Women’s Euros 2022 – Group C opening fixtures preview


Tonight, Group C at the Women’s Euros gets underway. Reigning champions Netherlands begin their defence against Sweden at Bramall Lane, while Portugal take on Switzerland.


Portugal vs Sweden (17:00 KO BST)

Both of these teams are the so-called ‘underdogs’ of Group C compared to Sweden and The Netherlands but this fixture will be a perfect way for both teams to settle any pre-tournament nerves.

Portugal made it into the tournament due to Russia’s suspension. It is only their second ever major tournament having also featured in the previous Euros back in 2017. Manager Francisco Neto will be aiming for a better showing from his side this time around.

“Our aim is to perform better than we did in 2017. It was always going to be a tough start for us in this group, no matter who we were up against in the opening game,

“We know that Switzerland are the closest team to us in the rankings. They have players that ply their trade at top clubs across Europe and are a team that we fully respect but we know that we have our own strengths that will allow us to head into the game full of confidence, and we can compete with them.

“A victory would give us a massive boost and settle our nerves heading into the other group games.”

Switzerland were one of the last final teams to qualify for Euro 2022, they made it through to the tournament in dramatic fashion after beating the Czech Republic in a penalty shoot-out (April 2021)

A key figure in their squad will be their captain Lia Wälti. She plays for Arsenal in the WSL and is a very calm defensive midfielder. Her calmness should allow her side to play out from the back well in order to get the ball to their attackers.

After building a solid squad over the last few years, boss Nils Nielson who previously led his previous side Denmark to the 2017 final will be looking for Switzerland to have a good tournament and hopefully beat Portugal this evening.

Nielson said: “It’s incredibly important, especially in a group like ours, that the first game provides us with at least one point so we are still in the tournament.

“If we lose the first game, it’s going to be a very difficult task to go through the group.

“They’re going to attack us, I’m pretty sure. It’s part of their game that they can stay low and attack with fewer players than many of the other teams. That’s a quality, but it can also be a problem when they have to change their strategy during the game.”


Netherlands vs Sweden (20:00 KO BST)

Tonight sees two giants of international women’s football meet on the big stage yet again. Both of these sides go into the tournament as one of the favourites, and they will both want to start their competition in a positive way.

In recent years The Netherlands have come out on top over Sweden in major tournaments. In the 2017 euros tournament The Dutch beat The Swedes in the last eight of the tournament before going to win the whole thing, they also beat Sweden in the semi-finals of the 2019 world cup too.

In their pre-Euros preparation, The Netherlands suffered a 5-1 defeat to England, before beating Belarus and Finland while keeping successive clean sheets. New boss Mark Parsons will be hoping his side can get their tournament off with a good start.

He said: “We won’t start the tournament as the best, and I think we’ve accepted that. But we really believe in our qualities and that every minute and every game we get together will only make us stronger.

“They know the quality of Sweden and have great respect for them but we also see lots of opportunity. Sweden were probably the best team in the Olympics, although they fell just short, and they’ve done well to continue moving forward.

“They are a very experienced team with great communication on and off the pitch. We will have to be at our best.”

After suffering defeats in the knockout stages of the last two women’s international major tournaments Sweden will surely be out for revenge tonight in the newly formed ‘battle of Bramall Lane’. With star players Magdalena Eriksson, Kosovare Asslani and Fridolina Rolfö all fit to play the Swedes could finally beat the Dutch.

Magdalena Eriksson said: “For me, it’s a bit of extra fuel, I want a little revenge. I want a good result against the Netherlands for many different reasons, and it adds a little bit of fuel to the fire.”


Both the games tonight will be live on The BBC.


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