Pre-tournament favourites can pose hosts new problems but England look better equipped than ever to handle them
This was the game England feared. Except they no longer fear it. From the moment the draw was made in October, the spectre of Group B loomed large: a potential nightmare quarter-final against either the eight-time champions Germany or the pre-tournament favourites, Spain. And yet if the past fortnight has exposed the flaws and inefficiencies in Jorge Vilda’s team, it has also put a spring in the step of the hosts, a team and a squad and a nation who walk scared of nobody.
The weight of expectation hangs heavily but by no means uncomfortably. England have been the outstanding team so far, scoring 14 goals in three games, overcoming the Covid-enforced absence of their coach, Sarina Wiegman, demolishing not just Norway but the very idea of Norwegian football, sending one of the game’s great powers spiralling into crisis. This is the sweet spot all national teams dream of: a tight-knit unit, form and confidence at their peak, a well-drilled first XI with plenty of room for further growth.
Written by Jonathan Liew
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/jul/19/england-spain-womens-euro-2022-preview under the title “England no longer have anything to fear despite Spain’s fresh challenge | Jonathan Liew”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.