The European Championship Women 2022 continues on Thursday with the second quarter-final featuring a clash between rivals Germany and Austria in Brentford.
Germany progressed to the knockout stage as winners of Group B, while Austria defied expectations to finish above Norway in second spot in Group A.
Germany v Austria, quarter-final, European Championship Women 2022
Brentford Community Stadium, Brentford
20.00 KO, Thursday 21st July 2022
|How to watch:|
BBC One and BBC iPlayer
|Odds:||Germany, Austria, Draw|
Despite having won the tournament on eight occasions, few anticipated much of a challenge from Germany at this year's event.
Die Nationalelf were knocked out at the quarter-final stage at both Euro 2017 and the last World Cup, while it seemed that head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was not entirely sure of her best starting combination.
But Germany set the record straight in their opening match in Group B, destroying Euro 2017 finalists Denmark 4-0 at the Brentford Community Stadium.
They followed that with an even more impressive 2-0 defeat of tournament favourites Spain before maintaining their 100 per cent record with a 3-0 victory over Finland at the Stadium MK.
All in all, they have been faultless and they are considered serious contenders to lift the trophy at 11/4.
Germany's depth has proven to be one of their greatest assets at Euro 2022 with Voss-Tecklenburg rotating personnel throughout the group stage and still yielding results.
And while three successive clean sheets highlights how solid their defence has been, their forwards have also been ruthless with 21-year-old Bayern Munich winger Klara Buhl going from strength to strength and Lina Magull a key creator in midfield.
But it is Alexandra Popp who has hit the best run of form at the tournament, scoring in all three of her team's group matches after missing both Euro 2013 and Euro 2017 through injury earlier in her career.
Popp had struggled for goals for the Nationalelf in the last couple of years so that will act as a tremendous confidence boost and she is a decent bet to score in this match at 20/21.
Germany are expected to progress to the semi-finals of Euro 2022 but their quarter-final opponents Austria will not go down without a fight.
Voss-Tecklenburg's side are 2/7 to win in 90 minutes but it is worth noting both sets of players know each other well with the majority playing their club football in the Frauen-Bundesliga and it could be a tight encounter.
Austria pulled off one of the biggest shocks at Euro 2017, reaching the semi-finals on their tournament debut, and they are again out to prove a point in this tournament.
Already they have defied expectations by pipping a Norway team featuring Ada Hegerberg and Guro Reiten to second spot in Group A and the feeling in Austria is that their current side is even better than the one which laid down a marker in the Netherlands five years ago.
Although England were wasteful, Austria kept things pretty tight in the tournament's curtain-raiser at Old Trafford, restricting the Lionesses to a 1-0 win.
The fact that England then went on to decimate Norway 8-0 and overpower Northern Ireland 5-0 speaks volumes about Austria's defensive resilience and they have kept clean sheets in four of their last five matches.
With that in mind, the best bet in this contest could be a Germany win and under 2.5 goals at 5/2.
Each of Austria's last four games have featured under 2.5 goals with three of those having been settled by 1-0 scorelines.
Although they could be in for a tough night against the stubborn Austrians, Germany should welcome back both Felicitas Rauch and Lena Oberdorf to their starting lineup in Brentford after the pair missed the last match through suspension.
Midfielder Magull will also be hoping she can return to full fitness in time for the match while star forward Lea Schuller has been back in training.
Austria, meanwhile, know how important their defence will be to their chances of progressing from this contest and should see defender Viktoria Schnaderbeck shake off a knee injury to again be involved.
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