Women's Euro 2022: England looking for perfect start against Austria
5 July 2022
The Women’s Euro 2022 gets under way at Old Trafford on Wednesday, with England beginning their campaign against Austria, looking to get off to a winning start.
Can England deal with the pressure this month?
England are the second-favourites to win the European Women’s Championship, with our traders pricing them at 5.6 – behind only a talented Spain side at 4.6. There is a feeling within the country that this could indeed be the Lionesses’ year.
England have reached the semi-finals in each of their last three tournament appearances, and in Sarina Wiegman they are now led by the woman who masterminded the Netherlands’ triumph in this competition five years ago. With the support of partisan crowds on home soil, it is little wonder England are so widely fancied to hoist the trophy aloft on July 31.
The key question is whether the players can deal with the weight of expectation. This team has consistently fallen just short over the last few years, but the hope is that Wiegman’s experience can get them to get over the line this time.
Austria should not be underestimated
If England want to avoid Spain in the quarter-finals, they will probably need to win Group A. That should be doable, although Norway and Austria in particular should not be underestimated. England’s first opponents were a surprise package at the last edition of the Euros, reaching the semi-finals and only losing to Denmark on penalties.
Austria will struggle to make it that far this time around, but an attack-minded philosophy – they have scored in each of their last eight matches – means they could give England one or two things to think about.
Yet one of the recent positives for Wiegman’s side has been their defensive solidity, with just three goals conceded in a run of 14 games which has seen England face the likes of Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. The Lionesses are available at 1.79 to win to nil.
England can put on a show on opening night
Playing in the first match of the tournament gives England the chance to make an early statement of intent. Picking up all three points is the most important thing, but a strong performance would stand the team in good stead going forward.
With the backing of the Old Trafford crowd, Wiegman will encourage her team to make a fast start in a bid to establish an early lead. In Lauren Hemp, Beth Mead and Ellen White, England are not short of prolific attackers, so over 1.5 goals in the first half is good value at 2.16. That wager also offers a layer of insurance for our first tip, since Austrian goals in the opening 45 minutes would also count towards it.
As long as England are fully focused on the task at hand, their superior quality should make this a reasonably straightforward evening. Go for the hosts to win both halves at 2.22.
England to nil @ 1.79
Over 1.5 first half @ 2.16
England both halves @ 2.22
5 July 2022