Hemp confident ahead of Spain clash

England expected to fare strongly

England winger Lauren Hemp says her team are ready for the challenge of Spain (England 21/20, draw after 90 minutes 12/5, Spain 3/1) as the two pre-tournament favourites do battle at the Amex Stadium in Brighton.

So far, it has been pretty much plain-sailing for the Lionesses (11/4F to win outright) as they try and win their first-ever international tournament.

A narrow but ultimately comfortable 1-0 win against Austria on the opening day was followed up by a mesmeric 8-0 pummelling of Norway as England really laid down a marker.

The final group game brought the expected easy win against Northern Ireland, meaning England have scored 14 goals without reply from just three group games.

Spain will provide a different level of examination though, even if they are missing Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who injured her ACL on the eve of the tournament.

They won two of three group games but were beaten 2-0 by Germany – something England will look to take heart from.

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The Lionesses may still be missing boss Sarina Wiegman, who was forced to stay away from the Northern Ireland game after a positive Covid test.

Hemp is confident that England will have enough quality to dispatch Spain and carry on their run of unbeaten games in the Wiegman era, which currently stands at 17.

The Manchester City winger said: “It’s important we carry on this run. Everyone has taken so much confidence from the recent games so we need to take that into the quarter-finals.

“[Spain] will be fantastic. I’ve got a lot of respect for them, as do the rest of the team. They will have a lot of possession and we’re ready for that.

“We know they have a lot of threats but we also know there are a lot of opportunities to exploit them, so we’ll definitely try to do that.”

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Author: Lucas Carlson