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Euros - Football: England v Sweden preview

Georgia Stanway's extra-time stunner sent England through to the semi-finals of Women's Euro 2022 at the expense of Spain last Wednesday and the Lionesses are now one match away from making the final on home soil.

(This article was originally published on 25.07.22)

England won their quarter-final against the Spanish 2-1 after extra time and will face 2019 World Cup semi-finalists Sweden in the last four in Sheffield on Tuesday.

What

England v Sweden, Women's Euro 2022 semi-finals

WhereBramall Lane, Sheffield
When20:00, Tuesday 26th July
How to watchBBC1, BBC iPlayer
OddsEngland 5/6, Draw 5/2, Sweden 7/2

England show resilience in quarter-final tussle

There have never really been any doubts about what England offer in the final third with Sarina Wiegman's side having struck 14 goals in the group stage of Euro 2022 but they showed a different side of their game against Spain last time out.

The Lionesses were initially flustered by a high-pressing La Roja side and went 1-0 down in the second half as a result of Esther Gonzalez's strike.

But at a time when it would have been easy to fold, England dug deep and fought back.

Wiegman made some key tactical tweaks, bringing on Alessia Russo and Ella Toone, who both combined for the equalising goal, as well as instructing defender Millie Bright to join the attack.

England took the game to extra time and a distance strike from Stanway proved the difference as the Lionesses overcame their toughest opponent yet.

That result means England are now unbeaten in their last 18 matches in all competitions and some of those performances have been seriously impressive from destroying Norway 8-0 to thumping the Netherlands 5-1 in one of their pre-tournament friendlies.

Coming  from behind against Spain was also an important learning curve for England as they head into the latter stages and the win should do the group's confidence the world of good.

They are 6/4 to lift the trophy at Wembley on Sunday and, with a stronger bench than the Swedes, they are worth a bet to win this match in 90 minutes at 5/6.

Sweden uninspiring against Belgium

While England are going from strength to strength, their semi-final opponents Sweden have not been overly convincing throughout Euro 2022.

They stuttered somewhat in their first two group fixtures, drawing with the Netherlands and beating Switzerland 2-1, before taking it up a gear in the 5-0 thrashing of Portugal.

As underpinned by that win over the Portuguese, there is definitely quality there in the final third with Women's Super League talent Stina Blackstenius always one to keep an eye on, but they were wasteful against a rather average Belgium team in their quarter-final.

The Swedes could not break the deadlock until the 92nd-minute of that match despite managing 33 shots in the game at Leigh Sports Village and simply do not have the depth or spirit to match this England team, who are thriving on home soil.

England have already drawn in more than 150,000 fans to their four sell-out fixtures and are expected to fill Bramall Lane on Tuesday.

Super-sub Russo can star for Lionesses

England's squad depth is so strong that there has been talk of all-time top goalscorer Ellen White being displaced in the starting lineup ahead of this key semi-final with Russo tipped to come in.

But in such a hugely important match, Wiegman is unlikely to leave out one of her most experienced players and Russo will instead likely act as a super-sub once again.

In the group stage, Russo netted in the 8-0 annihilation of Norway and scored twice in the 5-0 thrashing of Northern Ireland before setting up Toone for that key goal against Spain.

The 23-year-old Manchester United forward is one of the most exciting talents at Wiegman's disposal but works best stretching defences in the latter stages of matches.

Indeed, all three of her goals at Euro 2022 have come in the second half and she could be a decent bet at 11/2 to be the game's last goalscorer.

Wiegman unlikely to make many changes

Russo is one of a number of players who has provided a threat from off of the bench in this tournament and, although Wiegman has a deep squad to pick from, she is quite set on her starting combination.

Mary Earps, Bright, Stanway and White have formed the core of the team in this tournament and the only expected change for this clash with Sweden is Alex Greenwood to replace Rachel Daly at left-back.

As for Sweden, they are also likely to stick with a similar side after avoiding extra time against Belgium, although it seems they will once again be without veteran midfielder Caroline Seger, who is nursing a heel injury.

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