Denmark or Spain: Which team would be a tougher test for England at Women’s Euro 2022?
We take a look at which potential quarter-final opponent will be a tougher test for England.
The Women’s Euros are in full swing with England winning their opening two Group A games against Austria and Norway.
Sarina Wiegman’s team beat Austria 1-0 in front of a record-breaking crowd at Old Trafford on July 6, before hammering Norway 8-0 at the AMEX Stadium on Monday.
Beth Mead has been the Lionesses standout performer at the competition, netting four goals in two games, and will be hoping to add to her tally when England face Northern Ireland in their final Group A game at St Mary’s on Friday.
The results mean England have reached the quarter-final of the competition and will now face either Spain or Denmark in the last-eight, but which of these two nations would be the tougher test?
We take a look at how both countries have performed at the Euros so far, which of their players are a threat and determine who would make the harder fixture.
Spain, who have reached the quarter-finals of the competition in their last two attempts, currently sit second in Group B after two games.
Jorge Vilda’s side beat Finland 4-1 in their opening match but fell to a 2-0 defeat to Germany in the following game.
They lost their star player Alexia Putellas to an anterior cruciate ligament injury before the Euros, with the 28-year-old now facing up to a year out after having knee surgery.
Despite the loss of the Ballon d’Or winner, they still have a strong squad that can trouble the Lionesses.
The full-back is the only member of Spain’s squad to not play in her homeland, instead donning the red of Manchester United in the Women’s Super League.
Batlle, who has 25 caps to her name, contributes to both defensive and offensive phases of play. Her movement can cause problems for the opposition backline, with the 23-year-old almost grabbing her first national goal against Finland after storming into the box.
The Barcelona midfielder scored Spain’s second goal of the competition with a fantastic header. She is a regular for her club and country and confident on the ball – something England will have to be wary of if the two countries face each other.
The centre-back is Spain’s captain and has 85 caps to her name, scoring 10 goals. She is a threat from set-pieces with the 31-year-old standing 5 foot 10 and a serial winner at club level, lifting three trophies with Barcelona last season.
Denmark will be looking to make it two wins as many games when they face Spain on Saturday, with the winner progressing to the last-eight of the Euros.
They were runner-up in the competition in 2017, losing 4-2 to the Netherlands, however, failed to make it out of the group stage the last time the Euros were held in England in 2005.
The Danes have a strong squad available ahead of their final Group B fixture against Spain, with top scorer Pernille Harder, who was substituted with a head injury against Finland, being cleared of concussion.
The Chelsea forward became the world’s most expensive women’s transfer of all time when she joined the Blues from Wolfsburg in 2020 for £250,000. Despite the label, Harder has been named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year twice.
Another Dane to play her club football in the WSL, Simone Boye is Denmark’s vice-captain and was part of a defence that conceded just one goal in their qualification for the competition.
The 30-year-old has netted five goals in 75 caps for her country and will be a tough opponent for Ellen White if the pair meet in the last-eight.
The forward is yet to open her account at the Euros but will be looking to do so against Spain on Saturday, but is prolific on her day.
England’s defence will have to watch out for the 24-year-old who scored 12 goals last year for her country.
Given the goal scoring ability of Spain’s squad and their impressive win over Finland earlier in the group, it’s hard to look past them qualifying on Saturday and then facing the Lionesses in the quarter-final.