What to expect from Euro 2022 semi-finals: England v Sweden, Germany v France

The Euro 2022 semi-final lineup is complete and one thing is for sure – the trophy is on its way to a new home after titleholders Netherlands were knocked out.

On Tuesday, hosts England play Sweden at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane, with Germany and France meeting the following day at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes (both 20:00 BST).

“The four semi-finalists are probably the four most impressive teams in the tournament,” said former England international Fara Williams.

Here’s what to look for.

England vs Sweden

England reach the semi-final with Sweden in high confidence after showing a different side of their game in the quarter-final victory over Spain.

The Lionesses beat Austria and Northern Ireland – as you would expect – in the group stage and thrashed a disappointing Norway 8-0.

But against Spain they were on a tightrope, trailing 1-0 and six minutes from elimination, before Sarina Wiegman’s tactical and personal changes led to Ella Toone equalizing and Georgie Stanway scoring an impressive goal in extra time.

His depth strength and bench options were an important part of his bid to win his first major tournament.

Wiegman is looking to complete a remarkable double of European Championship wins with the hosts, having led the Dutch to Euro 2017 glory in their home tournament.

On the other hand, Sweden – the highest ranked European team (second only to the USA in the FIFA world rankings) unimpressed in a 1-0 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals.

They are looking to win their first trophy since Euro 1984 – when they beat England on penalties after the game ended in a draw after two matches.

Linda Sembrant scored a winner in the 92nd minute with her 33rd and final shot of the quarter-finals – but despite that statistical dominance it was disappointing.

A team with offensive talent like Kosovare Asllani, Stina Blackstenius and Fridolina Rolfo really should be doing more.

Midfielder Filippa Angeldahl, with two goals, is the only player to score more than once in this tournament.

England, on the other hand, have four players who have scored multiple times, including five-goal scorer Beth Mead and Alessia Russo, who has scored three.

“Sweden need to find a second gear if they want to compete with England, because England look a lot stronger – they will be confident.” Reading and former England striker Natasha Dowie said after the Belgium game.

Former England striker Kelly Smith said: “England are looking at this ‘we can take this Sweden team’ thinking.”

But Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall, who is Swedish, thinks the semi-final will be “totally different”.

“England are the team that will try to attack and create, and that fits Sweden better. The games so far haven’t matched so well with the way Sweden play,” he said.

Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson said: “I can assure you that we will have a plan and we need an extremely good plan.”

Germany vs France

Germany have won eight of the 12 European Women’s Championships so far – but they didn’t enter this tournament as one of the favourites.

This was the first Euro since 1997 that Germany were not champions, having seen the Netherlands win the title five years ago.

But their performances and results in England showed that they have a great chance of regaining the title.

The only team to have yet to concede, Germany beat Denmark, Spain, Finland and then Austria in the quarter-finals by an aggregate score of 11-0.

Alexandra Popp is making up for lost time. The Wolfsburg forward missed Euro 2013 and 2017 through injury and returned in March after another 11 months out.

She has scored in all four games so far. No one has ever scored in five consecutive Women’s Euro matches.

They face third-placed France, who have never won a major trophy but who finally ended their curse in the quarter-finals.

Les Bleues had come out of the last five major tournaments (World Cup, Euro and Olympics) in the quarterfinals.

But for the first time since London 2012, they will play in the quarter-finals after beating defending champions Netherlands in extra time.

Like Sweden, they had 33 chances, but scored just once. They were excited in the first half, less so in the second half, and well again in overtime.

“France needs to learn from this,” former international Laura Georges told BBC One. “In every game they started very well, but they slowed down in the second half.

“Against Germany they will need that impressive start but they will have to continue in the second half. They need to be more consistent.”

Crucially too, the French team doesn’t seem to have the same squad factions that derailed them in the past.

Before the Dutch game, coach Corinne Diacre said: “We are looking forward to it. We have a group that has not necessarily lived through our past. We are looking to the future.”

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