Euro 2025 qualifiers: 3 main takeaways from first round of results

Jennifer Falk saves a shot from Lauren Hemp during the Women's Euro 2025 qualifying football match between England and Sweden, at Wembley stadium in London, on April 5, 2024. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

As the qualifiers for Euro 2025 got underway, a total of 50 teams faced each other in the new format of the qualifying tournament. The finals will be held in Switzerland next summer, with 16 teams playing at venues across the country.

It was a nervy start for champions England, who were held to a 1-1 draw in their first qualifying encounter. France’s narrow 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland sees them take the top spot in Group A3.

World Cup winners Spain also topped their respective table so far after a dominant 7-0 win over Belgium in Group A2. The likes of Germany, Norway, Iceland, Portugal and Wales also banked wins in their opening meetings.

With the action now officially underway, we’ve put together three key takeaways from the first lot of fixtures.

This could be the year of the underdogs

With several of the big names in European football featuring at this summer’s Olympic games, the hectic international schedule could favour the smaller footballing nations. Back-to-back international tournaments undoubtedly contribute to fatigue within squads with multiple domestic campaigns being played with relatively short breaks in between.

Strong performances from Wales, Switzerland and Italy, alongside an impressive showing from Austria, demonstrated the ever-increasing levels of European women’s football.

England are yet to reach their peak

Since their World Cup final defeat, Sarina Wiegman’s side have frequently struggled to find form. The meeting against Sweden once again showcased a lack of clinical edge, combined with a predictable style of play. The Swedes’ ability to dominate the midfield left England struggling to link up their attacking play, despite boasting an experienced lineup.

With plenty of games still to play, the Lionesses will hope to find the edge needed to retain their title.

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Spain are serious contenders

The current world champions dealt a crushing blow to Belgium in a resounding seven-goal victory. Spain have suffered just a single defeat since their World Cup victory, beating Sweden, the Netherlands and France convincingly. Their win over Belgium catapulted them to the top of Group A2, with a comfortable goal difference advantage over Denmark.

Under the guidance of Montse Tome, Spain will be hoping to lift the European title next summer in Switzerland.

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