With no major international tournaments in men’s football this summer, the superstars of the women’s game will be given a chance to shine at the Euro 2017 competition. To be hosted in the Netherlands, 12 teams will fight it out for glory in a three-week extravaganza across seven host cities.
The women’s game continues to grow in popularity and the standard improves as new young female players come through academies and into the senior sport. However, the mass appeal of men’s competitions such as the Champions League and Premier League clearly detract attention from the women’s game – which is loaded with skill, excitement and ability.
This summer is an ideal opportunity for the female superstars of the sport to act as role models and attract a whole new audience – plenty of punters will be heading to the Bet365 2017 information page to back the team they think will be victorious.
Germany go into the competition as favorites and will be defending the title that they won in Sweden back in 2013, where they beat Norway in the final. Steffi Jones’ side have recently overtaken world champions United States in the FIFA rankings and as such will be the team to beat in the tournament. However, Germany will have some excellent opponents to overcome if they are to retain their trophy.
England will be one of their main challengers, with Mark Sampson’s side beating the Germans in the third place match at the World Cup two years ago. The Three Lionesses have plenty of experience in their squad ahead of the competition, while in Manchester City striker Toni Duggan they possess a player capable of leading the team towards glory.
France will also be a major threat, with Les Bleues ranked third in the world and able to go toe-to-toe with anyone on their day. Olivier Echouafni’s side are set to host the World Cup in 2019 and as such a strong showing here would set a real benchmark for future progress.
With a host of stars from the Olympique Lyonnais club in the international squad, France will hope to forge a strong team ethos going into the competition to match their considerable skill levels.
The Scandinavian countries are always competitive in the women’s game, with Sweden the most-menacing and Norway capable of an upset.
The hosts Netherlands will expect to get through Group A, with rising star Vivianne Miedema, who plays for Bayern Munich, netting an impressive 35 goals in her international career so far – despite only being 20 years old.
England have been partnered with age-old rivals Scotland in Group D, while Germany’s game with Sweden in Group B should decide that pool’s winner.
Excitement and anticipation should start to build in the lead-up to the tournament, with the fans sure to be treated to a summer festival of football in the Netherlands.
Article by Gareth McKnight, a prolific sports news writer from Sportslens.com