OPINION - Talking Point: Is it coming home?

England celebrate the semi-final win against Sweden at Bramall Lane  (AP)
England celebrate the semi-final win against Sweden at Bramall Lane (AP)

From the moment Ella Toone scored her late equaliser against Spain in the quarter-finals, it’s felt like England have been on an unstoppable march to the final. After Tuesday’s 4-0 win against Sweden, the Lionesses have now treated home crowds with 20 goals to cheer. One last big test remains.

Milton Keynes sets the stage to determine England’s opponents as Germany and France face off in the other semi-final this evening.

Similarly to England, Germany have won all of their Euro 2022 matches thus far, also conceding just once. This is all nothing new to German sides over the years, having won two World Cups and eight European Championships in their history. That includes the 6-2 victory in England’s only prior final appearance, in 2009.

Conversely, France have already surpassed their best result in either international tournament by reaching this year’s semi-finals. Their performance has been less emphatic, winning just one of their matches by more than a single goal and drawing their final group game. They’ve only kept one clean sheet – although that did come in the quarter-final win against the reigning champions the Netherlands, so they are certainly here on merit.

It seems a long time since England’s men came a penalty shoot-out away from winning the Euros at Wembley – yes, it really was only a year ago – in the best tournament performance most fans will have experienced. It’s much longer still since an England team went all the way to lifting a trophy: 56 years ago, to be precise. ‘I know that was then, but it could be again…’

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