England to kick off their 2019 World Cup in style

The Lionesses will kick off their World Cup campaign with a bang against local rivals Scotland. Phil Neville’s side have had an up and down preparation with wins over Spain and Denmark in between losses to Canada and New Zealand but they come into their opener as strong favourites. A 3-0 win in Wales sealed qualification back in August and the anticipation comes to an end with a familiar opponent to ease England into the tournament, but the rivalry should cause a fiercely competitive opening affair.

England look to continue World Cup success

Having made the quarter-finals as outsiders in 2007 and 2011, the Lionesses captured the imagination of the British public by finishing third in the 2015 tournament. A last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Japan in the semis after an unfortunate own goal from centre-back Laura Bassett in stoppage time stopped them reaching the final as the USA were crowned world champions. Japan are in Group D with England and the two will face off in the last round of fixtures in the group stage on June 19. England have only won a World Cup opener on one occasion and it is was when they opened the scoring, such that they have not managed to do in there last three openers (2D, 1L).

Recent form

Neville has already won silverware as manager, beating Japan comprehensively 3-0 in the final of the SheBelieves Cup in March. The gaffer has a 57.89% win rate with 12 of his 19 matches in charge bringing two or more goals for England. It is Scotland’s first ever appearance in a World Cup and they come into it unbeaten in their last five fixtures (4W, 1D). Though having said that they have only beaten England once in their last 13 meetings with the neighbouring nation. The Scots were on the receiving end of a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the English at Euro 2017, they will be out for revenge on Sunday. Eight of the last 13 meetings between these two have produced over 2.5 goals with ten of those occasions seeing only one side find the net. From the beginning of 2016 England have won without conceding in 22 of their 30 victories, so a clean sheet could be on the cards.

One to watch: Nikita Parris

Parris has had a career defining season with Manchester City averaging a goal every game and is the Women’s Super League all-time top goalscorer. The 25-year-old has also sealed a move to Champions League winners Lyon for next season and has 12 goals from her 33 caps. For first goalscorer she is 9/2 and 13/10 to score at any time with Bet365.

England – Scotland Betting Tip

England will run out comfortable winners against local rivals Scotland in their World Cup opener and settle the nerves to go deep in the tournament.

England to Win + Over 2 goals at odds of 5/6 at Bet365.

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