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England Women’s Football Team- UEFA Women’s Euro 2022

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Till the final Whistle, I won’t sing It’s Coming Home. I simply can’t do it because I’m afraid of tempting fate. Even when the fans began singing it on Tuesday at Bramall Lane when England Women’s Football Team was leading Sweden 4-0, I was thinking, “Sshhh everyone, you’re going to jinx it!”

It goes without saying that the Sunday final will be a more intense, competitive event. This tournament, Germany has looked incredibly strong: they are so practical, effective, and ruthless.

You learn about the rivalry with Germany as an England player very early on. They are among the best teams in every age category, and I believe the rivalry is a result of how talented they are and how long they have had that top setup.

At the youth level, we have suffered some humiliations at the hands of Germany. We lost to Germany 7-2 in my first appearance for the Under 17s, but we overcame them 2-1 a few months later, and it was genuinely one of the best days of my football career. Because they have such a reputation for being so dominating in the women’s game, defeating Germany is both a highlight and a statement.

Lena Oberdorf played a significant role in that 7-2 situation. She was always head and shoulders above everyone else when I played her at the youth level. She was technically flawless and had excellent game intelligence. In addition, she had a strong physique and had excellent physical dominance. Every time we made a breakaway, she had managed to return and catch us with a last-ditch tackle. She was everywhere.

England Women’s Football Team possible starting lineup vs. Germany:

Earps; Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly; Stanway, Walsh; Mead, Kirby, Hemp; White

You can see that in the way Oberdorf is playing now; in the semifinal, she thwarted a large number of French attacks, and some of her passing was absurd. It’s been incredibly enjoyable to see her succeed at this competition, not only because she is so brilliant in so many different areas of the game, but also because it helps me feel better about some of the encounters I had playing against her when I was younger.

Oberdorf and Sara Dabritz are Germany’s continual rattling around in midfield, and this has a huge impact on how they break up play and throw off the opposition’s rhythm. Keira Walsh might be extremely valuable for England in this situation. Even the best prepared and defensively trained sides can be unlocked by her ability to spot the tiny cracks.

Even though there could be five players around her, Keira makes it seem as though she has all day to play a pass. I’ve truly been able to appreciate her great passing ability this season while watching from the stands. She will play a pass that I haven’t even noticed from my vantage from above. I can’t help but wonder how in the world you were able to see that, recognise it, and then execute it with the ideal weight and trajectory.

I frequently find myself the victim of one of her shifts of play to get the winger in behind as a fullback. You can see it coming, but it’s so precise that it doesn’t matter how well you position yourself, monitor the ball, drop it, or watch the ball’s flight—she just lands it right on the winger’s feet. You can’t stop it because she has the best technical ability to weight the pass and place it precisely. When you turn back, you see that it has fallen at Lauren Hemp’s feet, and you exclaim, “For heavens’ sake, here we go.”

If Keira is allowed to control the game, she will rip you apart, thus I can understand Germany placing someone on her to keep her quiet.

On Sunday, I believe the first 20 minutes will be crucial for managing the situation. There will be tension and frayed nerves, and England needs to start the game more quickly than they have in the past lest Germany take advantage.

I believe it will take a moment of brilliance from one of our superstars to win it for England because Germany is so highly organised, but we have 23 of them.

I’m hoping that on Sunday night I’ll be able to sing It’s Coming Home without fear of casting a curse.

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