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Women’s Euro 2022: 5 teams to watch

These are the are five Women’s Euro 2022 teams you should be keeping an eye across the tournament.

The Women’s Euro 2022 football championships are almost ready to kick off and, following the excitement that surrounded the 2019 World Cup in France, many are expecting another milestone competition in the women’s game.

It’s easy with the growth of women’s football to always be seeing everything as the next big thing. With more eyes, more funding, more support, it is understandable that there is a sense of everything always growing exponentially.

But the truth is Euro 2022 does feel like another step forward for the women’s game, particularly due to how even the playing field is. In the past, international tournaments have had a tendency to feel predictable in a way that is just not seen in the men’s game: Germany win the Euros and the USA win the World Cup. But with other nations now catching up to those initial trailblazers, Euro 2022 looks more open than any tournament before.

Ahead of the opening game on July 6, here are five teams you should be keeping an eye across the tournament.

Spain

Spain are the bookies favourites to win the Euros this summer, in part due to the enormous success that Barcelona have had over the past few years. There are ten Barcelona players in this Spain squad but that does not mean they will play the same way.

Spain will certainly have one of the strongest midfields at the tournament but they have a habit of squandering opportunities in front of goal, and are missing their all-time top scorer Jennifer Hermoso due to injury. If they are to win the tournament, they will also have to progress out of a very tricky group which includes eight-time winners Germany and 2017 finalists Denmark. 

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England

There’s plenty of expectation on the host nation with an understandable pressure to perform in front of a home crowd. But there is reason to be justifiably optimistic about the chances of this England team to go one step further than the men managed last summer.

Manager Sarina Wiegman is the current holder of the Euros, having won in 2017 with her home country the Netherlands, and England have not lost a single game during her tenure. England have reached the semi-finals of the last three tournaments they competed in and will be hoping they can go one better here. Their squad is well-balanced with a mixture of experienced heads in Lucy Bronze and Ellen White coupled with some exciting young talent such as Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly.

Germany

It used to be the case that you could engrave Germany’s name on the European Championship trophy before the tournament had even begun, but power has shifted within Europe since then.

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The Germans won six consecutive Euros between 1995 and 2013 but have been going through a bit of a rebuild process. Their squad is packed with young players who certainly have the ability to make an impact at the tournament but perhaps not the experience. It might be wiser for them to have an eye on next year’s World Cup instead, but if you want to watch the stars of tomorrow, this Germany side is where to look.

France

On paper, this French team is full of exceptional talent. Paris St Germain’s front three of Sandy Baltimore, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani also play together in the national team and are probably the best attacking trio at Euro 2022. But, as is often the case with the men’s team, France are riven with off-field controversy.

Manager Corinne Diacre is well-known for falling out with her players, controversially leaving Lyon duo Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer out of her squad. Both have publicly criticised Diacre in the past, but with Henry awarded Player of the Match in this season’s Champions League final, it feels like a particularly big risk from Diacre. If France manage to get through this tournament without further drama, it will be a miracle.

Sweden

Sweden might be the most underrated side in the whole competition. The silver medallists at last year’s Tokyo Olympics do not have one stand out player which leads to them often being overlooked.

Chelsea captain and centre-back Magdalena Eriksson is of course well-known for her advocacy around LGBTQ+ rights, but they are generally a very well balanced side with plenty of depth all across the pitch.

In fact, Sweden themselves are feeling so confident that alongside the release of their shirt for the Euros, they also produced a guide about how to beat them. Opposition sides might find that it is not quite as simple as it seems.

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