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Pre-tournament favourites Spain have been drawn in a tricky-looking Group B alongside Denmark, Finland and Germany.
If both Spain and England win their groups they’ll avoid each other til the final, so here’s our footy trader Sam Kingston with all you need to know about the side the hosts could meet at Wembley for the showpiece…
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Spain are ranked seventh in the world, and fifth in Europe. We all know they are much better than that, though, with 17 wins in their last 20 games. They usually have eight Barcelona players in the starting 11, however, their best forward Jennifer Hermoso has picked up an injury, meaning Esther Gonzalez of Real Madrid is likely to start up front.
The Barcelona team that the majority of these players play for won every single game in their La Liga season. Yep, ALL OF THEM. They also reached the Champions League final, winning nine of their 10 games (only failing to beat Wolfsburg in the semi-final second-leg where they were 5-1 up), before surprisingly losing that final 3-1.
Manager – Jorge Vilda
Manager since 2015, Vilda won the Under-19’s Women’s Euros, along with getting Spain to the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time in 2019. He will be hoping this group of players can go all the way this year.
Captain – Irene Paredes
The 30-year-old centre-half has captained Spain since October 2021. She’s been missing with a thigh injury in recent months, and we may see Ivana Andres start in her place if those injuries are still affecting her come July. If so, Alexia Putellas will captain the side.
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Star Player – Alexia Putellas
A regular for Spain for 10 years and the reigning Ballon d’Or Féminin holder, the aforementioned Putellas had a brilliant season for Barcelona, scoring 27 goals in 33 games from central midfield. She is involved in a consistent midfield three for both Spain and Barcelona (sound familiar?) with Patricia Guijarro and Aitana Bonmati, so there should be great chemistry in the engine room for the tournament favourites.
Spain v Finland
Friday 8th July, 5pm (Stadium MK, Milton Keynes)
TV: BBC Two & BBC iPlayer
Germany v Spain
Tuesday 12th July, 8pm (Brentford Community Stadium, London)
TV: BBC Two & BBC iPlayer
Denmark v Spain
Saturday 16th July, 8pm (Brentford Community Stadium, London)
TV: BBC iPlayer
Goalkeepers: Sandra Panos (Barcelona), Lola Gallardo (Atletico Madrid), Misa Rodriguez (Real Madrid).
Defenders: Irene Paredes (Barcelona), Maria Leon (Barcelona), Leila Ouahabi (Barcelona), Andrea Pereira (Barcelona), Ivana Andres (Real Madrid), Ona Batlle (Manchester United), Laia Aleixandri (Atletico Madrid), Olga Carmona (Real Madrid), Sheila Garcia (Atletico Madrid), Ainhoa Vicente Moraza (Athletic Club).
Midfielders: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona), Mariona Caldentey (Barcelona), Patri Guijarro (Barcelona), Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona), Irene Guerrero (Levante), Nerea Eizagirre (Real Sociedad), Teresa Abelleira (Real Madrid), Claudia Zornoza (Real Madrid).
Forwards: Lucia Garcia (Athletic Club), Esther Gonzalez (Real Madrid), Marta Cardona (Real Madrid), Amaiur Sarriegi (Real Sociedad), Athenea del Castillo (Real Madrid), Claudia Pina (Barcelona), Salma Paralluelo (Villarreal).
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