The Lionesses have been running riot at Euro 2022 and spirits are high heading into the final.
However, as most would expect, Sunday’s opponents – long-term football rivals Germany – are not to be underestimated.
The difference between Germany and England is that the Lionesses are yet to win this tournament, having made the final twice but failing at both attempts.
Meanwhile, the Germans have won the competition eight times, the most of any country.
The Lionesses have, of course, come a long way since 2009, when they lost 6-2 against Germany in the final of the Euros.
But the Germans still carry that organised yet killer style of play, as they showed in their 2-1 win against France on Wednesday night at Stadium MK.
England do have the huge advantage of playing on home soil and will be roared on by a sell-out crowd at Wembley Stadium.
But what separates the sides going into the clash, and what should fans know about Germany as England look to secure their first European Championship? Here’s all you need to know…
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It’s fair to say the Lionesses don’t have the prettiest of records against Germany.
Out of the 27 meetings between the sides in 38 years, England have lost 21 times – winning just twice and drawing the remaining four – this includes the Euro 2009 final defeat and the last minute 2-1 loss in a friendly in front of a Wembley crowd of 77,768 in 2019.
In fact, Germany have won three, drawn twice and lost just once in their last six meetings.
But under manager Sarina Wiegman, a new era has begun.
And the wheels are already in motion in England’s bid to undo their undesirable record against the Germans, with Wiegman’s side beating them 3-1 in the Arnold Clark Cup final in February.
England are yet to beat Germany in successive matches, though.
But what better way to sum up a new direction for England’s Women’s team than to get another one up on the Germans on Sunday?
England are currently top of the table when it comes to goals scored in the tournament having netted 20, compared to second-place Germany’s 13.
The Lionesses also sit higher than the Germans when it comes to possession, keeping the ball for 58.4 per cent of the time on average compared to their opponents 53 per cent.
This trend continues with total attempts, with England on 95 and Germany just shy of their total on 93.
Meanwhile, the Germans trump England on tackles (68 compared to 60) and balls recovered (223 to 219).
Most interestingly, the teams are tied when it comes to clean sheets, both keeping four each.
And former England star Fara Williams says what the Lionesses will have to prepare for the most is how solid the Germans are at the back.
As England’s most-capped player, Williams played Germany a number of times throughout her international career – and even scored the penalty that sent Germany home in the 2015 World Cup.
When speaking to talkSPORT’s White and Jordan show on Friday, the ex-pro warned: “It’s going to be difficult. The Germans are very good and drilled and disciplined team, they just have a know-how.
“They’re eight time European champions and you don’t do that without being good and having good structure and the foundations that have been built in the German national team for many years.
“They’re definitely going to be difficult to beat. They’ve only conceded one goal in the tournament, likewise so have we.”
Ones to watch
It’s fitting that the tournament’s top scorers meet in the final for a showdown, with England’s Beth Mead and Germany’s Alexandra Popp both on six goals each so far.
Mead opened the scoring in the semi-final against Sweden earlier this week, and has been key to Wiegman’s side’s success.
Popp, on the other hand, epitomises Germany’s spearhead style of play, scoring both goals to secure her country’s place at the final on Wednesday.
The battle for the tournament’s Golden Boot will be an interesting contest in its own right on Sunday.
Elsewhere, super sub Alessia Russo will likely be at her best following her outrageous back-heeled effort on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Germany’s defensive midfielder Lena Oberdorf will be one to watch as she tries to tame the Lionesses’ attacks as she has done against all other opponents her country has faced.
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