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Euros - Football: Euro 2022 preview

Having been delayed by a year, the Women's Euro 2022 takes centre stage this summer with 16 nations battling out across England this month to be crowned continental champions.

With venues such as Manchester's Old Trafford, Southampton's St Mary's, Brighton's Amex Stadium and London's Wembley Stadium hosting matches, it is sure to be a memorable festival of football.

WhatWomen's Euro 2022
When6th July - 31st July 2022
How to watchBBC One, BBC Two, BBC iPlayer
OddsTo win outright - Spain 7/2, England 9/2, France 11/2, Netherlands 6/1, Germany 6/1

Everything in place for Lionesses success

Five years ago Sarina Wiegman led the Netherlands Women's team to European Championship glory on home soil and the Dutch manager will be looking to repeat the trick with England this month.

The Lionesses have never before won the Euros but have a great opportunity as tournament hosts this year and they kick off Euro 2022 with the curtain-raiser against Austria at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Wiegman arguably has an even stronger squad at her disposal this time around than when she won the Euros with the Dutch in 2017 with England especially blessed with quality in attack.

Four-time PFA Young Player of the Year Lauren Hemp, Arsenal star Beth Mead and England's all-time top goalscorer Ellen White are just some of the world-class forwards Wiegman will have at her disposal this month and the team's depth could be key.

Having a coach who has been there and done it and who also led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2019 gives England a major advantage in this home tournament, whilst they also have a fairly soft section with Norway and debutants Northern Ireland joining them and Austria in Group A.

England have reached the semi-finals of the last three major women's tournaments but look ready to go a couple of steps further this year and represent value at 9/2 in the outright market.

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La Roja expected to be England's biggest challengers

At 7/2 to lift the trophy, a lot is expected of Spain this summer and that is no surprise for those who have followed Barcelona this season.

The Spanish national team shares a similar core of players to Barcelona Women, who dominated Spain's top flight this season with 30 wins from 30 matches, 159 goals scored and only 11 conceded. They also reached the final of the Champions League.

Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas is the star of the show in midfield and even with veteran forward Jennifer Hermoso ruled out of the tournament through injury, Spain have a number of players they can count on in the final third from Esther Gonzalez to Claudia Pina.

The team's main drawback, though, is a lack of international tournament experience. Since Jorge Vilda took charge back in 2015, Spain have failed to win a knockout match at a major tournament and it is perhaps asking a lot of La Roja to go from that to Euro 2022 winners.

France fancied as dark horses

Similar to Spain and Barcelona, France share a handful of key players with Lyon, who won this season's Champions League.

For that reason, Les Bleus are a team a lot of punters like the look of but they will firstly need to buck their trend of having not gone beyond the quarter-finals of a major tournament since 2011.

The other issue which could hold them back is the often fractured relationship between head coach Corinne Diacre and her players.

They are at least in a section without any big hitters with Belgium, Italy and Iceland joining them in Group D and it could go either way once they make the knockout stages.

One thing is for sure - in Marie Antoinette-Katoto, they have a star on their hands. The PSG forward struck 32 goals in 33 appearances for her club in all competitions last season and is 25/1 to be the tournament's top goalscorer.

Reasons to oppose both the Netherlands and Germany

Looking at the other nations expected to go far at Euro 2022, many will be keeping an eye on the Netherlands and Germany.

The Dutch are of course reigning European champions, having also finished runners-up at the last World Cup, and are spearheaded by the sensational Vivianne Miedema, who is 8/1 in the top goalscorer market.

They are 6/1 to lift the trophy but are in a period of transition under Mark Parsons and may fall short.

As for Germany, they are always expected to be in the mix given they have eight Euro titles to their name but manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg seems unsure of her best side and they crashed out in the quarter-finals of each of the last two major tournaments.

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