England v West Indies
Cricket World Cup – 10.30 am
Cricket World Cup hosts England will be looking to build their winning momentum again. They bounced back immediately from their shock defeat against Pakistan to thrash Bangladesh. That win leaves England well poised to reach the semifinals of the tournament but there is still some way to go. Next up for them is the unpredictable challenge of the West Indies. The two of them will meet in Southampton at the Rose Bowl.
There was a draw between the two when they met in a five-match ODI series in the Caribbean earlier this year. But the head to head form is really all with England. They have only failed to win three of their last seventeen completed ODI fixtures against the Windies. The leading bookmakers have the English as 1/3 odds-on favourites to win this match outright. It would be a big win if they get it as it would open up a three-point gap over the West Indies.
England’s batting is immense. How will the West Indies deal with them? They have some explosive pace bowling and the Windies have not been scared to throw down some serious bouncers. It will be interesting to see how England handle with that aspect. The West Indies will believe in themselves as 12/5 underdogs. They have beaten Pakistan and they seriously had Australia on the backfoot before not being able to close out against them. They will entertain, but can they win?
Japan Women v Scotland Women
Women’s World Cup – 2.00 pm
Scotland will look to pick up the pieces after their opening 2-1 defeat against England at the World Cup. They put in a brave effort against the Lionesses, especially after having been 2-0 down at the break. They were outplayed in the first half, but they did well to come back and throw down a challenge. The Scots really had a go in the second 45 minutes and made things interesting by pulling a goal back with over ten minutes to go. They couldn’t get a precious equalizer though.
This is another tough game in which they have to face a strong team. Scotland are 17/4 underdogs with leading bookmakers in this one, but they know that they need to push as hard as they can. Scotland Women were on a five-match unbeaten streak of form before the loss against England, winning four of those. Can they rediscover their winning touch at the perfect time? Three points would at least keep their hopes of being one of the best third-placed teams, alive.
Japan were frustrated in their opener as they were held at bay by a dogged Argentinean team, who defended resolutely. Japan had all of the ball and all of the opportunities in the game, but really in the final third, they didn’t create a great deal. They are a superbly technical and quick young side though and that is why the top bookmakers have them at 4/6 to collect the match win, which would likely see them qualify for the next round.
England Women v Argentina Women
Women’s World Cup – 8.00 pm
It’s time for the Lionesses to step back into action at the World Cup. They took a 2-1 win over Scotland in their opener, but it was a bit of a nervy finish for them. England didn’t play well at all in the second half of the fixture and allowed the Scots to get back at them. But their first-half performance did offer some promise and they are heavy odds-on favourites to win this. So much so that they are 4/9 to win to nil which will probably take a lot of interest among best bets of the day.
That having been said, England have just two clean sheets in nine games now so haven’t been tight at the back. But they are taking on Argentina side who never looked like scoring in their opening draw against Japan. The South Americans dug in well and earned their first ever World Cup point with a 0-0 draw. But they expended a ton of energy in holding out for that draw, which they celebrated like a win, so that is likely to catch up with them. England are going to be far the superior team in terms of fitness. Argentina have scored one goal in their last five games in total.
Brazil v Bolivia
Copa America – 1.30 am (Saturday 15th)
This will be a curtain raiser to the 2019 Copa America with host nation Brazil taking on Bolivia. This does have the look of being a bit of a one-sided contest. Brazil, even with Neymar having been ruled out of the tournament because of injury, are red hot favourites here and it will be expected that they get a win to nil in the fixture as well. The Selecao have been really tight at the back. The top bookmakers have them at even money for a -2.75 Asian Handicap.
Brazil have eight clean sheets in their last ten games. They are facing a Bolivia team who have scored in just one of their last six fixtures. The Brazilians are in good form with nine wins in their last ten games and this should be a fairly routine success for them. Bolivia are horribly out of form at the moment with a hostile atmosphere awaiting in Sao Paulo, there could be a really tough night ahead for them.