Not the quarter final match which was supposed to have happened. Not by any stretch of the imagination. England and France were expected to win their respective groups in the first stage of the tournament pretty comfortably, but it didn’t happen. England fulfilled their favourites by sweeping to three wins from three to top Group D, however, it was Austria who came out and tore up the script by beating France to the top spot in Group C. So instead of going their separate ways in the opposite halves of the draw, England and France have a massive showdown in the quarter finals.
The Lionesses tore through the group stage. They trounced Scotland 6-0 in their opener and then showed a different side of themselves, one that can sit in and defend and play on the counter, as they beat the technically gifted Spain 2-0. With England using their squad and changing ten of their eleven starting line-up for their final group stage match against Portugal, the Lionesses just went and won that too. So they are bang in form and under boss Mark Sampson, they have played 10 games in major tournaments, winning eight of them. Impressive stuff and with ten goals in three group stage games, England have the firepower and defensive grit to trouble anyone. England have been to the semi finals of the Euro’s just one before, back in 2009.
The French, who came into the tournament with one of the best defences on paper, just haven’t hit their stride. They were drawn in such an easy group that they were expected to win it at a canter. But with only a W1 D2 record on the board, things haven’t gone their way. They needed a penalty four minutes from time to land a win over Iceland, then had to fight back from a goal down against both Austria and Switzerland to earn 1-1 draws in those games. They were heading home at 1-0 down against the Swiss in their final group stage game, but playing with ten women, they managed an equaliser fifteen minutes from time to just hang on and qualify on goal difference. The French have never been to the semi finals of the Euros.
So to that head to head which is heavily in favour of the French. 21 times England and France have met and the French hold a W9 D8 L2 record against the English. They have only met once before in the Euros which came in the 2013 edition, France winning 3-0 in the final round of group stage matches. France have beaten England in the last three major international tournaments. The French took a 2-1 win over England in March at the SheBelieves Cup in the USA too. Importantly, with England running with a fully fit squad, having had the luxury of resting players for their final group stage match, France have defenders Eve Perisset and Wendie Renard suspended.
Top Betting Tips
This has to be England’s chance of finally breaking their long winless run against France. France are missing Renard at the back at that is huge, and England will be fresher because of all the changes they made for their final group stage match. This is likely to go under 2.5 goals which is 1/2 at bet365, but there is some great appeal on an England 1-0 correct score at 7/1 with William Hill.