Women's Euro 2022 predictions: Swedes and Dutch have something to prove

Chris Rivers
Spotlight
The Netherlands are sweating over the fitness of Vivianne Miedema as they face a tricky test against Switzerland
The Netherlands are sweating over the fitness of Vivianne Miedema as they face a tricky test against Switzerland

Group C has gone down to the wire with all four teams still in with a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals. 

Sweden and the Netherlands were expected to emerge from this section and they are in the driving seat heading into the final round of games, with both sitting on four points from two matches. 

However, Portugal and Switzerland have performed above expectations thus far, giving themselves a chance at sneaking into the last eight if they can beat two of the title contenders at Euro 2022. 

Switzerland vs Netherlands (Sunday, 5pm BST)

Defending champions the Netherlands start the final round of matches in Group C top of the standings on goals scored after a thrilling 3-2 victory over Portugal last time out. 

While they got the all-important three points, leaving them needing only a draw to advance, it was an unconvincing performance from the Dutch and they will be eager to move on to the next round on the back of a positive showing. 

That might be easier said than done, though, with Switzerland having pushed Sweden hard despite a stomach bug in the camp as Hanna Bennison's winner 11 minutes from time eventually ending Swiss resistance. 

Team news

The Netherlands' job of qualifying is not made any easier by injuries and illness, with top scorer Vivianne Miedema a doubt for the game after testing positive for coronavirus earlier in the week. 

The Arsenal striker may well join first-choice goalkeeper Sari Van Veenendaal (shoulder) on the sidelines, but there is better news on midfielder Jackie Groenen (coronavirus) and defender Aniek Nouwen (ankle), with both expected to play after missing the Portugal game. 

Switzerland are expected to have close to a fully-fit squad to choose from after a virus swept through their camp, with defender Rahel Kiwic amongst those pushing for a recall. 

Stats

The Netherlands are bidding to extend their 18-game unbeaten run in European Championship qualifiers and finals matches, with 17 of those outings resulting in a win for the Dutch. 

They have provided plenty of entertainment to go along with those wins during that unbeaten run too, averaging over 3.5 goals per match. 

Goals should be expected again with Switzerland finding the net in 21 of their last 23 Euros qualifiers and finals contests, including in both in thsi tournament.

The problem for the Swiss has been keeping out the opposition — registering just one clean sheet in their last 10 games — a run which includes conceding seven to Germany and four against England. 

Prediction

Switzerland may lack the quality to beat the Netherlands outright, but they can certainly give them a scare by finding the back of the net at Bramall Lane. 

All is not well within the Dutch camp, according to reports, and they have looked decidedly shaky at the back without their skipper Veenendaal between the sticks. 

While the Netherlands should get the result they need, look for the Swiss to at least grab a consolation. 

Sweden vs Portugal (Sunday, 5pm BST)

Sweden will have one eye on the Netherlands' game knowing they need to better their result to have a chance of snatching top spot in the group. 

The Swedes were not pleased with their performance in the 2-1 win over Switzerland last time out and the Olympic silver medallists are certainly capable of better. 

Portugal, a late replacement for Russia in the tournament, can take plenty of pride in their performances so far, coming from behind to draw with the Swiss before giving the Netherlands a true examination. 

They could sneak into the quarter-finals with a win if the Dutch avoid defeat in the other Group C game. 

Team news

Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson has no fresh injury concerns and looks likely to give the majority of those players who underperformed against the Swiss a chance to redeem themselves. 

One change that has been mooted is bringing Rytting Kaneryd into the attack, although the Goteborg forward’s record suggests she may not be the answer to their goalscoring problems. 

Portugal are also unlikely to make too many changes, with head coach Francisco Neto believing his team are "only getting stronger" with each game they play.

Stats

Despite not matching their usual standards, Sweden’s victory over Switzerland made it 12 wins from their last 14 matches. 

However, their tag as the most organised team at Euro 2022 looks a little dubious now having conceded in both games so far, while they have only kept one clean sheet in their last six matches. 

Fridolina Rolfo scored the opener against Switzerland
Fridolina Rolfo scored the opener against Switzerland

Sweden’s recent defensive issues will give Portugal striker Fridolina Rolfo added confidence as she bids to add to her recent run of five goals in her last nine internationals. 

Neto’s side will likely need Rolfo to fire as Portugal seek to end a three-year winless run against top-10 ranked opponents. 

Prediction

Although the stats point toward Portugal causing Sweden a few issues, there seems a strong desire within the Swedes' camp to deliver a reminder of their title credentials. 

The world’s No2-ranked side ran out 4-0 winners when these sides met last year in the Algarve Cup and Sweden should get plenty of opportunities to address their shooting issues against a chaotic Portuguese defence. 

Portugal have conceded at least twice in both of their matches at the Euros so far and Sweden could win with something to spare if allowed to settle into their rhythm.

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