2022 SheBelieves Cup Starts Off With Two Matches With Heavy Favorites

Written By Antonio Maza on February 17, 2022

What is already an annual tradition in the world of women’s football returns this year with a new edition of the She Believes Cup. This year, the United States hosts  the Czech Republic, Iceland, and New Zealand.

The first match of the tournament is between Iceland and New Zealand while the USWNT will face the Czech Republic in Carson, California. For bettors, there are solid favorites in both matches.

Iceland gets chance to pad World Cup resumé

The appetizer of sorts for today is probably the more even matchup of the two. New Zealand looks to test what it can do against tough opposition to be ready when it hosts the FIFA World Cup next year. Meanwhile, Iceland wants to be up to the task for the final matches of the World Cup qualification and perhaps win the group and put the Netherlands into the playoffs.

The Icelandics are the winners of the only match between these two teams, a 2-1 victory in 2016. Also, Iceland has won four of its last five matches counting UEFA qualifiers and friendlies. New Zealand has only won one of its last five including two defeats against Cánada.

Both teams have quality like NWSL familiar faces such as Gunny Jonsdottir and Ali Riley. Without a shadow of a doubt, Iceland is the favorite on this one and the odds at Canadian/US sportsbooks reflect that.

Team USA has some new faces against the Czech

Vlatko Andonovski‘s team will play against the Czech Republic for the first time since January of 2000. Two players of the current USWNT team hadn’t been born yet when that match occurred, showing how long it has been.

With something of an experimental squad, the United States will try to start 2022 on the right foot. All eyes will bet set on the defense of the World Cup title as the goal in the long run.

In fact, that aforementioned game in the year 2000 was the only time the USA squared up against today’s opposition. That was an 8-1 win. For bettors today, though, that has very little relevance

Form wise, Czech Republic’s last win came three matches ago, when they crushed Cyprus 8-0. Since then, they have fallen 4-0 to Iceland and got a surprising draw against the Netherlands 2-2.

The United States has not lost any of its last six matches, regardless of the level of the opposition. With the home advantage, it should secure the win by a comfortable margin. Experiments sometimes might result in closer matches so it might not be wise to gamble too much on the number of goals.

Photo by Michael Wyke/Associated Press
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Antonio Maza

NWSL Analitica writer/owner, video and data analyst

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