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Women's World Cup Friday predictions: England to grind out another win
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Aaron Ashley
Millie Bright is likely to captain England against Denmark
Millie Bright is likely to captain England against Denmark

England’s showdown with Denmark takes centre stage at the Women's World Cup on Friday and it is going to have a big say on the final outcome of Group D.

Both teams recorded 1-0 victories in their opening assignment as England saw off Haiti and Denmark dug deep against China, meaning this is a winner takes all tussle in Sydney and the Lionesses will be expected to stamp their authority.

China and tournament debutants Haiti meet in Adelaide later in the day, bidding to get off the mark, while a Group G clash between Argentina and South Africa kickstarts the action.

Argentina v South Africa (Friday, 1am)

Both teams were beaten in their opening assignment as Argentina limped to a 1-0 loss against Italy, while South Africa were pegged back in a 2-1 defeat to group giants Sweden.

South Africa took a surprise lead against Sweden, who needed a last-minute winner from Amanda Ilestedt to spare their blushes, but that shows they are no pushovers..

Meanwhile, there was little to choose between Italy and Argentina until substitute Cristiana Girelli headed the Azzurri in front with three minutes remaining.

That makes this a must-win match for both if qualification is to be attainable, which may only add to the pressure in Dunedin and ultimately see defences dominate.

England v Denmark (Friday, 9.30am)

England are the defending European champions and under Sarina Wiegman they have become one of the world’s dominant forces.

However, the Lionesses made hard work of their opening World Cup assignment as they edged out tournament debutants Haiti 1-0 — Georgia Stanway's first half penalty was all that separated the sides.

England dominated possession and had an abundance of chances, but in the absence of the injured striker Beth Mead were missing a focal point to their attack.

Denmark were also 1-0 winners in their opening clash with China, a contest in which they relied upon an 89th-minute goal from Amalie Vangsgaard.

Amalie Vangsgaard scored an 89th-minute winner for Denmark in their opening group match against China
Amalie Vangsgaard scored an 89th-minute winner for Denmark in their opening group match against China

That was the seventh time in Denmark’s last eight internationals that under 2.5 goals had clicked and this promises to be a low-scoring encounter too, especially given what is at stake.

However, a well-organised England, who have lost only one of their last 33 matches, still have sufficient quality to grind out a result and they should edge this nervy contest.

China v Haiti (Friday, 12pm)

This is a low-key World Cup encounter and is unlikely to have too much of an impact on Group D, but China should still have what it takes to come out on top.

Haiti has a secret weapon in Lyon’s teenage star Melchie Dumornay but she is their standout player and stopping her, should stop Haiti.

After their 1-0 defeat to England, Haiti have now lost their last five internationals and that includes fixtures with Guatemala and Korea Republic.

Asian Cup champions China, on the other hand, are more established and have lost only three of their last 16 international matches.

China displayed plenty of promise in their narrow defeat to Denmark, a game which could have gone either way, and they should relish this easier challenge on paper.


Argentina WSouth Africa WEngland WomenDenmark WChina WHaiti WWomen's World Cup
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