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With the group stages of Euro 2022 over, England will be happy with their work in the first stage of the competition. Fans were optimistic as Sarina Wiegman led the team into their first major tournament under her management and, while success in the group stages is no guarantee of knock-out success, their early performances suggest they have a good platform to build on.

As the hosts, England were drawn into Group A, where they faced Austria, Norway, and Northern Ireland. While Northern Ireland were expected to be the group’s minnows, the group as a whole was expected to be a test of England’s credentials under Wiegman.

However, with the group stages over, England have three wins from three. 14 goals scored without reply is an impressible record. Only one other side, Germany, won all their group stage games without conceding, and they scored five fewer than England.

In contrast, England scored five and conceded one when they won all three group games at the 2019 World Cup. Their 2017 Euros campaign saw them win all three group games, with ten goals scored and one conceded, while the 2015 World Cup saw them finish on six points in a tricky group, having lost to France in the group, winning their remaining games 2-1.

Wiegman’s side were always tipped to do well in the women’s euros betting odds, and for good reason. The Dutch coach is very well regarded in the sport. She is best known for her success while at the helm of the Dutch national team. She won the Euros in 2017 before reaching the final of the World Cup two years later, losing 2-0 to Jill Ellis’ USA side.

It was always expected that England would be one of the favourites in the UEFA Women’s Championship tips, if Wiegman could effectively harness the side’s potential, and she’s managed to do exactly that.

The choice to appoint Leah Williamson as captain looks to have paid off, with a strong sense of squad unity coming from the England camp. Beyond that however, the decisions she has made have paid off. The decision to partner Keira Walsh and Georgia Stanway in midfield has left Fran Kirby with a lot of work to do ahead of the midfield two, and the responsibility has brought the best out of the Chelsea attacker.

On her day, Kirby is almost untouchable as a footballer. She plays with a map of the pitch in her head, and as a creative force there are few players who can rival her ability to influence a game in the final third. She grabbed the headlines in England’s 8-0 win over Norway, but beyond that performance Kirby has been the fulcrum of the side in attack.

Beth Mead has also been a difference maker for England, and over the last two years she has developed from a player who gets in to good positions, into a player who makes decisive contributions. With Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly both available on the other wing, Wiegman is balancing her wide options well.

The decision to drop Williamson deeper, benching Alex Greenwood to partner the skipper with Millie Bright, was always going to be controversial, but so far the decision has paid off and, with England yet to concede a goal, few can complain about Wiegman’s defensive setup. The Dutch coach has also used her substitutes well, with the likes of Ella Toone and Alessia Russo able to come off the bench and influence a game to good effect.

With Wiegman now in her post for almost a year, England are unbeaten, and are averaging five goals a game. While there are no guarantees in tournament football, it’s becoming more and more apparent that England are a side who can be confident in their ability to trouble the very best teams.

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