Germany Are Queens of Euros… But for How Much Longer?
Germany’s track record in the European Women’s Championship is phenomenal. There have been 12 editions of the tournament so far. Two have been won by Norway, and Sweden and the Netherlands have triumphed once each. The other eight Euros have ended with the Germany captain holding the trophy aloft. Between 1989 and 2013, the Nationalelf only failed to win the tournament once. There is no doubt that Germany are the historic queens of the continent.
However, there have been signs of late that their era of domination is over. Germany deserves credit for investing in women’s soccer before many of its peers in Europe, but over the last 10 years, the gap has closed. At Euro 2017, which was won by the Netherlands, the Germans topped their group but were then beaten by Denmark in the quarter-finals. At the World Cup two years later, Germany again bowed out in the last eight, suffering a 2-1 defeat by Sweden.
Going into the Women’s Euro 2022, Germany finds themselves in the unusual position of not being one of the main favorites. Spain are considered the most likely victor by various sportsbooks, followed by England, France and the Netherlands. It would be foolish to write Germany off given their experience and know-how – and not to mention a squad which still contains plenty of talent – but the Nationalelf will not find victory as easy to come by as they once did.
Indeed, opponents no longer Germany as daunting an opponent as they would have done a few years back. Group B looks especially tough, with Spain and Denmark both possessing ambitions of making it into the knockout phase (Finland are likely to be the whipping girls of this section). A German triumph this month would be their most impressive yet.
Denmark Among Dark Horses to Lift the Trophy at Wembley
Denmark look like potential dark horses this month, just as the men’s team does for the upcoming 2022 World Cup. They reached the final of Euro 2017, beating Germany along the way, and will not have lost any self-belief despite being drawn in the group of death alongside the favorites and the most successful team in Euros history.
A failure to reach the last World Cup was disappointing (a pay dispute between the players and the FA was the primary reason they missed out), but Denmark were excellent in qualifying for this tournament, amassing 28 points from a possible 30 to finish ahead of Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta, Israel and Georgia.
The concession of just one goal in their 10 qualifiers shows that Denmark will be a tough nut to crack in England. They are not a defense-minded team, however: they averaged 4.8 goals per game in qualifying and strive to play bright, attacking soccer under the guidance of their manager, Lars Sondergaard. He has switched to a 3-4-3 formation and the wing-backs, Sofie Svava and Janni Thomsen, are key to how the team functions.
At 29 years old, captain Pernille Harder is at the age where everything could come together at an international tournament. The Chelsea forward will be surrounded by some youthful talent, but Harder is Denmark’s main woman and she will be the player her colleagues look to for inspiration, both on and off the field.
This Group B Match on Friday Has the Potential for an Upset
Germany deserves to be the favorite to win this match, but a price of +400 arguably underrates Denmark’s chances. Plenty has changed in the last five years, but it is worth remembering that the Danes shocked the Germans at the last European Women’s Championship. They have the means to do so again here.
Quick transitions down the flanks will no doubt be a big part of Denmark’s game plan. Sondergaard likes his team to have the ball, but he is not a fundamentalist in that regard. Denmark will be content for Germany to control possession, before attempting to attack at speed once the ball changes hands.
This is the first big match of the tournament, and it could end up being one of the best games we see too. In the form of Harder, Denmark have a proven goalscorer at the top of the pitch who could make the difference in a contest like this.
That is not to say that Germany’s team does not contain talent, but the more gifted side does not always win – that is the beauty of soccer. Take advantage of some attractive odds by backing Denmark to pull off an upset at the Brentford Community Stadium.
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How to Watch Germany vs Denmark
Germany vs Denmark Information Teams Germany vs Denmark Location Brentford Community Stadium, London, England Time Friday 8 July 2022, 3.00 PM EDT How to watch ESPN2, fubo TV