England will face hosts the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the Women’s Euro 2017 on Thursday evening.
England have a 100% win record in the tournament so far, something they couldn’t boast in the Women’s Euro 2013 when they finished bottom of their group and were eliminated with a single point.
The Lionesses topped Group D in style which included a 6-0 demolition of Scotland. They have conceded just one goal in four matches, scoring 11 goals in the process. Mark Sampson’s side are full of confidence after defeating France in the quarter-finals.
The Netherlands, who are hosting the tournament, also have a 100% win record so far. They topped Group A and beat Sweden to reach the semi-finals. The hosts have also improved from the 2013 Women’s Euro when they finished bottom of their group with one point, just like England.
With the massive expectation on their shoulders, Sarina Wiegman’s side have had an excellent tournament and have every right to believe they can defeat England, especially with the home crowd behind them.
The Netherlands have no injury concerns ahead of the semi-final. The same cannot be said for England. Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley broke her leg during the quarter-final match against France and will miss the remainder of the tournament. Siobhan Chamberlain who replaced Bardsley is likely to be in goal against the Netherlands. The Lionesses will also be without midfielder Jill Scott, who scored the winner in the 2009 semi-final between the sides, as she is suspended.
England are the only previous finalists remaining in the competition. They will use this experience to their advantage as they look to reach the final once again. Mark Sampson has made it perfectly clear that his side are aiming to win the tournament at all costs. The Netherlands will be encouraged by the home crowd and can use that momentum to overcome England. My prediction is Netherlands 1-1 England with England going on to win 3-1 in extra-time.