Expectations are high in the England camp with new coach Sarina Wiegman already making the ruthless decision to axe former captain Steph Houghton from the squad.
Wiegman took over from Phil Neville who took the England Women to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in France. Most of Neville’s squad remains core to the current squad with Lucy Bronze still starring at right-back, Beth Mead providing a great attacking threat out wide and Ellen White leading the forward line. England also has a lot of young talent added to their squad with Manchester City’s 21-year-old forward Lauren Hemp already scoring 7 goals in 22 appearances for the Lionesses.
England has had three warm-up matches for the tournament in June which have included emphatic victories including a 3-0 victory over Belgium, a 5-1 victory over Wiegman’s former team the Netherlands and a 4-0 victory over Switzerland. Wiegman’s side also won the Arnold Clark Cup back in February beating Germany 3-1 in the final game at Molineux.
Alongside Austria in England’s group are Norway where they will come up against former Ballon d’Or Féminin winner Ada Hegerberg who is back on their international side after five years out. They also face a team in which England always seems to get drawn against in major tournaments, a fellow home nation in Northern Ireland.
Striker White who now has 50 goals for England told FourFourTwo how the side is hoping the home crowd can get behind them just like they did with Gareth Southgate’s men’s team last year:
“I think for us, being hosts of the Women’s Euros and seeing what the men created last year with that buzz and excitement, we really want to repeat that. We want the whole country to get behind us, to be proud of us, and we’ll be doing everything we can to put everything on the line.
“Hopefully, you’ll see that in the performances. There’s so much that comes with a home tournament, and if we can look back and be proud of the team, that would be amazing. We’ve just got to try to control what we can. At the same time, we need to show some passion for the supporters and everyone at home.”
At the last Euros in 2017, the Lionesses lost in the semi-finals to the Netherlands who went on to win the trophy. Hopefully, they will go a step further this time and get to the final at Wembley on the 31st of July and lift the trophy.
The match is sold out at Old Trafford tomorrow but will be live on the BBC at 20:00.
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