke a scoreless tie in the 81st minute to put the Spainiards ahead, England evened the match on a Rebecka Blomqvist goal.

Two minutes and a few ticks later, Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic appeared to be spared by the crossbar, but Olga Carmona instead had the game-winner. Carmona collected a corner pass outside the box and rifled the goal off the bar and into the net to spark a celebration.

Spain coach Jorge Vilda has not started the same XI in any match during the tournament. Does he go with the teenager Paralluelo, who has come off the bench the past two games after starting the first four? Meanwhile, two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas has come off in the second half in each of the past two matches.

“Spain is going to be even tougher,” England’s Alessia Russo said after the Sweden victory. “Every single game that we’ve come into this tournament has been of the highest level, so we have to be ready, but we’ve been dreaming since we were little girls, so we’re excited.”

One of the most popular prop bets at the book has been both teams to score at +105, followed by there being more than two combined goals scored in the game at +145.

The odds of the game ending in a draw are +210. That has drawn just 4 percent of the total money, although England winning by penalty shootout has been the four-most popular prop at the book at +850.

–Field Level Media

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