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Euros - Football: Women's final preview

The Women's Euros has been a tournament laden with sensational and unforgettable moments and concludes with a fitting final between its two best sides - England and Germany - at Wembley on Sunday.

History beckons for the Lionesses, who are bidding to become the first England senior side to win a major trophy since 1966, and the occasion is set to draw an all-time record crowd for a men's or women's European Championship final.

WhatEuro 2022 Final - England v Germany
WhereWembley Stadium, London
When17:00, Sunday 31st July
How to watchBBC1
OddsEngland 6/4, draw 11/5, Germany 15/8 

England blow Sweden out of the water

After a cagey quarter-final encounter with Spain, who took them to extra-time, England were expected to have to dig deep again when taking on Olympic silver medalists Sweden in the semi-finals in Sheffield.

And while the opening 25 minutes of the game were tight and presented Sweden with a couple of chances to break the deadlock, England went in at the interval 1-0 up thanks to a fine strike from Beth Mead.

What followed afterwards was incredible, as the Lionesses went up the gears to go 3-0 up with more than 20 minutes remaining courtesy of a Lucy Bronze header and an wonderful improvised back heel from super-sub Alessia Russo.

Fran Kirby capitalised on a late blunder at the back to make it 4-0 in the 76th minute and England were in dreamland.

It was the perfect demonstration of what Sarina Wiegman has done in her short time in charge of the Lionesses.

Eight-time champions Germany look to Popp for inspiration

There have been some excellent storylines at Euro 2022 and one of the most heart-warming - at least for Germany fans - has been the resurgence of striker Alexandra Popp.

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A figurehead for Die Nationalelf, Popp had missed both Euro 2013 and Euro 2017 through injury but has made up for it on her European Championship debut this year.

Going into the final, Popp is tied with Mead as the tournament's leading scorer on six goals and has netted in all of Germany's matches so far.

Both of her goals in the semi-final with France were well-taken - the first an effortless, flicked volley and the second a towering header - and she is 5/1 in the first goalscorer market on Sunday.

But England arguably have the defensive tools to cope with Popp better than any other side at the tournament with Millie Bright able to match her physicality and Leah Williamson's positional awareness also key.

Instead, a better first goalscorer bet is Mead at 8/1. Her instinctive finish against Sweden showed she is a player at the peak of her powers and she is fresh from a superb Women's Super League campaign for Arsenal.

Wiegman could be the difference for England

Germany will not be England's only opponents on Sunday - the Lionesses will also have to ensure they do not get caught up in the occasion or let the nerves get to them.

That is where manager Wiegman comes in.

In only 10 months in the position of manager, Wiegman has done an incredible job turning this England team around, making assertive decisions from sticking with Mary Earps as her main goalkeeper to appointing Williamson as captain.

But arguably the best trait of Wiegman as a head coach is her ability to ground her players and look at a huge occasion like a home Euros pragmatically.

She did exactly that when guiding the Netherlands to glory on their own patch back at Euro 2017 and she can do so again with England, who are a great bet to lift the trophy at 4/5.

Germany will provide England with their sternest test yet and we are unlikely to see a repeat of the 4-0 semi-final win over Sweden but the tournament hosts showed they can dig deep against Spain, they have the better head coach for this occasion and they have more attacking options to call on than the Germans.

Already Euro 2022 has done so much for the women's game in the UK but Sunday could mark a real turning point with England having perhaps the best chance they have had since 1966 to lift a major trophy.

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