England are favourites for Euro 2022 under Wiegman, says Lionesses legend Smith

By Sports Desk July 05, 2022

England's Lionesses can roar to glory as Sarina Wiegman's host team get their Euro 2022 campaign under way this week, says former international star Sue Smith.

The tournament gets under way when England tackle Austria at Old Trafford in Group A on Wednesday, before they face further tests against Norway in Brighton and Northern Ireland in Southampton.

England are on a remarkable run of form under former Netherlands boss Wiegman, and despite a host of formidable rivals lying in wait, look to be one of the sides to beat this time around.

Smith, a member of the Lionesses squad that finished as runners-up to Germany at Euro 2009, believes the current team have the chance to go the distance, particularly on home soil.

"[I've] got to go with England [as favourites]," the former winger told Stats Perform. "The strength and depth they have, the competition for places, the brilliant manager they've got that has the know-how to take them far.

"Yes, there's going to be pressure and expectation on them, [but] I think the nation's also going to give them that boost if they need."

Dutchwoman Wiegman, who began work as Phil Neville's permanent successor last year following Hege Riise's interim period, has gone undefeated in her first 14 games in charge, with 12 wins and two draws.

Wiegman, who is looking to make it successive European crowns after guiding her home country to success at Euro 2017, has a cut-throat edge that can aid the Lionesses, says Smith.

"I think that's that's probably what England need," she said. "They need somebody that's full of strong opinions.

"She's an absolute perfectionist. You see England winning eight [or] nine-nil, and she comes off and says she's not really happy. That's what you want as a player.

"You want to know, She's a former teacher and knows how to communicate with the players individually, collectively, as a team. We've seen tactically, she can change things, and she'll change things quickly.

"The fact that she's gone and won it at home with the Netherlands; if you're a player, and you've got a manager coming:in with that sort of experience, you'd just be like, 'Tell me what I need to do to go and win a tournament'.

"They're certainly buying into everything that she's she's putting out there."


Sue Smith is working with VoucherCodes.co.uk to launch its Women’s EURO 2022 Spending Report.

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