Ladies’s Euro 2022 semifinal preview: Will England or Sweden, Germany or France advance?


We’re virtually on the finish of the Ladies’s Euros 2022, and what a pair of video games we have now this week within the semifinals: Host nation England will do battle with the No. 2 group on the earth, Sweden, whereas Germany and France sq. off on Wednesday in what has been a traditionally feisty affair.

– Euro 2022: Daily guide to coverage, fixtures, more
– Each Euros sport LIVE on ESPN: Navigate the schedule
Laurens: Rejoice! We have the perfect Euros semifinalists

Who will advance to Sunday’s ultimate at Wembley? Which gamers will likely be instrumental in that progress? And who’re we selecting to undergo? Here is what it’s essential to know to prepare for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s semifinals.

Soar to: England-Sweden | Germany-France


England stormed via the group phases, profitable all three of their matches with out conceding a objective. It began with a troublesome process in opposition to Austria, the place Beth Mead‘s objective noticed them via 1-Zero, however they then swiped apart Norway Eight-Zero and Northern Eire 5-Zero. The quarterfinal noticed them confronted with a diligent, well-organised Spain aspect, they usually wanted an 84th-minute equaliser from Ella Toone to power additional time. From there, Georgia Stanway‘s very good effort from distance was sufficient to offer them a 2-1 victory.

Sweden opened with a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands after which secured their spot on the high of Group C with a 2-1 win over Switzerland and a 5-Zero overcome Portugal. Regardless of the COVID-19 points throughout the camp as 5 gamers examined optimistic, they managed to get previous Belgium 1-Zero to safe their spot within the semifinals. Sweden dominated the sport and had 33 pictures to Belgium’s three, however a exceptional efficiency from goalkeeper Nicky Evrard stored Sweden at bay till they lastly obtained the breakthrough within the 92nd minute via Linda Sembrant.

Why England will win/lose: For all of the blockbuster brilliance of the group stage, their win over Spain confirmed that they are in a position to work their means via a difficult spell. That quarterfinal might have slipped away from them as soon as Spain took the lead in opposition to the run of play, however the backbone of the group stayed sturdy and the impression of gamers off the bench noticed them via. That was by far the largest take a look at of Sarina Wiegman’s tenure to this point, however England have been good in how they unpicked Spain and broke them down.

Their power in depth is unrivalled on the Euros, with the likes of Chloe Kelly, Alessia Russo and Toone instrumental to this group’s success. However they’ve this core of very good gamers who mould collectively: Millie Bright, Leah Williamson, Keira Walsh, Stanway and Fran Kirby work splendidly as a gaggle and might shore up the center of the pitch to permit the likes of Mead and Lauren Hemp to thrive.

What might but be England’s undoing has to this point been a power: consistency. Wiegman has named the identical XI in all 4 matches to this point, and in opposition to Spain, it took them a short while to get going. Whereas they confirmed their Plan B in that quarterfinal, different groups will likely be determining precisely what makes England tick and how one can gradual them down. Whereas they have been nice in coping with crosses as soon as they land within the 6-yard field — Vibrant particularly — they must be higher at shutting these alternatives down on the supply, and as Spain confirmed, should you get in behind England, you may damage them.

Why Sweden will win/lose: Sweden are the No. 2-ranked aspect on the earth for a motive, and on their day, they will swipe anyone apart. The Olympics have been solely final yr, and their run to the ultimate included a Three-Zero win over the USWNT. Though they finally misplaced the ultimate on penalties to Canada, they showcased their champions’ mindset and skill to succeed in the latter phases of main tournaments with out blinking.

Their attackers Stina Blackstenius, Fridolina Rolfo and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd took time to tick into gear in opposition to Belgium, however absolutely they will not go one other sport the place they are going to be so profligate, which is a testomony to the attacking mindset that supervisor Peter Gerhardsson has dropped at the group. There’s additionally the extra dynamic of the emotional significance of this event, with Caroline Seger (37), Sembrant (35) and Hedvig Lindahl (39) within the twilight of their careers.

It will by far be Sweden’s sternest take a look at on the Euros. They needed to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak, however solely they know its true impression. After which there’s the issue of taking part in England on their very own turf. Although there will likely be some Sweden help within the crowd at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane, the hype and pleasure across the hosts will solely develop, and as England have proved to this point this event, they’re utilizing that strain to go up one other gear slightly than stall out.

Key participant for England: Final day out I went for Stanway, who had a superb sport, whereas Walsh has arguably been England’s participant of the event to this point, however this match will likely be a take a look at of how they will reply to Sweden’s risk down the left in Rolfo, in addition to her link-up play with Kosovare Asllani and striker Blackstenius. So it will be on Walsh to assist shut that down and Mead to trace again, however central to the disruption will likely be Lucy Bronze.

She is a world-class defender and has had a stable event, however at occasions she seemed pissed off in opposition to Spain. There have been moments when she was boxed in and was on the lookout for choices, however ultimately needed to concede possession. Whereas some celebrated the win at full time, Bronze stayed away from the get together, as an alternative speaking to a few of her future Barcelona teammates and taking within the second. She is aware of the job is way from executed.

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Emma Hayes explains why she wasn’t impressed with Sweden regardless of advancing to the Euro semifinals.

Key participant for Sweden: Blackstenius is such a risk up entrance, but when they will knock England out of the competitors, they should be defensively sound. They’ve conceded simply twice within the event, and stored Belgium to speculative efforts, which has been working, however Magda Eriksson will likely be key to this semifinal. The Chelsea defender will know the attacking quartet of Ellen White, Hemp, Mead and her membership teammate Kirby higher than anybody, and she or he’ll want all of that nous to assist get her group arrange and nullify the event’s most deadly aspect.

Prediction: There will likely be some nervy moments, however England will come via this with a 2-1 win. Count on a tense first half and the sport to open up within the second 45 with (as ordinary) England’s beginning group doing the exhausting graft, and the bench to shut the sport out. Sweden will provide the sternest take a look at but to England’s defence, however in entrance of a sold-out crowd, England will ebook their spot within the ultimate and trigger bedlam up and down the nation within the course of. — Hamilton


Having dominated their respective teams, it wasn’t a stroll within the park for both Germany or France in reaching the final 4. Having been in a position to management their three group video games, Germany all of the sudden seemed brief on concepts in opposition to Austria. An early overload within the Austrian field introduced concerning the first objective of the evening, Klara Buhl‘s pullback dummied by Alex Popp for Lina Magull to strike low, an ideal end after they’d carved aside the dependable Austrian defence.

Even with the benefit, Germany could not chill out into the sport and weren’t in a position to shut out the sport till the final minute of standard time, when Popp closed down a Manuela Zinsberger objective kick and deflected it into the web.

Going one higher (or worse) than Germany, France wanted additional time in opposition to the Netherlands within the final of the 4 quarterfinals. Regardless of dominating virtually each metric, France couldn’t discover a strategy to beat Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar in Rotherham, with a string of sturdy saves from the younger goal-stopper and France’s personal less-than-clinical ending sufficient to push the sport to additional time. A penalty within the first half of the extra 30 was sufficient for the French to lastly get their objective due to Eve Périsset‘s medical spot-kick.

Why Germany will win/lose: The group to beat within the group stage, Germany got fairly the scare in opposition to Austria, and had it not been for a agency dose of luck, they might very properly have gone house early. Nevertheless, such scares will be galvanising and may function a wake-up name going into their semifinal. Much more ruthless in assault than the French, Germany have proven an ideal virtuosity within the ultimate third, so even when they see much less of the ball than their opposition, they need to have the ability to capitalise.

That quarterfinal can have given France some concepts; gone was the composed aspect from the group stage, seemingly changed by a squad struggling to cope with the strain. The match served to focus on the frailties the previous champions have had in knockout rounds in recent times, and if their slim escape vs. Austria lingers too lengthy of their minds, they may very properly battle to search out their finest soccer with the strain nonetheless on.

Why France will win/lose: With all of the background noise coming into the event, France have managed to dam out any potential drama and as an alternative come collectively as a group, taking part in a few of their finest soccer as one cohesive group and shopping for into Corinne Diacre’s emphasis on the collective. In earlier years, once they’ve come up in opposition to a cussed goalkeeper within the quarters, they might very properly have folded, however in opposition to the Netherlands, the French caught to their process, attacking till the final minute even after having taken the lead. That persistence paid off and confirmed their psychological toughness for navigating knockout soccer.

Over 120 minutes in Rotherham, France had 33 complete pictures however only one objective. Not solely will the German midfield and defence not permit them the identical luxurious within the semifinal, France will as soon as once more be arising in opposition to top-of-the-line goalkeepers on the event in Merle Frohms and would require higher ending to beat the German No. 1. Many of the squad are in uncharted territory, France’s final main event semifinal look coming a decade in the past on the London Olympics, and there are clear query marks round how the group will cope with the added strain that comes with a last-four look.

Key participant for Germany: For Germany, who’ve seemed oh so good going ahead, it will be simple to say one in every of their attackers would be the one to shine in Milton Keynes, not least with Popp having scored in every of her 4 Euros outings. But a lot of Germany’s higher play had began within the midfield, with the backbone of the group flexing to assist progress the ball to the attackers in addition to offering additional cowl for the back-line in opposition to dominant opposition.

With that in thoughts, Magull is primed to be the important thing participant for Germany but once more this event, as her capability to feed the ball via to her teammates is likely one of the key strengths of their assault. Working in a resolute midfield with Lena Oberdorf, Magull will doubtless be tasked to assist her teammates cease the ball from being allowed to get anyplace close to Frohms’ objective and can fortunately drop again to assist the trigger earlier than springing a counter or making a late sprint into the field to bolster Germany’s numbers round objective.

Key participant for France: Certainly one of France’s standout gamers this event, Kadidiatou Diani had proven her particular person brilliance in a group that depends on a collective effort, on the coronary heart of France’s higher attacking strikes all summer season. Not simply an attacker with a swift flip of tempo, however one with a elegant first contact and delicate footwork to get round her marker, the PSG winger has a tangible impression on France’s xG as soon as she’s obtained the ball on her toe.

Though Diani has but to register an help on the Euros, her work to arrange her teammates has been invaluable. If France are to succeed in the ultimate, you may count on Diani to be a key a part of that effort.

Prediction: After their very good first half in opposition to Italy, France have softly cooled down, managing a slim win of their second sport, a draw of their third after which needing additional time to get previous the quarters. In brief, this isn’t a contented trajectory for anybody round Les Bleues. I am anticipating Germany’s expertise to be the decisive think about a Three-1 win, though the group might want to dig again into the arrogance they displayed of their group video games. On paper, Germany definitely look stronger and extra medical. — Lawson



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