Football Tips

Euro 2022 Tips: England to make a winning start at Old Trafford

England coach Sarina Wiegman
Can Sarina Wiegman lead England to glory this summer?

"England racked up 12 corners when they beat Austria 1-0 in Sunderland in November, and they have the kind of wide threat that can see them build pressure in those areas." Back England to win and Over 7.5 England corners at 2.486/4

We'll have previews of the Women's Euros throughout the summer, with the tournament kicking off at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, as hosts England face Austria. Kevin Hatchard is anticipating a home win for the Three Lionesses.

England v Austria
Wednesday July 6, 20:00
Live on BBC One

Lionesses primed for trophy push

England's preparation for this home-based tournament could barely have been smoother. The decision to play numerous friendlies has paid off in the sense that confidence has been built by impressive wins over Belgium (3-0), the Netherlands (5-1) and Switzerland (4-0). Even when England have had sticky patches in games where it wasn't quite working, they have found a way to move up the gears.

You can read about England in more depth by clicking here, or by listening to our first preview podcast, but the hosts' key players are all fit; the group seem cohesive and relaxed, and coach Sarina Wiegman is exuding an air of cool authority. Not only did she win the Euros in 2017 with her native Netherlands, Wiegman also led the same team to the World Cup final in 2019, and her now England side are yet to lose since the Dutchwoman took up the reins - 14 games without defeat (W12 D2).

Opponents Austria gave England a fair few problems in November's World Cup qualifier, as a lone strike from Ellen White made the difference at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, with Wiegman knowing Irene Fuhrmann's team are no pushovers. After all, this is a side that caused a huge shock by reaching the semi-finals in 2017 in what was their first ever appearance at a major tournament.

Manuela Zinsberger is an excellent goalkeeper, Bayern midfielder Sarah Zadrazil is a star for club and country, and Hoffenheim striker Nicole Billa scored 12 goals in 21 Bundesliga games last season. Yes, Austria are underdogs, but they've dealt with that tag in style before.

England to make the perfect start

As obdurate as Austria can be, I suspect in-form England will find a way to break them down in the end, and a sell-out crowd at Old Trafford will give Wiegman's side a huge boost. With a tricky game coming up against Norway later in the group stage, England know they can ill afford to slip up here.

The question is how we find an attractive price, with England 1/6 to win the match. What we can do is use the Bet Builder to back England to win and England to manager over 7.5 Corners at 2.486/4. When the sides met back in November, the Lionesses racked up 12 corners and with the potential of Hemp down the left and possibly the electrifying Chloe Kelly on the right, England should have plenty of the ball in wide areas, and can build pressure from there.

Outstanding Hemp knows this is her stage

Manchester City winger Lauren Hemp comes into this tournament as a player on the crest of a wave. The 21-year-old produced 10 goals and six assists in 22 WSL matches last season, and scored a virtuoso goal in the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea. If you look at Hemp's underlying numbers, you see that her goals and assists are no fluke. When it comes to Expected Goals, Expected Assists, Shot Creating Actions and Progressive Carries, she is in the top echelon in English club football. In layman's terms, Hemp scores goals, makes them for others, runs at defenders, and is always trying to make things happen.

I believe that although Austria will make life awkward for England, Hemp will help the hosts make a breakthrough. You can back her to score or assist at 1.51/2 on the Sportsbook, back her simply to score at 2.47/5 or, to solely register an assist at 4.03/1. Given the form she is in and the fact there is a superb goal-poacher in the box in England's record scorer Ellen White, her price for an assist seems very big to me.

Billa to make an early mark?

England are under huge pressure going into this tournament opener, and in recent games against Belgium and Switzerland, it wasn't really until the second half that they were able to establish dominance. If Austria are to pose an early threat on the counter, it's worth considering backing Nicole Billa to have a first-half shot at 2.111/10 on the Sportsbook. It doesn't even have to hit the target for your bet to land, and this is a player who has scored six goals across her last six internationals.

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