euros in EnglandOur key trends ahead of the Quarterfinals
The first knockout matches of Euro 2022 will take place from Wednesday to Saturday. We tried to assess the chances of the different teams.
Finally! The first round wasn’t bad at all and there were even half surprises, especially in the qualifications of Belgium and, for example, Austria. But the real salt of summer competitions – well, usually in the summer when it’s not in Qatar – is bound to be the cleaver matches. We tried to review the four matches of this European Championship in England.
85% – 15%
Wednesday 20 July (Brighton and Hove, 9pm Switzerland): England v Spain
England have been flying since the start of the tournament and have a deadly weapon up their sleeve in Beth Mead. In addition, for many “lionesses” it will clearly be the “match of their lives”. Whilst of course they are waiting for the next one which they all hope will take place six days later in the semi-finals in Sheffield against winners Sweden-Belgium i.e. Sweden.
But beware! Because in England, whose selection was hit again by a Covid case on Tuesday after the manager’s absence in the last game, the pressure is starting to take hold. There’s no reason to spare girls, which so often affects these gentlemen. And then, of course, the British press began their usual undermining work (we think in particular to this Guardian paper).
Without forgetting that ahead of her the English will have a Spanish team that doesn’t have much to lose. The Iberians have an atypical game at this Euro and both Denmark and Germany have admitted they adjusted their scheme before meeting them in the previous round. If the Spaniards finally put all the missed chances of the first half on the floor, there could be a surprise at the end of the evening.
80% – 20%
Thursday 21 July (Brentford-London, 9pm Switzerland): Germany-Austria
The English bookies are formal: the Austrians have absolutely no chance of upsetting their German neighbors in a quarter-final between good friends. Twelve players from Austria play in the Bundesliga and nobody should come as a surprise in this clash. The thing is that Irene Fuhrmann’s players have been very interesting since the beginning of the fighting. They left Norway with nothing to complain about after beating the English (only 1-0) in the opening game in front of almost 70,000 spectators.
The Germans didn’t surprise anyone either. They lived up to their football’s reputation by being extremely solid and realistic. Their win against Spain (2-0) showed their strengths perfectly and we are still looking for their weaknesses. If England can count on Beth Mead to hound the goals, Germany have Alexandra Popp. A goalscorer who also sets up the trophies.
According to several observers, along with the French, they are the main rivals for the English for the continental title, which will be awarded in ten days at Wembley. But German women’s football is currently in trouble and not everything is going smoothly in the federal and district arcana leagues. And for a team that dominated Europe from 1995 to 2013, that’s certainly not trivial. What do you think of an Austrian surprise? Still not. But there will probably be more matches than we could have imagined a few weeks ago.
90% – 10%
Friday 22 July (Leigh-Wigan, 9pm Switzerland): Sweden v Belgium
Finding the Red Flames on this level is a small event in itself. The Belgians snagged their ticket to the quarter-finals after a double-round match against the disappointing Italians (1-0), which not many people saw coming. In the second group game, the correction against France was only just avoided (2:1). But since then they have written the history of their country and have absolutely nothing to lose against the Olympic runner-up.
Sweden owes its many supporters a small rematch. It wasn’t brilliant in the group stage (1-1 v Netherlands, 2-1 v Switzerland) before finally unleashing it against Portugal (5-0) in a final day full of dangers. But the Swedes’ clinical efficiency on set pieces through the foot of the Kosovar extraordinary Asllani is potentially a deadly weapon when the going gets tough.
As a bonus, the Scandinavians are so used to this type of meeting – they have been among the top eight teams in the 11 organized European Championships in history – that surprise seems unlikely. As a bonus, the not-even-brilliant Swedes always find a way to score at least once. The “Blagult” have scored at least one goal in the last 34 matches. Suffice it to say that, as in the previous two encounters, there should be no surprises in this quarter-final.
65% – 35%
Saturday 23 July (Rotherham, 9pm Switzerland): France v Netherlands
This is the poster with a big A of this round of 16. The Netherlands may be defending champions but they won’t leave with the advantage of chances against the Blues. It may seem paradoxical, true, but the Batavians didn’t give all the safety guarantees in the first round and, without a double miss from Coumba Sow and without a bench, provided much more than Switzerland’s, who knows what could have happened. Especially since the Dutch have experienced a cascade of injuries and there are still doubts about the participation of the brilliant Vivianne Miedema.
On the other side of the field, France arrive as semi-favorites for the continental title, tied or close to the English and Germans. The French seem to have a problem with those pesky quarter-finals of the competition. A level at which they have been eliminated in each of the last three editions of the Euros and the last two World Cups for which they qualified.
As a bonus, France lost their Parisian star Marie-Antoinette Katoto in the group stage. The PSG striker suffered a sprained knee and coach Corinne Deacon’s whole house of cards had to be restored. Les Bleues know full well that replacing position after position is impossible and may rely on their midfielder Grace Geyoro, author of a hat-trick in 36 minutes in the opener against Italy (5-1).
#Euro #England #key #trends #ahead #quarterfinals