From our special correspondent in Ashby-de-la-Zouch,
It’s their little ritual. Every evening, when they come to eat in the canteen of the cozy Champneys Spring, their base camp, the Bleues dine with the TV on. No Doctor Who or Sherlock Holmes on the giant screens set up behind the tables but rather the BBC One which broadcasts the Euro. For Sandie Toletti’s birthday, the day after the victory against Belgium, they were able to see that England were not the type to go into detail, even qualified, with this victory over Northern Ireland. North (0-5).
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« If I had to choose a team that impressed me, personally, it would be Englandtold us Ella Palis at a press conference on Tuesday. We saw that they put ‘big scores' ». And they, these Blues, what impressions did they leave? Should they be considered favorites? « It would be pretentious to say that“, politely replied the player from Bordeaux.
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A more favorable picture?
But if football was decided on the basis of mathematics… In reality, apart from Belgium and Austria, the six remaining nations look like outsiders that are difficult to decide between. In recent days, without the craze having yet gripped the whole Kingdom, there is something happening around the « Three Lionesses », as Pete Sharland, Eurosport journalist in the United Kingdom, explains.
« So far, everything has gone as planned: 14 goals scored, none conceded. That’s really impressive from Sarina Wiegman’s teamhe explained. So the mood is almost euphoric and, unsurprisingly, the whole country has rallied the slogan ‘it’s coming home’, like last year with the men’s Euro« . In terms of power released, no team comes close to that of Beath Mead, top scorer of the Euro. But, opposite, it is a skilful Spain which presents itself.
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Watch out for Germany
Where the English seem less dominant in the middle, the Spaniards have made it their strength, with very high ball possession and impressive technical quality. « Here, we have been worried since the start of the tournament since the absences of Putellas and Hermoso« , however remarks Felix Martin, Spanish colleague. The game plan imagined by Jorge Vilda does not seem to convince Spain of football, but this duel between the English and the Spaniards could well be the most explosive quarter … and one most indecisive.
Fran Kirby, Beth Mead, Lauren Hemp and Rachel Daly
Credit: Getty Images
Conversely, Germany, opposed to Austria, probably has the most affordable duel. « So far we couldn’t do betteradvances Tomas Gaber, of Eurosport Germany. The Mannschaft scored nine goals and made three clean sheets. Among all the favorites, Germany were ready from the start and were particularly convincing against the Spanish« . To add another argument, Lea Schüller, the home scorer, will return after two missed matches due to the Covid.
And the Blues, then? The precarious situation of the Netherlands encourages optimism even if we do not yet really know the level of this tricolor group at such heights. But if by chance the Blue manage to pass these quarters, it is a potential half against Germany which awaits them. Did you say tight?
- 1. Germany
- 2. England
- 3. France
- 4. The Netherlands
- 5. Sweden
- 6. Spain
- 7. Belgium
- 8. Austria
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