October 4, 2022

Which two teams will reach the final and who will win?

Anita Asante It’s a fantastic opportunity for England to reach a European final with huge home support, but also plenty of depth and coverage in all positions. I can see France joining England in the final if they get good form because they have equally strong threats in attack. Hard cry, but England to win.

Karen Carney Sweden v England, with Sweden to win. When you win bronze at the World Cup and silver at the Olympic Games, you are on a trajectory. Sweden are the most complete team in all areas, they are mentally strong and have an experienced squad.

Jonathan Liew England beat Denmark. The warm-up wins convinced me that something special was happening with this team.

Sid Lowe Spain and England (if they avoid each other in the second round), with Spain winning.

Maryam Naz France and England, the latter having to win because a) Amandine Henry won’t be there and b) she’s going home safely.

Sarah Rendel England and Spain. The former are on a good streak and have home advantage and the latter have star power. The Lionesses will win the trophy.

Louise Taylor France and Sweden, with France up for grabs. Yes, I know there are serious “creative tensions” between Corinne Deacon and her players, but France still look great and Sweden are an amalgam of talent, experience and quality coaches . One caveat though: I warned Turkey to reach the Euro 2020 final so it’s safe to say that predictions aren’t my forte…

Suzanne Rack England and the Netherlands, with England to win. If England top the group and get past a potentially tricky quarter-final, the team will fly.

Sweden are enjoying last week’s win over Brazil in Stockholm. Could they end up celebrating at Wembley again? Photography: Daniela Porcelli/SPP/Rex/Shutterstock

Who will win the Golden Boot?

YY Marie Antoinette Katoto of France.

K.C. Ada Hegerberg. She has the serve of Guro Reiten and Caroline Graham Hansen, and if you watch Norway’s group matches, she’ll hit the ground running and score quite a few.

J.L. Golden Boots are often won in the group stages and Beth Mead looks well placed to fill her boots early on.

SL Ellen White. Pernille Harder is also an obvious choice. Or how about a player making the most of theoretically beneficial opening plays? Katoto.

MN Alexia Putellas scored 18 goals in 26 league appearances in the 2021-22 season and will be looking for revenge after losing the Champions League final. She is the best player in the world and Spain should take her to the quarters at least.

RS Whores. She’s been so consistent for Spain and the Ballon d’Or winner is sure to continue her impressive form.

LT White of England; with the quality of Sarina Wiegman’s wingers, the Manchester City striker should score plenty.

SW Vivianne Miedema. If the Netherlands reach the final, and that’s a big if, it’s likely they will have been propelled there by the Arsenal striker.

Pernille Harder

Who will be the surprise team of the tournament?

YY Sweden, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise given the level of experience and balance of youngsters in the squad.

K.C. Germany or Norway. Germany has gone through a massive transition and is still very young. They will cause problems, that’s for sure. We’ll see how good Norway are when they face England, who knocked them out of the last World Cup. Maybe they will have a point to prove. Definitely a side to watch.

J.L. For the best: well organized Denmark. For the worse: Spain, who could cave under the pressure of being a presumed favourite.

SL Norway or Denmark.

MN Sweden. They have fantastic squad depth and a squad littered with experienced stars, from goalkeeper (Hedvig Lindahl) to defense (Magda Eriksson) and attack (Stina Blackstenius). Similar situation for Norway.

RS Denmark. Much is said about England, Spain and Sweden, but Denmark cannot be dismissed with players like Harder in their ranks.

LT Iceland. Thorsteinn Halldorsson is a top coach, making a big difference in a recently improved squad.

SW Denmark. All of Group B is talking about Germany and Spain, but 2017 runners-up Denmark could shake things up with Chelsea’s Harder.

Iceland's Kar贸l铆na Lea Vilhj谩lmsd贸ttir in action against the Czech Republic in April.
Iceland’s Kar贸l铆na Lea Vilhj谩lmsd贸ttir in action against the Czech Republic in April. Photography: David W 膶ern媒/Reuters

Who will be the decisive player of the tournament?

YY Lauren Hemp has the ability to set this tournament on fire. But Selma Bacha of France is also one to watch.

K.C. Germany’s Klara B眉hl. The 21-year-old is an exciting prospect who can make an impact on the big stage.

J.L. There are still people who don’t know how good Lena Oberdorf is. Twenty years old and already a midfielder for Wolfsburg and Germany.

SL Aitana Bonmat铆 is a possibility. However, she doesn’t really count as a breakout player. And yet, it still feels like his level of recognition is slightly lower than it could be, perhaps in part because of Putellas. Hemp is young, but is she still on the run?

MN The Spaniard Cl谩udia Pina: supposedly the heir to the throne of Putellas. A natural forward and very used to scoring big goals in big tournaments. Otherwise, the German Jule Brand.

RS Rachel Fourness. She will be known to Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship fans as she plays for Liverpool, but has yet to show her skills at a major tournament. It’s the first in Northern Ireland and despite being 34, Furness could be in the headlines.

LT England’s Hemp will confirm her potential as a world-class talent on the left wing.

SW Hemp is the obvious candidate from England’s perspective. She is fearless and never looks fazed by even the biggest adversaries.

French defender Selma Bacha: one to watch in the tournament.
French defender Selma Bacha: one to watch in the tournament. Photography: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

How far will England and Northern Ireland go?

YY England are in good form and could qualify for the final. Northern Ireland did exceptionally well to qualify and, as debutants, will look good, but they are unlikely to make it out of Group A.

K.C. Northern Ireland will struggle to emerge from a tough group. England can go to the final and potentially win it thanks to the quality of their team in a home tournament

J.L. England winners. Northern Ireland a “great learning experience”.

SL England: final. But that first knockout game could be huge, so they could be long gone. Northern Ireland: group stage

MN Northern Ireland tore up the script and qualified with a squad full of part-time players, including hospital and supermarket workers. They will cause more chaos, but only within the confines of the group stages. England? Think bigger. Much bigger.

RS England will reach the final and win but Northern Ireland will withdraw in the group stage.

LT England to reach the semi-finals and Northern Ireland to the group stage – but only after causing Austria, England and Norway unexpected vexation.

SW A quarter-final against England against, most likely, Germany, Spain or Denmark would be incredibly difficult. Navigate it and England could go all the way. Sweden, however, is also a threat. If Northern Ireland hold Norway back for even a short while in their opener, it’s unclear what that will do for their confidence. Capable of causing an upset, but unlikely.

Kirsty McGuinness (right) celebrates after scoring for Northern Ireland against Latvia last September.
Kirsty McGuinness (right) celebrates after scoring for Northern Ireland against Latvia last September. Photo: Charles McQuillan/UEFA/Getty Images

What are you most looking forward to?

YY Watch the football tournament from a spectator’s perspective and enjoy the excitement of the crowd. And witness the positive growth of women’s football in real time.

K.C. Attend as many matches as possible as a fan and soak up the atmosphere.

J.L. cultural conquest. Women’s football on the front page, hemp mania, people dissecting Wiegman’s tactics in the pubs. Bring it on.

SL As always in these cases 鈥 the fans. And after confinement even more. On a personal note, I’m intrigued to see Bisham Abbey, where Spain train.

MN This is the first time I’ve reported on the European Women’s Championship; I’ll probably be as excited about the hotel breakfast as I am about the game coverage.

RS See unprecedented support and coverage at a Women’s Euro.

LT Full pitches, an excellent atmosphere, all the media taking a women’s tournament (almost) as seriously as a men’s equivalent and a marked increase in WSL attendance next season.

SW The atmosphere of England matches. England could revive the mood around last summer’s tournament for the men’s team. That they’re playing electric football right now helps.