England will take on Sweden this Wednesday with the winner advancing to the Women’s EURO 2022 final. This is a preview to the semi-final.
England will be going into the game as favourites with the home crowd behind them. Coming off a good win against Spain, the Lionesses will be eager to continue their good form.
During their game with Spain they took advantage of their opportunities in attack playing with finesse, skill and pressing the defence.
One of the big things that has worked for England are their substitutes. As a squad with elite players across all the top leagues, they won’t give Sweden a chance to breathe. No matter who comes on they will continue to play their best.
“It’s a huge opportunity. I’m lucky enough to have experienced semi-finals, unlucky enough to have experienced defeat,” Lucy Bronze said.
“So far things have been a little different from previous tournaments, but psychologically we’ve always been prepared to be at the top.”
“For all of us, it would be amazing to get that win in the semi-final. We’re so grateful for the fans that support us, whether that’s in the stadium or at home, and we just want to keep making them proud,” classy midfielder Ella Toone said.
“Hopefully, we can go on and put on another big performance.”
Sweden have had a lacklustre tournament so far with them far from their best. Even without them playing at their best they have made it to the semi-finals.
Against a powerhouse side in England they will need to bring it all and leave nothing out on the pitch. Going into the game they won’t be seen as favourites which might relieve some of the pressure of them.
They will need to rely on their leaders if they want to win. With England having a formidable attack, the Sweden defenders will need to stand up and deliver.
“There’s an enormous strength in our individuals, which makes us a strong group,” the Swedish coach Peter Gerhardsson said.
“England have done very well, [even if] they had a few problems with Austria. It will be an enormous, fantastic experience to play a semi-final against England in England – wow!,” he continued.
“It’s going to be really, really big [against] England, with a big crowd and with our Swedish fans who have been absolutely fantastic. It will be very cool,” defender Linda Sembrant said.
Previous Meetings in the EUROs
The teams have met three different times in the Women’s EURO across the years. The first game was a group stage game in 2001, followed by group stage games in 2005 and 2009.
2001 Group Stage: Sweden  def England 
Their first clash was in a 2001 group stage game.
Sweden dominated the game from the opening kick-off all the way to the end whistle. The domination was started by a Jane Törnqvist header in the third minute of the game. Kristin Bengtsson, Hanna Ljunberg, and Sofia Eriksson all recorded goals , as the final score ended up 4-0.
This performance showed the world how dominant Sweden can be as they took apart England in every area of the field. They have also never let England forget about this one-sided demolition.
2005 Group Stage: Sweden  def England 
Their second clash was in a 2005 group stage game.
Sweden attacked early in the game and put England on the defensive. Within the first three minutes of the game the Swedes had multiple opportunities. One of these ended with them receiving a corner from the left-side of the field.
The cross from the corner landed in the box past the head of players from both teams. Anna Sjöström was able to score after a deflection from the England defenders. The keeper had no chance to save the ball with Sjöström centimetres away from her.
2009 Group Stage: Sweden  drew with England 
Their third clash was in a 2009 group stage game.
England took the early lead with a header from former Arsenal captain Faye White. She received this opportunity from a cross into the box. It didn’t take Sweden long to get back into the game as captain Victoria Sandell Svensson equalised things.
She calmly netted the ball into the left-hand bottom corner from the penalty spot. After half-time both teams had opportunities to take the lead but neither could score.
England (Formation: 4-2-3-1)
#1 Mary Earps (Manchester United)
#2 Lucy Bronze (Barcelona)
#3 Rachel Daly (Houston Dash)
#4 Keira Walsh (Chelsea)
#6 Millie Bright (Manchester City)
#7 Beth Mead (Arsenal)
#8 Leah Williamson (Arsenal)
#9 Ellen White (Manchester City)
#10 Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich)
#11 Lauren Hemp (Manchester City)
#14 Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
Sweden (Formation: 4-2-3-1)
#1 Hedvig Lindhal (Unattached)
#3 Linda Sembrant (Juventus)
#4 Hanna Glas (Bayern Munich)
#6 Magbalena Eriksson (Chelsea)
#9 Kosovare Asllani (Real Madrid)
#11 Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal)
#13 Amanda Ilestedt (PSG)
#14 Nathalie Bjorn (Everton)
#16 Filippa Angeldal (Manchester City)
#18 Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona)
#19 Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (Hakern)
Player to Watch
Ellen White (England)
The England striker and No. 9 has failed to deliver in most of her matches this tournament. England’s record goalscorer has showed glimpses of her best in the teams win over Norway. Other than that game she has had to rely on her teammates to get the job done in the forward line.
White needs to stand-up and show everyone how good she is. The 33-year-old is a regular in the side but this might be her last EURO’s she competes in. As she ages, she will be looking to go out as a winner and achieve the coveted trophy.
Filippa Angeldal (Sweden)
The Manchester City midfielder has had a good tournament so far averaging a match rating of seven. Not only does she control the midfield but can provide attack for the team when needed. The defensive-minded midfielder was able to score a brace against Portugal in the last game of the group stage.
She will need to fully utilise her ability in both defence and attack against England. In defence she will need to help out her defenders and lend out another hand. In attack she will need to position herself in the right position and offer her teammates good passes.
Road to the Semi-Final
Game 1: England  def Austria 
Game 2: England  def Norway 
Game 3: England  def Northern Ireland 
Quarter-Final: England  def Spain 
Game 1: Sweden  drew with Netherlands 
Game 2: Sweden  def Switzerland 
Game 3: Sweden  def Portugal 
Quarter-Final: Sweden  def Belgium 
The game can be watched this Wednesday at 5:00am AEST on Optus Sport.
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