Before the start of Euro 2022, England were among the favourites, looking good under Sarina Wiegman and hosting the tournament – five years after Netherlands secured Euro 2017 glory at home. But with every passing game at Euro 2022, hope is growing among England fans that the Lionesses can secure their first ever major trophy. The group stage was a record-breaking one for England and they went perfect for the second consecutive tournament, winning all three matches.
England opened Euro 2022 with a nervy 1-0 win over Austria but smashed through their biggest test of the group in their very next match, beating Norway 8-0 at the Amex Stadium, a real statement of intent from Wiegman’s side which also sealed top spot with one game spare. The Lionesses closed the group with a 5-0 win over Northern Ireland, taking their total goal tally to 14, the most any side has ever managed in the group stage of a Women’s European Championships.
Their opponents are pre-tournament favourites Spain, but La Roja‘s route to the quarter-final hasn’t been as smooth. Spain’s placement as favourites before a ball was kicked came largely due to the success of Barcelona, who have nine players in the current squad – not including Alexia Putellas and Jenni Hermoso both of whom had to pull out with injury. But Spain aren’t Barcelona, and don’t have the likes of Caroline Graham Hansen, Lieke Martens and Asisat Oshoala who are so key.
Despite winning their opening game against Finland 4-1, Spain conceded in the opening minute against the underdogs, who had a lot of luck exploiting La Roja‘s weakness and a better team might have punished them more. Germany were that better team in the second game, beating Spain 2-0 to leave their qualification in the balance, needing at least a draw against Denmark to go through. In the end, they did get that positive result thanks to Marta Cardona’s 90th-minute winner, and while England will have a lot to be positive about, Spain are still a very good side that cannot be taken lightly.
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England Women vs Spain Women match stats
As good as Spain are, and as tough a test this will be, England will definitely fancy their chances of moving onto the semi-finals. The Lionesses have won 15 of their 17 matches across all competitions since Wiegman replaced Hege Riise, drawing the other two – including one against Spain in the Arnold Clark Cup. But perhaps more impressive is the fact that England have only conceded three goals, with Mary Earps keeping a clean sheet in 12 of her 14 appearances.
In attack, a lot of attention will be placed on Beth Mead for her excellent record under Wiegman, and she is bound to score, but another player to keep an eye on is Alessia Russo. The Manchester United striker has been more of a super sub for England, but she makes an impact with seven goals in nine appearances since making her debut. Remarkably, six of those seven goals have come from headers, with Russo ended the 100% record with her second against Northern Ireland last time out.
England Women vs Spain Women: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: England Women 2-0 Spain Women