That’s a wrap on the group stage of the Women’s World Cup, and what a fantastic 2 weeks of football it has been!
As we highlighted before the tournament, at Sportlogiq we watch soccer differently, and our AI-driven analysis allows us to notice what others may have watched, but not seen.
It’s with that mindset that we turn our attention to a few of the favourites to win the trophy in France this summer.
England have shown themselves in this tournament to be an extremely clinical side. Although they have had the fewest shots per game of the 5 teams that we looked at (France, Germany, USA, Canada and England), they have the second-highest conversion rate, only very slightly behind Germany.
This shooting prowess is led by Ellen White, whose speciality lies in first-time strikes, timing her runs to perfection and giving the defence no time to react. In fact, this quick ball movement is how England have been most dangerous. This was shown particularly well in White’s second goal against Japan, which came after a series of short, quick passes.
It is also notable that this was the only one of White’s 4 goals so far this tournament which had more than 2 passes before the shot: the others have all been the result of a high press leading to a turnover in a dangerous area.
The other standout player on this English side has been Lucy Bronze, creating threats up and down the right side. She has had more line-breaking passes than any other player on the team, and is also accountable for half (5/10) of England’s successful crosses from the right from open play.
Of course, the counterpoint to being clinical is the very simple observation that England do not take many shots, and that their margins of victory are fairly narrow. Ellen White is responsible for half of England’s goals so far, so they could be fairly accused on something close to dependence. If she were to be injured, or even to suffer from better defending, this could mean trouble for her team.
It will be fascinating to see how operating on such tight margins will work for England in the later stages of the tournament, starting with their quarter final game today against Norway. Such clinical finishing could well be the difference as the stakes get higher and chances come at a premium.
Follow us on Twitter @Sportlogiq throughout the tournament to learn more about how we see the game.