After Arsenal’s Jodie Taylor scored to knock out France, England are now the favourites to win the 2017 Women’s European Championships.
The England Women’s team have earned their favourites tag after knocking out France in quarter-finals, their first win over Les Blues since 1974. Germany suffered a shock defeat in their rearranged game against Denmark.
Germany had previously been considered favourites for the tournament they’ve won on the last six occasions. England did beat them to third place in the 2015 World Cup, but third place play-offs don’t tend to be the most competitive of matches.
Nevertheless, England made it further than any other European team in that tournament, with USA and Japan contesting the final. Austria, Netherlands and Denmark, the three teams remaining in this year’s European competition, didn’t even make it to the last-16 that year.
As a result, England go into their semi-final clash with the Netherlands as favourites. Jodie Taylor, who scored the winner against France as previously mentioned, is the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals. Her nearest competitor only has two.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 30, 2017
The 31-year-old joined Arsenal in 2016, but spent almost all of the 2016 campaign injured. She has since scored five league goals in nine appearances.
Hopefully the Lionesses can deal with the pressure on Thursday night. The Netherlands are tournament hosts, so England may have to contend with a biased crowd this week. Mark Sampson’s side have been here before, however.
In 2015, the Lionesses played against hosts Canada in the quarter-final, and came out 2-1 victors, something Lucy Bronze pointed out in the Evening Standard: “Facing the Dutch is another opportunity for us to thrive, another bit of history to make,” she said.
“It’s similar to when we played Canada at the 2015 World Cup and we had 55,000 Canadians screaming at us.” Hopefully for Jodie and the team, the result will be similar too.