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2022 UEFA Women’s Euro England: Group C Preview

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 Group C is no short of a spectacle with defending champions Netherlands, inaugural winners Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal making up the group. A look at 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro England Group C Preview.

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Last updated: 06.07.2022
2022 UEFA Women Euro England Group C Preview

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UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 Group C is no short of a spectacle with defending champions Netherlands, inaugural winners Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal making up the group. Quite easily the Dutch and the Swedes are favorites to propel themselves to the quarter final stage but the rest of the lot are aiming for some rewards as well. 


Netherlands

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The 2017 edition of the Euros became a well-received one for the hosts Netherlands as they went on to win the trophy for the first time in history in front of home support. The Dutch breezed past their opponents in the group stages and got better off Sweden and England in the knockouts before defeating Denmark in the final for the second time in the tournament. They didn’t lose a single game and conceded just three goals. To add to their prestige, the orange shirts also reached the finals of the 2019 World Cup in stunning fashion. Near faultless performance from the Dutch in the 2017 tournament who are one of the favourites again and wish to retain their title something only done by the Germans in the past.

Six of the players in the current squad got the taste of the trophy four years back. Adding them to the new set of footballers is expected to bui a good chemistry which is their strength. However, there is a big figure missing from the Dutch camp. Now in the England dugout, coach Sarina Weigman provided the best days for the Netherlands Women’s team with two incredible successes in the last two major competitions if the quarterfinal exit in last year’s Olympics is not taken into account. Losing such a figure affects a lot and defeats to title challengers in friendlies this year, a 3-1 loss to France in February and a 5-1 hammering by England only a week ago, raises eyebrows in the preparation for the tournament. Current boss Mark Parsons wasn’t helped with injury absentees either in that period so he will be hoping to make better use of his side in the finals.

Netherlands will look up to their star striker and record scorer Vivianne Miedema again with his hunger for goals getting bigger even after netting 92 goals in 108 appearances. Miedema bagged four goals in the trophy-winning campaign and got nine in the qualifiers for the 2022 Euros so she will be chasing the golden boot this summer as usual. Her support will be Lieke Mertens who ran the show for the Dutch in those competitions. Champions League winner with Lyon, Danielle van de Donk will orchestrate the midfield alongside Jill Roord and they will instil their success stories into upcoming stars like Damaris Egurrola who switched her nationality from Spain filled with promise at the age of 22. The defence has been an issue in recent outings for the Dutch so responsibility falls on the experienced Stefanie van der Gragt to keep their back four rigid as they open the tournament against Sweden.     

Goalkeepers: Daphne van Domselaar, Barbara Lorsheyd, Sari van Veenendaal

Defenders: Kerstin Casparij, Caitlin Dijkstra, Merel van Dongen, Stefanie van der Gragt, Dominique Janssen, Aniek Nouwen, Marisa Olislagers, Lynn Wilms

Midfielders: Danielle van de Donk, Damaris Egurrola, Jackie Groenen, Victoria Pelova, Jill Roord, Sherida Spitse

Forwards: Lineth Beerensteyn, Esmee Brugts, Renate Jansen, Romee Leuchter, Lieke Martens, Vivianne Miedema


Sweden

Head coach Peter Gerhardsson will be taking Sweden in the third major competition under his reign since he took over in 2017 following a disappointing quarter final exit in the last Euros. The opposition that day was eventual winners Netherlands whom they face again for the opening group game. Sweden are chasing their best-ever finish in the competition which is their 1984 trophy triumph in the first-ever Euros and their only major title to date. They haven’t reached the final since 2001. Nevertheless, many have tipped them to be one of the serious candidates to win the cup in the end having a group of notable players. It is a massive expectation the Blue and Yellow army needs to live up to.

The problem for Sweden in these major competitions has been their incapability of getting over the line when it matters. Like in 2001 when they crashed out of the semifinals being the hosts to eventual winners Germany or in the 2019 World Cup where they took revenge against the Germans but failed at this stage. Netherlands again proved to be a thorn in their way. As a case, a lot is riding on the first game for Sweden if they want to stamp their authority in the tournament. In the Tokyo Olympics last year, they lost the gold to Canada even after beating the USA in a decent run to the final. Euro 2022 could be the stage to make things correct if Sweden are able to deliver the required mentality on the pitch. Qualification to the finals was easy with Iceland, Slovakia, Hungary and Latvia being their counterparts. Keeping the penalty shoot-out disappointment in the Olympics aside, Sweden have not lost a single game in almost a year.

The optimism is around the experienced players becoming the core of the side again. Hedvig Lindahl, Magdalena Eriksson and Kosovare Asllani serves vital importance for the side but none as the record 230 caps captain Caroline Seger for Sweden. This edition of the Euros will be her fifth since making her debut in the competition in 2005 and 13th overall major competition. No one is more experienced than the 37-year-old midfielder not only for Sweden but others in the tournaments. Recognition is for forward Stina Blackstenius as well who has posed a massive threat in the attack for Arsenal and also for her country. Her rise to prominence has been impressive and had already been capped 75 times. In-form Fridolina is also there to add goals for the side. Gerhardsson also wants his players to stand apart using the strength in depth in their squad.

Goalkeepers: Jennifer Falk, Hedvig Lindahl, Zecira Musovic

Defenders: Jonna Andersson, Nathalie Bjorn, Magdalena Eriksson, Hanna Glas, Amanda Ilestedt, Emma Kullberg, Amanda Nilden, Linda Sembrant

Midfielders: Filippa Angeldahl, Kosovare Asllani, Hanna Bennison, Elin Rubensson, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Olivia Schough, Caroline Seger

Forwards: Stina Blackstenius, Rebecka Blomqvist, Lina Hurtig, Sofia Jakobsson, Fridolina Rolfo

 

Switzerland

This is only the second time Switzerland have made it to the Euros but for back-to-back times which may be a signal from them turning out to be competition regulars. The qualifications to the finals are a welcome relief for the Swiss who were desperate to be in the group stages since the launch of the competition. With players plying their trade in top leagues in Europe, Switzerland are hoping to do more in a difficult group against competition favorites.

They went out early in the Euros in 2017 at the group stages but the results weren’t disappointing. La Nati managed to register their first-ever win in the tournament against Iceland on either side of a narrow defeat to Austria and a deserving 1-1 draw with France. A point only separated them from advancing to the quarterfinals. Switzerland seems to have in their arsenal to upset the odds. They shouldn’t get carried away too far though as they are yet to win a game this year. In the six games so far, two draws and four defeats including crushing defeats to England and Germany is definitely not ideal preparation for the tournament. No goals scored in the last three games too. However, those results shouldn’t take away the potential the team carry. 

Arsenal’s midfielder Lia Walti will play a fundamental role in the midfield after completing a brilliant season with her club. She is also the captain of the team with 61 caps under her belt. On the attacking front, Ramona Bachmann will hope to bring her excellent form with PSG to the international level and she is known to score clutch goals for her team. The Swiss are wishing for a winning start against group minnows Portugal to build momentum before Sweden and Netherlands pose an uphill task for them. Exit from group stages in 2017 is not an option but La Nati have to rely on any miracle to move into the quarterfinals of the competition.

Goalkeepers: Gaelle Thalmann, Seraina Friedli, Livia Peng

Defenders: Eseosa Aigbogun, Luana Buhler, Viola Calligaris, Rahel Kiwic, Noelle Maritz, Lara Marti, Rachel Rinast, Julia Stierli, Ella Toon

Midfielders: Sandy Maendly, Sandrine Mauron, Geraldine Reuteler, Coumba Sow, Riola Xhemaili, Lia Walti

Forwards: Ramona Bachman, Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, Svenja Folmli, Fabienne Humm, Meriame Terchoun

 

Portugal

The Second lowest-ranked nation in Euro 2022, Portugal are also playing their second Euros but they have made it here for consecutive times only because Russia were banned by FIFA from participation due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. ‘A Selecção das Quinas’ have very little chance to progress further into the competition as the women’s game in the country does not have a rich history. Portugal received the golden ticket after finishing behind Finland in the qualifiers so it is a big opportunity for them as they were not among the best runners-up teams to qualify for the finals.

Facing the two favourites, holders Netherlands and Sweden is a gigantic task for this team yet to make an impact on the international stage with only two of the 23 players signed with foreign clubs. However, Portugal did register a win in their first-ever European Championship beating another debutant in Scotland. They could use that experience to start off this campaign on a positive note while battling Switzerland in an exciting game where the nations will be going for it. Even if the win arrives gaining a point in the next two group games is a tough ask. Portugal have also lost all, but one, games against higher ranked nations in the last two years with a 2-0 win over Norway the only unexpected result in that period. That was also the second win this year in five games so far.

All is not gloomy for Portugal as they have some exciting players to showcase in the tournament. Goalkeeper Ines Pereira is a fantastic talent and an able shot-stopper as she has proven to turn up on big occasions. Portugal need her to be at her best against strong opposition. Captain Ana Borges is the most experienced player in the squad and is considered one of the greatest players in her nation. The 32-year-old winger from Chelsea is valuable for the squad to reflect her brilliance at the club level. Scoring goals could still be an issue for the side as they lack a clinical edge in the squad with the nation managing the lowest goal tally of only 10 goals in the qualifiers.

Goalkeepers: Inês Pereira, Patrícia Morais, Rute Costa

Defenders: Alicia Correia, Carole, Catarina Amado, Diana Gomes, Joana Marchão, Mariana Azevedo, Silvia Rebelo

Midfielders: Andreia Norton, Andreia Jacinto, Andreia Faria, Dolores Silva, Fátima Pinto, Kika Nazareth, Tatiana Pinto, Vanessa Marques

Forwards: Ana Borges, Carolina Mendes, Diana Silva, Jessica Silva, Telma Encarnacao

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