What to expect from Euro 2022 semi-finals: England v Sweden, Germany v France

25 July 2022 0 By Total Football News
‘Sorry to the whole nation’ - Williamson apologises for keeping fans up

The Euro 2022 semi-finals line-up is complete and one thing is for sure - the trophy is heading to a new home after holders the Netherlands were knocked out.

On Tuesday, hosts England play Sweden at Sheffield's Bramall Lane, with Germany and France meeting the next day at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes (both at 20:00 BST).

"The four semi-finalists are probably the most impressive four teams in the tournament," former England international Fara Williams said.

Here is what to look out for.

England v Sweden

England come into their semi-final with Sweden high on confidence after showing a different side to their game in their quarter-final win over Spain.

The Lionesses beat Austria and Northern Ireland - as they would be expected to - in the group stage and thrashed a bitterly disappointing Norway 8-0.

But against Spain they were on the ropes, 1-0 down and six minutes from elimination, before Sarina Wiegman's tactical and personnel changes led to Ella Toone levelling and Georgie Stanway scoring a stunning winner in extra time.

Their strength in depth and options from the bench have been a major part of their bid to win their first major tournament.

Wiegman is looking to complete a remarkable double of European Championship wins with the hosts, having led the Dutch to Euro 2017 glory in their home tournament.

By contrast, Sweden - the top-ranked European team (second only behind the USA in the Fifa world rankings) did not impress in their 1-0 quarter-final win over Belgium.

They are bidding for their first trophy since the 1984 Euros - when they beat England on penalties after the game finished level after two legs.

Linda Sembrant scored a 92nd-minute winner with their 33rd and final shot of the quarter-final - but despite that statistical dominance they were disappointing.

A team with attacking talent like Kosovare Asllani, Stina Blackstenius and Fridolina Rolfo should really be doing more.

Midfielder Filippa Angeldahl, with two goals, is their only player to score more than once at this tournament.

England, by contrast, have four players who have netted multiple times, including five-goal top scorer Beth Mead and Alessia Russo, who has scored three.

"Sweden need to find a second gear if they are going to compete with England because England look much stronger - they will be confident," Reading and former England striker Natasha Dowie said after the Belgium game.

Former England forward Kelly Smith said: "England are looking at this thinking 'we can take this Sweden side'."

But Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall, who is a Swede, thinks the semi-final will be "totally different".

"England are the team that will try to be attacking and create, and that fits Sweden better. The games so far have not fitted Sweden so well with the way they play," he said.

Sweden boss Peter Gerhardsson said: "I can assure you we are going to have a plan, and we need an extremely good plan."

Germany v France

Germany have won eight of the 12 Women's European Championships to date - yet did not come into this tournament as one of the favourites.

This has been the first Euros since 1997 in which Germany have not been defending champions, having seen the Netherlands take their crown five years ago.

But their performances and results in England have shown they have a great chance of taking their title back.

The only team yet to concede a goal, Germany have beaten Denmark, Spain, Finland and then Austria in the quarter-finals by an aggregate score of 11-0.

Alexandra Popp is making up for lost time. The Wolfsburg forward missed Euros 2013 and 2017 through injury and returned in March after another 11 months on the sidelines.

She has scored in all four games so far. Nobody has ever netted in five consecutive Women's Euros matches.

They face third-ranked France, who have never won a big trophy but who have finally ended their quarter-final curse.

Les Bleues had gone out of the past five major tournaments (World Cup, Euros and Olympics) at the quarter-final stage.

But for the first time since London 2012 they will play in the last four after beating defending champions the Netherlands in extra time.

Like Sweden, they had 33 chances but only scored once. They were lively in the first half, less so in the second half, and good again in extra time.

"France have to learn from this," former international Laura Georges said on BBC One. "Every game they've started really well, but slow down in the second half.

"Against Germany, they'll need that impressive start but will have to continue it into the second half. They need to be more consistent."

Crucially too, the French team do not seem to have the same squad factions which have derailed them in the past.

Before the Dutch game, boss Corinne Diacre said: "We look forward. We have a group that has not necessarily lived through our past. We are looking to the future."

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - Blue Footer - Blue


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/62279344?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA