The last world champions come back to play on home turf in the second of two friendlies against the South American nation of Paraguay Tuesday night. After winning the bronze medal at Tokyo 2020, something that was perceived as a underwhelming result for a team that was favourite to win the tournament, this is the USWNT‘s first action since.
Despite claiming the medal, the United States didn’t show some of their more dominant and dynamic football in Japan. That eroded some clout and instilled a sense of turmoil within the camp. For that reason, these friendlies against La Albirroja might help getting some kind of confidence back, both for the players and the fans on the leadership of Vlatko Andonovski, with two years to go before the next World Cup.
US looks to flex its muscles again Tuesday night
With all these things considered, the United States has scored 2.8 goals per game during this calendar year. That included a She Believes Cup tournament and friendlies against Sweden and France among other less high profile opponents like Jamaica, Nigeria, and Colombia.
In any case, the fire power is still there, despite some rotation of the squad like the reintroduction of Mal Pugh. A near 50% shooting accuracy on target (9 out of 20 per game), surely will give the Paraguayan defense a lot to work upon.
The dominance of the USWNT on these kind of friendlies is even deeper when the teams are outside the top 10 of the FIFA Ranking, with the red, white, and blue scoring 4.4 goals per game against those teams since the beginning of Andonovski’s tenure. During the same stretch, the USWNT has conceded an incredibly low 0.08 goals per game.
The xG is 3.9 in favor of the US while they concede 0.21 xG on defense. They have a very high 63% of possession during those friendlies, so fundamentally, we shouldn’t expect a lot of Paraguay. Tuesday’s result could strongly mirror Friday’s 9-0 final.
Can Paraguay muster a better showing Tuesday?
Since we name them, Paraguay, as Colombia did back in January, goes with a very weak squad compared to their full potential. A couple of good players are there – namely, Bobadilla, San Lorenzo‘s keeper, could surprise some if she plays – and part of the backbone is from national champions Cerro Porteño.
A couple of players based in Europe haven’t been released, making this a very inexperienced, young squad. That’s additionally why almost across the board, Canadian and US sportsbooks have passed on offering action on this match altogether. There’s simply not enough parity between the teams to be worth the squeeze.
Bettors who want to stake on international friendlies are better off looking to other matchups. Anytime the USWNT faces a side not ranked in the FIFA top 10, it probably won’t merit a look from oddsmakers.