England have been on an upward curve since bowing out of Euro 2013 at the bottom of their group. They fell in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup but edged out Germany to finish as the most successful European side in third place. England also qualified for this tournament in style with seven wins out of eight, only dropping points in a 1-1 draw against Belgium, while their warm-up form been encouraging with three straight wins. Ellen White scored twice in the most recent match, a 2-1 victory over Denmark.
Scotland concluded their preparations for Euro 2017 with a narrow 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland as Christie Murray scored with a late header, but otherwise their form leading into the tournament has been patchy. They qualified as the highest-ranked second-placed team, having finished just behind Iceland following a disappointing 4-0 defeat in Falkirk.
England look to be the far stronger team on paper and have confidence, experience and form on their side. Coach Mark Sampson has challenged the Lionesses to take a different mindset into the tournament following their failure to deliver four years ago, and he has kept the core of the squad together from the great World Cup run in 2015. They look defensively solid, with creativity and steel in midfield and an exciting front line led by Ellen White.
Scotland, competing at their first major finals, will be without the key duo of Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie after they suffered injuries. They still have an attacking threat in Jane Ross and should be competitive, but there is a gulf in class and England should prove too strong.
The straight odds of around 1/4 on an England win might not be good enough to tempt many punters, but a better price is available on England to be winning at half-time as well as full-time. You can get an even-money bet on England to win to nil, while it could also be worth a flutter on the winning margin being three goals at 9/2, with Mark Sampson’s side looking to lay down an early marker.
Sports.net’s top tip:
England to win by 3 Goals
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.