Hope Powell’s England side will be looking to put their indifferent form behind them in tonight’s World Cup opener against Mexico.
The Three Lionesses have struggled to find a rhythm of late, winning two and losing three of their last five encounters.
Wins over Italy and Sweden have been overshadowed by losses at the hands of Scotland, Canada and Australia.
However, despite this form, England find themselves heavy favourites for this Group B encounter against a Mexico side that warmed up for the competition with a 2-0 loss to Sweden.
As such, football betting enthusiasts will find odds of 9/20 on a win for England, while Mexico are seen as 21/4 outsiders and the draw is priced as a 17/5 shot.
Interestingly, all of England’s last five matches have finished 2-0, either as a loss or a win, and superstitious punters expecting this run to continue could be tempted to back a 2-0 win for Hope Powell’s side at odds of 21/4.
For those expecting a more attacking display from England, the 10/1 odds on a 3-1 victory look like a sensible bet.
In order for England to steady their nerves and get the win they will be looking for, leading scorer Kelly Smith will need to be in top form.
The striker is now based in the US, where she plies her trade for the Boston Breakers, and will be looking to improve on her all-time tally of 43 goals from 104 appearances in order to help her side’s cause.
Smith will be joined by Eniola Aluko, who has notched 11 international goals during her 55-game career.
However, while England will be able to call upon the skills of some well-travelled and experienced professionals, none can boast the scoring record of Mexico’s main goal threat.
Maribel Dominguez has yet to reach a century of international caps, but has raced to 67 goals in just 90 matches.
Mexico will also turn to experienced campaigner Juana Lopez to lead by example; the midfield ace has 102 caps to her name and has popped up to score 14 goals during that time.
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