After previewing Group A of this year’s European Championships, we turn our attention to the countries competing in Group B.
This guide features each country’s history, key players and a look at their opponents in the group stages.
Euro 2022 Group B: Germany
No team has had more success at the European Championships than Germany. They have won a total of eight titles, with six of them being consecutive wins from 1995 to 2013. This year, the success-spoiled team will want to reclaim the Euro title.
Based on their previous winning streak, it is no wonder that many fans view Germany as heavy favourites for this year’s tournament. However, in addition to great strengths and qualities in the squad, they also have some weaknesses.
Based not only on their European success, the expectations for Germany are high. The side knows how to win big tournaments, having two World Cup (2003 and 2007) titles to their name. Another glorious chapter in the team’s history is marked by the Golden medal, which Germany won at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
However, since these years of consecutive successes, the team has stayed far below their own ambitions. At the Euro 2017, Germany exited the tournament after a tough defeat against Denmark in the quarter-final. Another loss in the same stage, this time against Sweden, marked the end of their campaign at the 2019 World Cup.
Players to watch
The recent squad of Germany is a mix of experienced and younger players. For some of them, Euro 2022 will be the first big tournament they’ll take part in. However, with Dzsenifer Marozsan, a key player will miss out on it due to an ACL injury.
In the absence of Marozsan, attacking midfielder Svenja Huth proved her qualities as playmaker. She played a vital part in VfL Wolfsburg’s domestic double of the 2021/22 season. Huth is an explosive and dynamic player.
She has an eye for dangerous passes into the final third. Also, Huth makes the run into the box herself, over-running the opposite defenders with her pace. In addition, the midfielder has a great positioning play, which has often led to a goal for the national team.
If used in the right position and formational shape, Huth has the qualities to be one of Germany’s most dangerous players, not only in front of goal but on their general attacking play.
Germany have the quality, as well as the talent in their squad to win any tournament. However, the side is not well-rehearsed and only a few players are set as regular starters. In addition, frequent changes in tactics and formation cost the team much needed stability. With this in mind, they might have difficulties to progress further than the quarter finals at the Euros.
Euro 2022 Group B: Spain
Although Spain is one of the favourites this year, this is only their fourth appearance on the European stage. Previous appearances were back in 1997, 2013, and 2017.
It’s worth noting that Spain never really achieved much tournament success, only reaching the quarter-finals in both 2013 and 2017. Steadily improving since then, seeing this team’s performance will undoubtedly be interesting.Embed from Getty Images
Players to watch
The midfield is an integral part of the Spaniards’ playing style, thus, the midfielders are a single unit.
The attacking trio of Alexia Putellas, Aitana Bonmati, and Patri Guijarro is crucial. The combination play between these three players and their link-up is a cheat code. It has consistently provided outstanding results at the club level and is bound to give the same to the national team.
With the attacking power of the best player in the world, alongside Aitana Bonmati’s incredible vision and Patri Guijarro’s pivotal defense, it would be hard for teams to crack down the midfield.Embed from Getty Images
Another player, in particular, that would be the one to watch is Athenea del Castillo. The Real Madrid forward, who had not been called up for the Arnold Clark Cup, was brought in to replace Mariona Caldentey after the injury.
Athenea was named Player of the Tournament for her outstanding performance on the left-wing. She moves quickly and easily, allowing her to evade and trick the defenders.
Spain is in Group B, one of the more difficult groupings. To advance to the quarter-finals, the team must perform at their peak.
Spain will face Denmark, Finland, and Germany. Each of these three teams poses unique threats. While the team has recent playing experience against Germany from the Arnold Clark Cup in February, the German starters were not present due to Covid-19.
The Germans also have tournament experience as they were one of the most successful teams in the European Championship. The game against Denmark is critical.
Will Spain finally achieve tournament glory or crumble under the intense pressure and responsibility put on them? Spain starts their European adventure on July 8th against Finland at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes.
Euro 2022 Group B: Denmark
After missing out on the 2019 World Cup, the Danish women’s national team is finally back competing on the big stage. Throughout the last months, the squad has impressed with strong performances. Now, they aim to showcase these at Euro 2022.
Denmark surprised everyone at the Euro 2017, where they made it to final. Going into the tournament as underdogs then, they managed to knock out other top teams. Among those were heavy favourites Germany.
However, Denmark suffered a 2-4 defeat against the Netherlands in the final. Nevertheless, they made their travelling fans and those at home proud with the historic silver medal.
After Euro 2017, Lars Sondergaard took over as head coach of the Danish team. Since then, they have developed continuously, but suffered several defeats against higher ranked teams. Nevertheless, the national team has grown and reached new levels in their recent performances.
As a result, the Danish team consists of a mix of experienced players, as well as newcomers with a lot of game time from their domestic leagues. For the youngsters, such as Sofie Bredgaard and the Holmgaard twins, the Euros will be their tournament debut.
Players to watch
Denmark’s most famous and consistent player is certainly Pernille Harder. As playmaker and captain of the National team, she is their key player and continues to enthuse the viewers with her style of play and intelligence on the pitch. Harder is a constant threat in the final third, with an outstanding reading of not only the attacking play.
However, there are other players who will be crucial for Denmark’s campaign this summer too. One of the youngsters, who is now established on the left wing, is Sofie Svava. She is a dynamic player, who uses her speed to beat her opponent in 1v1 situations. Her crosses into the box are often converted into goals. Also, one of Svava’s strengths is the execution of set pieces.
In attack, Denmark can rely on the qualities of Stine Larsen. The forward is known for creating dangerous shots on goal and pushing the attack. Mostly playing in a central role, she makes the runs into the box and assists the striker(s) with passes and crosses. In addition, she often makes it to the scoresheet herself.Embed from Getty Images
The Danish national team will compete against Germany, Finland and Spain in Euro 2022 Group B. Each of them has the qualities to make it to the quarter-finals. If Denmark is effective in front of goal, convert as many chances as they get and stay solid at the back, they have a realistic chance to make it out of the Group of Death.
Denmark have grown as a team with a stand-out mentality. No one should underestimate them or view them as underdogs at the Euros.
Euro 2022 Group B: Finland
By Laura Bryan
After a nine-year hiatus, Finland will be looking to mark their return to the tournament with a strong performance against tough opponents in Group B.
Finland has qualified for three iterations of the UEFA Women’s Championship. The team’s best showing was in 2005 when they made the semi-finals. Their other results include a loss to England in the quarter-finals in 2009 and finishing last in their group in 2013.
As of the FIFA rankings released in March 2022, the Finland women’s football team is ranked 28th in the world. They are the only team in Group B ranked outside of the top 15, and are viewed as the underdogs of the group.
Players to watch
A mainstay on the Finnish national team since 2007, Linda Sällström is the team’s all-time leading goal scorer with 50 goals. She was also one of the top goal scorers throughout the qualifying campaign, scoring 10 goals in 8 matches for her country.
Sällström currently plays her club football for Vittsjö GIK in the Danallsvenskan. She has scored two goals for her club in 2022. While that may not seem like much, she recently spent three years with Paris F.C. and scored 18 goals throughout her time there.
The team will surely rely on her goal-scoring prowess as they look to strike against proven opposition during the group stage.Embed from Getty Images
A three-time winner of the Finland National Player of the Year award (2017, 2020, 2021) with over 60 caps for her country, Natalia Kuikka is one to watch for the Helmarit. Kuikka features regularly in the starting XI of her club team, the Portland Thorns in the NWSL, starting in six of seven regular-season matches thus far in 2022. In her two seasons with the Thorns, Kuikka has two assists.
A strong defender who is capable of moving the ball up the pitch, Finland will need Kuikka’s defensive abilities to help secure the backline and protect the goal against offensively-minded opponents.
On July 8th, Finland will open their tournament against Spain before playing 2017 tournament finalists Denmark. Then, the Boreal Owls will finish the group stage against Germany, currently ranked fourth in the world. It will be a tough group for Finland, but this is a team with something to prove.