The 13th Women’s European Championships kick off this week and the Scandinavian nations look well placed to dominate what should be an exciting tournament.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that the betting for the Women’s Euros 2022 has six teams closely-ranked at the top of the market. Spain are the tournament favorites at +375, with tournament hosts England not far behind. Then there is a cluster of teams who appear to be closely matched: France, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, all priced at between +600 and +750.
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Women’s Euro 2022 Background
This year’s tournament is the 13th edition of this quadrennial event, though only the second since the competition was expanded to 16 teams and is the second to be hosted in England.
The Netherlands are the reigning champions after they beat Denmark 4-2 on home soil in the 2017 tournament, which was also the first time in which they’d reached the final. Eight-time winners Germany have by far the best record in the competition, while two-time winners Norway have appeared in six finals and fellow Scandanavian nation Sweden were the inaugural winners of the Women’s Euros in 1984.
The sixteen-team format is based around four groups of four teams, with the winners and runners-up progressing to the knockout stages, with the final to be staged at Wembley Stadium on July 31. The Russian invasion of Ukraine means that the Russian team will not be taking part, and their place has gone to Portugal, though neither nation are considered serious challengers for the trophy.
Can the Hosts win Euro 2022?
Four different teams have won this competition, but despite appearing in two finals, England has yet to lift the trophy. Home advantage will count for something. Four of the previous twelve editions were won by the host nation and if you rule out years where nations shared hosting duties and those tournaments hosted by minor nations, that record is four from eight.
Under coach Sarina Weigman, the England team has been restructured and is more dangerous than ever going forwards and have an impressive depth to the attacking department, including center-forward Ellen White and rising star Lauren Hemp. They’ve also reached the semi-final stage of three of their last four major tournaments, so they’ve been knocking on the door.
So, can the hosts win? It would not be a huge surprise, but that home support can also be a source of pressure, particularly in the latter stages. In any case, there isn’t much value in the home team at the moment and there are better wagers to be found elsewhere.
Women’s Euro 2022 Favorites
So what about the other favorites for the Women’s Euros? Germany, France, Spain and the holders the Netherlands are all once again high in the betting markets, but there are doubts about all of them.
Spain are top of the betting at the moment, but that position is largely down to the efforts of the reigning European champions Barcelona. The Spanish national team, on the other hand, has been less effective and under Jorge Vida, have yet to win a knockout game in tournament football.
As for Germany, once the dominant force in European women’s football, they still have no shortage of talent, but their inconsistency is a problem, while the apparent disharmony in the French squad makes them a risky wagering proposition, despite the talented players in their squad.
Of the main contenders, that leaves just the Netherlands and Sweden. The reigning champions are still in transition under coach Marc Parsons, and it is fair to say that their performances so far have been unimpressive, but in Vivianne Miedema, they have one of the greats of the modern game, who can win games on her own. It could also be worth taking a chance on Sweden. They have been improving steadily in recent tournaments and have a well-balanced and consistent starting eleven.
Underdog Contenders for Women’s Euro 2022
With doubts about some of the teams at the top of the betting market, it is worth looking at some of the underdog contenders at bigger prices.
Denmark reached the final in 2017 and since then their squad has been boosted by a host of new players, while Pernille Harder remains one of the best performers in international football. Unfortunately, they have been drawn along with Spain and Germany in Group B, which makes them far from certainties to reach the knock-out stages.
A better bet therefore could be Norway. The two-time winners and six-time finalists have been drawn with England, Austria and Wales, and should have no trouble getting through to the last eight, while the attacking duo of Caroline Graham Hansen and all-time Champions League top goalscorer Ada Hederberg will ensure that they have the potential to trouble any opponent.