Sheffield plays host to an intriguing Euro 2022 semi-final on Tuesday evening as an England side full of confidence and expectation take on Sweden at Bramall Lane (kick-off 8pm BST) with a place in Sunday’s showpiece up for grabs.
England swept through the group stage, scoring a record 14 goals without reply against Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland but came perilously close to exiting their home tournament in the quarter-finals when they trailed Spain 1-0 with six minutes to play before Ella Toone dramatically equalised and Georgia Stanway’s stunning goal secured a 2-1 win after extra-time.
Sweden suffered a slow start to the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Netherlands followed by a scrappy 2-1 victory over Switzerland and although they hit their straps with a 5-0 victory over Portugal to top Group C, only a 90th-minute Linda Sembrant goal enabled them to scrape past Belgium 1-0 in the quarter-finals – although the Swedes did have 33 shots during that contest. And coach Peter Gerhardsson is relishing the occasion of the semi-final.
“There’s an enormous strength in our individuals, which makes us a strong group,” he explained. “England have done very well, [even if] they had a few problems with Austria. It will be an enormous, fantastic experience to play a semi-final against England in England – wow!”
Here’s everything you need to know:
When is England vs Sweden?
The match will kick off at 8pm GMT on Tuesday 26 July. It will be played at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.
How can I watch it?
It will be shown live on BBC One, with coverage starting from 7:25pm. It will also be shown live on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website.
What’s the team news?
England have named an unchanged line-up for every Euro 2022 match so far and, with no injury worries, Sarina Wiegman has the option of doing so again. Alessia Russo and Ella Toone have repeatedly impressed off the bench and could theoretically start ahead of Ellen White and Fran Kirby respectively, while left-back Rachel Daly had a torrid time against Spain which means Alex Greenwood could start ahead of her, but Wiegman is most likely to stick with the XI that have got her this far – and allow the substitutes to continue to impact games off the bench.
Sweden’s issues mainly revolve around Covid-19, with Hanna Glas, Emma Kullberg and Jonna Andersson all missing the quarter-final win over Belgium after testing positive. Providing the trio are available, Glas and Andersson will likely start as the two full-backs but the remainder of the team should be unchanged, including a front three of Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Fridolina Rolfo and Stina Blackstenius, despite Rolfo struggling to affect proceedings against the Red Flames.
England XI: Earps; Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly; Walsh, Stanway; Kirby; Hemp, White, Mead
Sweden XI: Lindahl; Glas, Ilestedt, Eriksson, Andersson; Angeldahl, Asllani, Bjorn; Rytting Kaneryd, Rolfo, Blackstenius
England’s record in semi-finals at major tournaments is dicey but in Wiegman, they have the ultimate tournament manager and this is a side bristling with confidence and self-belief. The Lionesses are a better team than Sweden and should be able to get the job done. England 3-1 Sweden