Euro 2022 - Quarter-final
Venue: Amex Stadium
Date: 20th July 2022 - 20:00 GMT
We have reached the business end of the Euro’s and England could face their first real test when they line up against the Spanish. So far you would have to say the Lionesses have been the team of the tournament, after that 8-0 demolition of Norway, followed by a 5-0 win over Northern Ireland. We are yet to concede and have scored 14 goals so far in their campaign. Our attacking trio of Mead, White and Hemp have thrived, having amassed 8 goals between them, but a special mention also needs to go to Alessia Russo who has scored 3 goals from off the bench in the group stages. Sarina Weigman surprised me by announcing the same starting lineup against Norway, knowing that there was an opportunity to rest players, so I expect that she will again go with the same lineup on Wednesday night. It seems pretty evident by now that Weigman has found her favoured 11 and she will likely stick with it unless there are any fitness issues.
Spain qualified 2nd in Group B behind Germany, claiming wins against Finland (4-1) and Denmark (1-0). The key result was the 2-0 defeat to Germany which gave us a good indication of Spain’s tournament credentials. Jorge Vilda’s side were the pre-tournament favourites with the bookmakers priced at 7/2, but have since drifted to 13/2. The likes of England, Germany, Sweden and France are now seen as the more likely teams to lift the trophy. I mentioned in my tournament preview that I did not see Spain going the distance, as I felt they lacked a cutting edge, especially when it comes to major tournaments.
The Spanish have had rotten luck with injuries losing arguably their two most influential players to injury in the buildup. There is a noticeable void after the withdrawal of number 10 Jennifer Hermosa, who was the runner up in the Ballon d’Or, after scoring 51 goals in 2021, more than any other female player in the world. What could be worse than losing a Ballon d’Or runner up? Losing the Ballon d’Or winner! That’s right, Spain are without the two best players in the world last year after playmaker Alexia Putellas suffered a devastating anterior cruciate ligament injury, this coming just days after Hermosa’s withdrawal. So given the circumstances you have to say it would be a monumental task now for Spain to go on and accomplish winning the Euro’s. That being said they have managed to nullify England in the two most recent meetings with a 1-0 (Shebelieves Cup) win and 0-0 draw (Arnold Clark Cup).
- Beth Mead is the tournament’s leading scorer with 5 goals.
- England have failed to score in their last two meetings with Spain.
- England have won all of their last 9 games and scored 44 goals during that time, conceding twice.
- England are the favourites to win the Euro’s priced at 11/4
If you have been following my previews from this tournament you will know by now that I have backed Beth Mead to score in every match. She hasn’t let me down this far with winning odds of 17/10, 7/5, and 13/20. I think that England are carrying a lot of momentum going into this game and home advantage will spur the Lionesses on to victory.
England to win - 23/20
Beth Mead to score anytime - 21/10
England to win 2-0 - 10/1