class=”article_teaser__2t5do”>Wounded by their opening defeat against Sweden, Al Hain-Cole is backing the Stars and Stripes to hit back with a big win over Sermanni’s team
USA will be determined to bounce back from their shock opening defeat to Sweden when they take on New Zealand in Saturday’s Olympic Games clash.
The four-times Olympic gold winners were beaten 3-0 by the Swedes on Wednesday, their first defeat in 45 fixtures in all competitions.
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USA vs New Zealand latest odds
Having won 10 and lost none of their last 11 meetings with this opposition, USA are overwhelming 1/16 (1.06) favourites with bet365 to get straight back to winning ways here.
New Zealand lost their first group game 2-1 against neighbours Australia but are available at 16/1 (17.00) to cause a massive upset with a victory against the world champions, or 10/1 (11.00) to earn a creditable draw.
USA vs New Zealand team news
Sam Mewis and Alex Morgan could find their starting spots under threat after being substituted at half-time against Sweden, with the likes of Megan Rapinoe and fit-again Julie Ertz pushing for a place in the XI.
Gabi Rennie will be hoping to start after coming off the bench to score on her international debut in the 2-1 defeat to Australia.
USA vs New Zealand preview
Although still a shock, Sweden’s win was not completely inconceivable given their relatively strong record against the Americans – having knocked them out of the 2016 Olympics at the quarter-final stage.
In contrast, a victory for Tom Sermanni’s team would really be unexpected considering they have lost their last five matches against this opposition by a combined 19-1 scoreline – losing out 5-0 in each of the two most recent meetings.
What’s more, the world 22nd-ranked team came into this tournament on the back of eight defeats and not a single win in nine games, with their last victory coming over two years ago.
Sure to be highly motivated after their painful opener, the Stars and Stripes are unlikely to take any prisoners in their efforts to restore pride and get a precious three points on the board.
USA vs New Zealand tips & predictions
With this in mind, odds of 6/5 (2.20) look well worth backing on a wounded USA hitting back by beating New Zealand by four goals or more for the third successive encounter.
All odds correct at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.