Women’s Euro 2022: our writers predict the winners and surprises

<span>Composite: Getty Images</span>
Composite: Getty Images

Which two teams will reach the final and who will win?

Anita Asante This is a fantastic opportunity for England to reach a European final with huge support from a home crowd, but also they have so much depth and cover in every position. I can see France joining England in the final if they get a good run of form because they have equally strong threats in attack. Tough shout, but England to win.

Karen Carney Sweden v England, with Sweden to win. When you take bronze at the World Cup and silver at the Olympics, you are on a trajectory. Sweden are the most complete team in all areas, they are mentally strong and have an experienced squad.

Jonathan Liew England to beat Denmark. The warm-up wins have convinced me something special is happening with this team.

Sid Lowe Spain and England (if they avoid each other in the second round), with Spain winning.

Maryam Naz France and England, with the latter to win because a) Amandine Henry isn’t going to be there and b) it is indeed coming home.

Sarah Rendell England and Spain. The former are on a good run of results and have home advantage and the latter have the star power. The Lionesses will take the trophy.

Louise Taylor France and Sweden, with France to win. Yes, I know there are serious “creative tensions” between Corinne Diacre and her players but France still look really good and Sweden are an amalgam of talent, experience and top-quality coaching. A caveat though: I tipped Turkey to reach the final of Euro 2020 so it is safe to say predictions are not my forte …

Suzanne Wrack England and the Netherlands, with England to win. If England top the group and get past a potentially tricky quarter-final the team will be flying.

Who will win the Golden Boot?

AA France’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto.

KC Ada Hegerberg. She has service from Guro Reiten and Caroline Graham Hansen, and if you look at Norway’s group games she will hit the ground running and score quite a few.

JL Golden Boots are often won in the group stages and Beth Mead looks well placed to fill her boots early on.

SL Ellen White. Pernille Harder is an obvious choice too. Or how about a player making the most of theoretically beneficial opening games? Katoto.

MN Alexia Putellas scored 18 goals in 26 league games in the 2021-22 season and will be looking for revenge after losing the Champions League final. She is the best player in the world and Spain are likely to take her to at least the quarters.

SR Putellas. She has been so consistent for Spain and the Ballon d’Or winner is sure to continue her impressive form.

LT England’s White; with the quality of Sarina Wiegman’s wingers the Manchester City striker should score a hatful.

SW Vivianne Miedema. If the Netherlands are reaching the final, and that’s a big if, it’s likely they will have been powered there by the Arsenal forward.


Who will be the surprise team of the tournament?

AA Sweden, although it shouldn’t be a surprise given the level of experience and balance of youth in the team.

KC Germany or Norway. Germany have gone through a massive transition and are still very young. They will cause some problems, that’s for sure. We will see how good Norway are when they play England, who knocked them out of the last World Cup. Perhaps they will have a point to prove. Definitely a side to look out for.

JL For better: the well-organised Denmark. For worse: Spain, who may just buckle under the pressure of being presumptive favourites.

SL Norway or Denmark.

MN Sweden. They have fantastic squad depth and a team littered with experienced stars from goalkeeper (Hedvig Lindahl) to defence (Magda Eriksson) and attack (Stina Blackstenius). Similar situation for Norway.

SR Denmark. A lot of talk is being focused upon England, Spain and Sweden but Denmark cannot be dismissed with players such as Harder in their ranks.

LT Iceland. Thorsteinn Halldorsson is a top coach, making a big difference to a recently much-improved team.

SW Denmark. All the Group B talk is of Germany and Spain but Denmark, runners-up in 2017, could upend things with Chelsea’s Harder.

Iceland’s Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir in action agains the Czech Republic in April.
Iceland’s Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir in action agains the Czech Republic in April. Photograph: David W Černý/Reuters

Who will be the breakthrough player of the tournament?

AA Lauren Hemp has the ability to set this tournament alight. But Selma Bacha from France is also one to watch.

KC Germany’s Klara Bühl. The 21-year-old is an exciting prospect who can make an impact on the big stage.

JL There are still people out there who don’t know how good Lena Oberdorf is. Twenty years old and already running the midfield for Wolfsburg and Germany.

SL Aitana Bonmatí is a possibility. She doesn’t count as a breakthrough player really, though. And yet it still feels as if the level of recognition she has is slightly lower than it could be, perhaps in part because of Putellas. Hemp is young, but is she still breakout?

MN Spain’s Cláudia Pina: supposedly the heir to Putellas’s throne. A natural attacker and very familiar with scoring big goals at big tournaments. Failing that, Germany’s Jule Brand.

SR Rachel Furness. She will be known to Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship fans because she plays for Liverpool but she is yet to show her skills at a major tournament. This is Northern Ireland’s first and despite being 34 Furness could steal headlines.

LT England’s Hemp will confirm her potential as a world-class talent on the left wing.

SW Hemp is the obvious candidate from an England perspective. She is fearless, never looking fazed by even the biggest opponents.

The France defender Selma Bacha: one to watch at the tournament.
The France defender Selma Bacha: one to watch at the tournament. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

How far will England and Northern Ireland go?

AA England are in good form and could get to the final. Northern Ireland have done exceptionally well to qualify and as debutants will give a good account of themselves but are not likely to progress out of Group A.

KC Northern Ireland will struggle to get out of a tough group. England can get to the final and potentially win it with the quality in their squad at a home tournament

JL England winners. Northern Ireland a “great learning experience”.

SL England: final. But that first knockout game could be huge, so they may be long gone by then. Northern Ireland: group stage

MN Northern Ireland ripped up the script and qualified with a squad full of part-time players, including hospital and supermarket workers. They will cause more chaos, but only within the confines of the group stages. England? Think bigger. Much bigger.

SR England will reach the final and win but Northern Ireland will bow out in the group stage.

LT England to reach the semi-final and Northern Ireland to exit at the group stage – but only after causing Austria, England and Norway some unexpected vexation.

SW An England quarter-final against, most likely, Germany, Spain or Denmark would be incredibly tough. Navigate that and England could go all the way. Sweden, though, are also a threat. If Northern Ireland hold off Norway for even a short while in their opening game there is no telling what that will do for their confidence. Capable of causing an upset, but it’s unlikely.

What are you most looking forward to?

AA Watching tournament football from a spectator’s view and taking in the electricity of the crowds. And witnessing in real time the positive growth of the women’s game.

KC Going to as many games as possible as a fan and soaking up the atmosphere.

JL The cultural takeover. Women’s football on the front pages, Hemp-mania, people dissecting Wiegman’s tactics in the pub. Bring it on.

SL As always in these cases – the fans. And post-lockdown even more so. On a personal note, I’m intrigued to see Bisham Abbey, where Spain train.

MN This is my first time reporting at the women’s European Championship; I’ll probably be just as excited about the hotel breakfast as I am about covering the games.

SR Seeing unprecedented support and coverage at a women’s Euros.

LT Full grounds, an excellent atmosphere, the entire media taking a women’s tournament (almost) as seriously as a men’s equivalent and significantly increased WSL crowds next season.

SW The atmosphere at England games. England could reignite the vibe around last summer’s tournament for the men’s team. That they are playing electric football at the moment helps.