How good are the Lionesses? Can they win the Euros? Who will they be up against?
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As second favourites to lift the trophy with the bookies, England look strong contenders to go all the way. Having been knocked out at the semi-final stage by the eventual tournament champions at the last Euros in 2017, as well as the World Cup 2019, England will hope to finally make that last push and reach their first major tournament final.
The squad is full of winners and between them have won everything that the women’s game has to offer at club level. With the ‘Golden Generation’ being a largely unsuccessful era for the men's national side, you could be forgiven for not wanting to put too much pressure on the Lionesses. A tournament on home soil though, the most talented crop of female players we’ve ever produced and interest in the women’s game skyrocketing, it is hard to not get carried away and think ‘maybe this year’.
Kicking off the tournament and their campaign on 6th July at Old Trafford against Austria, England will be facing a fellow Euro 2017 semi-finalist. In their first ever tournament they knocked out this year's favourites Spain, Austria will be no walk over. The fact England beat Austria in World Cup qualifying in November, along with ‘home team’ advantage, means England could have the upper hand.
Next up is Norway on 11th July in Brighton. Arguably one of the strongest teams in this year's competition, Norway were knocked out in 2017 by eventual winner the Netherlands. Boasting two of the best strikers in the women’s game, Ada Hegerberg the first recipient of the women’s Ballon D’Or in 2018 and Caroline Hansen who has won 8 league titles and a Champions league in her career. Playing for Lyon and Barcelona respectively, they have 83 international goals between them in 161 internationals, they will offer plenty for England's back line to think about.
Last up in the group stages, England face one of the Home Nations and a women’s Euro’s debutant Northern Ireland. Staying on the south coast playing at Southampton's St. Mary’s Stadium on 15th July, England come up against a team they have scored 9 goals against in their last two meetings conceding 0. It is likely to be more of the same, but if England have already secured qualification to the knockout stages and choose to rotate the squad, it might be a closer game than previous encounters.
All of England’s games will be shown on BBC One.
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