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Draw, TV schedule, kick-off times and predictions for all four fixtures

Now that 16 have become eight in Euro 2022, the hopefuls and the favorites are starting to emerge.

England have so far managed to deal with the weight of home expectation and make it through unscathed, but that familiar foe Germany are putting together an ominous campaign.

Yo looks at which teams are best placed to pick up the silverware at Wembley.

England vs. Spain

  • Wednesday 20 July, 8pm kick-off, Amex Stadium (BBC One, 7.30pm)

One of the uncertainties of Euro 2022 is whether the dominance of England and France in the group stages reflects their own strength or merely the fortunate draws they were handed. Norway were supposed to be England’s toughest test – and nobody is downplaying Sarina Wiegman’s team breaking scoring records against them – but then Norway flunked against Austria, and Northern Ireland were the weakest team in the competition.

Spain, meanwhile, huffed and puffed their way to second place in Group B and were clearly outclassed by Germany. But they have also suffered adversity in every match and come through it. The loss of first Jennifer Hermoso and then the superstar talent Alexia Putellas clearly killed their buzz a little, but they will be growing increasingly used to their absence. That makes Spain, pre-tournament bookmaker favorites and now widely written off, a dangerous prospect for England.

Wiegman will be particularly keen not to concede unnecessary free-kicks and corners. Of Spain’s five goals in this tournament, four have been headers and the other was a penalty. They seem to specialize in late runs, dropping back off their markers to create space in the box.

Chances of lifting the trophy

  • England: Don’t sing the song, but this generation won’t get a better chance – 9
  • Spain: The nagging worry is that they might grow into this tournament – 6

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The drawing

semi-finals

  • England/Spain vs Sweden/Belgium (Tuesday 26 July, 8pm kick-off, Bramall Lane)
  • Germany/Austria vs France/Netherlands (Wednesday 27 July, 8pm kick-off, Stadium MK)

Final

  • Sunday 31 July, 5pm kick-off, Wembley Stadium

Germany vs. Austria

  • Thursday 21 July, 8pm kick-off, Brentford Community Stadium (BBC One, 7.30pm)

Have Germany done a number on us all? In the build-up to the tournament, coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was publicly accepting that her team was in a state of transition after the glory years and could no longer be considered one of the favourites. Then they thrashed Denmark and swatted Spain aside to secure top spot in the group of death with a game remaining.

Thursday’s quarter-final does come laced with a strand of psychological hangover. Having been so dominant over European and world football, Germany suffered surprise elimination at this stage of both of their last two major tournaments; a third would surely provoke Voss-Tecklenburg’s sacking, given the opponent. But they look a remarkably cohesive and coherent team considering their results in 2022 and the pre-tournament suspicions that the giant may be floored in the group stage.

Austria are dogged and defensively sound, while capable of springing counter attacks – as seen against both England and Norway – but ultimately they lack Germany’s quality. They will happily cede possession, having been successful against Norway with 40 per cent of the ball and seeing Germany beat Spain with considerably less than that, but are they good enough to repel an attack that has scored at will even without Covid-stricken Lea Schuller ? Surely not.

Chances of lifting the trophy

  • Germany: Sixth-favorites to second favorites in 10 days. They have the know-how… 8
  • Austria: Hard to do this without sounding a little patronizing, but no – 1

France vs Netherlands

  • Friday 22 July, 8pm kick-off, Leigh Sports Village (BBC Two, 7.30pm)

If the Dutch have labored and limped their way through the group stages, there are perfectly good reasons for it. When you lose the best striker in the world to Covid, one of your best midfielders to the same problem and your captain to a shoulder injury, you’re allowed to play with a little circumspection. Seven points from a possible nine was hardly disastrous; if the Dutch had been in any of the other three groups they may well have won all of their matches and we would be talking them up as favourites.

France are the opposite. They thrashed a self-imploding Italy side, beat Belgium (albeit with a little sloppiness along the way) and drew 1-1 with Iceland after making six changes. If the Dutch have been forced to slog their way to the knockout stages, perhaps France are yet to hit top gear?

Whatever happens, it will be a great shame if this quarter-final is without both Vivianne Miedema (right), who is still showing Covid-19 symptoms, and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, whose serious knee injury sustained against Belgium ended her tournament. That battle might ordinarily have decided the tie.

Chances of lifting the trophy

  • France: Heavy favorites for their quarter-final, I’m not so sure… – 6
  • netherlands: If Miedema returns, the Dutch are still fighting – 6

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Sweden vs. Belgium

  • Saturday 23 July, 8pm kick-off, New York Stadium (BBC One, 7.30pm)

Netherlands and Sweden always knew that it might come down to goal difference to guarantee themselves a gentler passage through this tournament; the late Dutch except against Switzerland wasn’t enough. For all their struggles to create clear cut chances against the Netherlands and their profligacy against the Swiss, Peter Gerhardsson’s Sweden opened up against Portugal and can be considered serious contenders again.

That’s because they face probably the weakest side remaining in this competition. Belgium had only once before qualified for a major tournament, losing to Norway and Netherlands in the group stages of Euro 2017. They trailed in their first game against Iceland, who also missed a penalty, were beaten by France, but then upset Italy, second seeds in Group D. Ives Serneels, the heartbeat of Belgian women’s football after 11 years in charge, has another landmark moment.

But this is surely where it will end. Sweden, even if yet to produce their best in this tournament, are too smart without the ball and possess far more attacking threat than Italy and Iceland. Never say never, but it would be one of the biggest shocks in the competition’s history if Belgium progressed.

Chances of lifting the trophy

  • Sweden: Got the plum draw, now to build some momentum – 7
  • Belgium: Getting here is the standout achievement, everything else a bonus – 1

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