The Spanish national team suffered serious losses on the eve of Euro 2022, but not everything is going smoothly for the English. Head coach Sarina Wigman cannot be near the team due to a positive test for coronavirus, and the UK has been covered by an unprecedented heat wave – the air temperature rises above 40 degrees.

The quarter-finals of Euro 2022 will be held tonight in Brighton. The national teams have adjusted their training schedule to avoid extreme heat, but it is difficult to say that this will not affect the preparation of the players of both teams. True, Spanish women are much more familiar with heat and high humidity than English women.

Spain national team

Spain national team

Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Scandal on the eve of the match

This week, the England team was touched by a scandal that has nothing to do with football. A BBC journalist accused the team of racial diversity due to the fact that there are no black players in the starting lineup. Commentator Mike Graham responded sharply: “How ridiculous it is to say that the England women’s team that won and qualified for the Euro group is too white! Just unbelieveble. Will they make the same comments about the Nigerian women’s team because it’s too black? Probably not.”

Graham’s outrage was supported on social media, and Sarina Wigman replied that she hoped to see her team more diverse in the future. True, Alex Scott, the creator of the documentary The Future of Women’s Football, where the words about the “too white England team” were made, said that they were taken out of context. It’s unlikely to affect the team, but the media did get distracted by their outstanding group stage run of three wins on a 14-0 goal difference. And the English women are approaching the game with a 14-match winning streak – they have never lost under Sarina Wigman.

Leah Williamson, England captain

Leah Williamson, England captain

Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The main problems of Spanish women

Spaniards have not reached the semi-finals since Euro 1997. The rise of the Spanish national team over the past decade has been one of the most notable in women’s football. Euro 2022 was supposed to show how the fast-paced national championship, the equal pay deal in the national team and the new training system for young players affected the national team and led it to big victories. But the loss of two key players, in particular the strongest in individual skills, Alexia Putellas, hit Jorge Wilda’s team too hard. They passed this group stage with two victories (over Denmark and Finland) and one defeat against Germany.

The Spanish women's team will receive the same as the men's.  This is a breakthrough
The Spanish women’s team will receive the same as the men’s. This is a breakthrough

What do they say about the match England – Spain? Here are some quotes from the media and from head coaches

Spain head coach Jorge Vilda: “The match against England is a chance for us to make history. We know that today there will be an exciting game, the players have been waiting for it for a long time. It will be difficult because of the level of our opponents, but we are looking forward to this chance.”

England head coach Sarina Wigman: “I hope I can be at the game, but even if not, I will be there in a different way. I wish no one had the coronavirus, but this is the world we have to deal with. The match with Spain will be the best match at the Euro, we will try to expose all their weaknesses. Even though they don’t have key players, I still think they are a good team. They have a lot of possession, but I hope we do too. We know that if we are a little deeper on the pitch, we will have a lot of space because of their attacking style of play.”

Sky Sports: “Spain has a coach with tactical problems. They change their central midfielder every game and many of the players don’t play in the positions they are used to playing in their clubs. Why are they trying to do this? For all their problems, they are a ridiculously good team. If the Spaniards have the ball 60 to 70 percent of the time, England will be in trouble.”

Alexia Putellas

Alexia Putellas

Photo: Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

CNN: “Spain without Jennifer Hermoso and Alexia Putellas is not what everyone expected to see at Euro 2022. It’s hard to overestimate how important Putellas is to the team: a prolific goalscorer, an adaptable playmaker and a player with individual genius who can win solo.”

Marca: “Spain must be stronger than ever. When faced with a vertical and dynamic team like England, there are two paths to take – unite the team defensively to limit space for running and dominance, and control the game through possession of the ball. The pressure at the goal will also be important to avoid the opposition’s quick counterattacks. Our collective attacking play is the best weapon against the powerful English defence.”

The victory is almost certain.  The clear favorite stands out at the Women's Euro
The victory is almost certain. The clear favorite stands out at the Women’s Euro

The Telegraph: “If England were to face Spain in the Euro quarter-finals six months ago, it would have been a disaster. It was too early to meet them. They were the absolute favorites, and everyone was betting on their victory in the tournament. But now everything is different. They will miss Putellas and even tactically it looks like they are not ready to win.”

El Debate: “For a long time quarter-finals were a nightmare for Spanish football teams. It was not possible to pass this round until in 2008 the men’s team broke all the barriers. After 14 years, the women’s team wants to do the same. Today will be the match that all footballers dream of in their careers. This is a quarter-final with the host of the tournament, with the main favorite for Euro 2022.”

The main star of Euro 2022 will miss the tournament.  All because of a terrible injury.
The main star of Euro 2022 will miss the tournament. All because of a terrible injury.

Who do you think will win? Share your predictions in the comments.

Leave a Reply