Vivianne Miedema leads Dutch absentees while Sweden face Swiss test at Euro 2022

The Arsenal forward and all-time Dutch top goalscorer has tested positive for Covid-19.

By Press Association Published: 13 July 2022 - 3.30am

The Netherlands will look to take a step closer to the Euro 2022 quarter-finals when they face Portugal in their second Group C match – but must do without stars including striker Vivianne Miedema.

The Arsenal forward and all-time Dutch top goalscorer is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, so will not be available for Wednesday’s clash at Leigh Sports Village.

Elsewhere, Sweden face Switzerland at Bramall Lane out to shake up the table, which stands all square after two draws in the opening fixtures.

Here, the PA news agency looks ahead to Wednesday’s action after another big night at the finals on Tuesday when Germany coasted into the last eight.

Dutch courage needed after latest setback

After winning the tournament on home soil in 2017, the Netherlands defence of their title has not gone to plan so far.

Captain Sari van Veenendaal is out with a shoulder injury which the goalkeeper sustained in the first half against Sweden, while Manchester United midfielder Jackie Groenen is also isolating and defender Aniek Nouwen is expected to miss Tuesday’s game because of an ankle problem.

Coach Mark Parsons, though, has backed his players to pull through.

“When this group get hit by a blow, they have one reaction and that’s to dig deep and give everything,” he said at a press conference.

“(There is) no complacency – we have to be at our best at every moment.”

Swiss hoping for clean bill of health

Switzerland will feel they should have taken more from their opening game against Portugal after racing into a 2-0 lead inside the opening five minutes.

The 2-2 draw extended their winless run in 2022 to seven matches and the build-up to Tuesday’s match has not exactly been what the doctor ordered.

Some eight players and 11 staff members have been struck with gastrointestinal symptoms, but manager Nils Nielsen is determined to focus on the positives.

“We have to go all in and really try to see if we can surprise them somehow,” Nielsen said.

“Of course we have a chance, that chance is not so big, but as long as we do have a chance we’re going to chase it with everything we have.”

Germany show they mean business

The eight-time European champions have so far lived up to their billing in the quest for another title success.

It took Germany just three minutes to open the scoring at the Brentford Community Stadium on Tuesday night, as Klara Buhl capitalised on a blunder from Spain goalkeeper Sandra Panos.

Captain Alexandra Popp headed in a second before the break as Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side sent out a strong reply to England’s own impressive performance on Monday night.

Spain struggled without the influence of injured Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas to break down a stubborn German rearguard.

Coach Jorge Vilda will need to regroup his squad quickly for Saturday’s all-or-nothing showdown with Denmark, who beat Finland 1-0 with a goal from captain Pernille Harder to keep alive their own hopes of reaching the knockout stage.

Stat of the day

69
goals scored by Harder in 132 appearances for Denmark

Picture of the day

Alexandra Popp celebrates scoring for Germany
Alexandra Popp celebrated in style as Germany booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Spain (John Walton/PA)

Quote of the day

“We won't make the mistake of letting things slide. We would do well not to think about the quarter-finals just yet.”
- Germany head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg

Up next

July 13

Group C: Sweden v Switzerland (5pm, Bramall Lane)
Group C: Netherlands v Portugal (8pm, Leigh Sports Village)

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