Favourites rocked by Putellas KO
Spain v Finland
Friday 08 July, 17:00
Live on BBC Two
Whenever there is a major tournament, you want to see the best players on show, but sadly that will no longer be the case at EURO 2022. Barcelona star Alexia Putellas, the creative heartbeat of pre-tournament favourites Spain, has damaged an ACL.
The supremely gifted midfielder won't just miss the tournament, but will also miss the start of next season. With experienced Pachuca forward Jenni Hermoso already on the sidelines, this is now a big test for coach Jorge Vilda.
At least Spain kick off with a relatively straightforward test, in what could become a very complicated group. Finland are the rank outsiders in this section, and they warmed up for the tournament by losing 5-1 to Japan and 2-0 to the Netherlands in friendlies.
However, it should be borne in mind that the Helmarit were strong in qualifying (they were unbeaten, only dropped two points and beat Scotland home and away), and they are an experienced and cohesive group.
Spain should win, but by how much?
This is a Spanish side that has been shorn of two of its best players, and all of the pressure is on them ahead of this clash in Milton Keynes. Finland were dogged and determined in qualifying, and they only lost 2-1 to an excellent Sweden side in November's World Cup qualifiers.
We can use the Asian Handicap to give Finland a three-goal headstart at 2.021/1, and I think that's a fair price. If the Finns grab a goal, Spain need five to see us lose our stake.
If you want a more positive bet from a Spain point of view, you could use the Sportsbook's Bet Builder to back Spain's Esther Gonzalez and Aitana Bonmati to have shots on target, combined with Under 6.5 Goals at 1.8810/11.
Gonzalez will almost certainly spearhead the attack, having finally convinced coach Vilda that she is a player that can thrive in international football, while tenacious midfielder Bonmati has scored eight goals across her last 15 international appearances.
Group B rivals to put on a show
Germany v Denmark
Friday 08 July, 20:00
Live on BBC One
The fascination about this "group of death" is that one slip could be incredibly costly. Germany, Denmark and Spain are all expected to overcome Finland, so their games against each other will all be high-pressure affairs.
Germany used to effectively own the European Championship trophy, but Denmark ended their long reign at the quarter-final stage five years ago, whilst they also lost at the last-eight stage in the 2019 World Cup against Sweden. There's a feeling that this talented group is on the up, but there are flaws that can be exploited, especially in defence.
The decision of coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg to select Merle Frohms as her number one keeper has been controversial, and the Eintracht Frankfurt stopper could end up being pretty busy.
It's in attack where Germany really excel. Wide forward Klara Bühl is one to watch.
The 21-year-old was brilliant at youth level, and has 12 goals in 24 senior caps, including a hat-trick in the recent 7-0 friendly win over Switzerland.
Her Bayern team-mate Lea Schuller is a fine goalscorer, and the experienced Alexandra Popp can play a role after returning from a serious injury.
Denmark have one of the world's best players in Chelsea forward Pernille Harder, and as I wrote in an earlier preview piece, I think the market has underrated the 2017 finalists. Coach Lars Sondegaard is experienced, and doesn't just rely on Harder for the team's goals. Across their last four games alone, Denmark have had seven different scorers.
Goals on the cards in Brentford
Neither of these sides are convincing defensively, and we can use the Sportsbook's Bet Builder to our advantage here. We can back Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals at a combined price of 1.9210/11. If you want to top that price up further, you can get to 2.19 by also backing there to be at least one goal in each half.
When it comes to the Anytime Goalscorer market, Bühl seems overpriced to me at 2.89/5, while Harder is an incredibly chunky 4.03/1. Harder has scored 68 international goals in 134 games, and across the WSL and UWCL for Chelsea last season, she netted eight goals in 20 games.