Ex-Lionessess star on ‘nervy’ England vs Sweden clash

England and Sweden will meet in the semi-finals tonight as the former player prepares the fans for a spectacular encounter.

Carney delved into the performances of Peter Gerhardsson’s Sweden team during the tournament and stressed that the best was yet to come.

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Sweden experienced a similar quarter-final trip to Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Linda Sembrant clinched victory with an injury-time goal against Belgium.

And Carney believes Sweden will offer the Lionesses another mighty test and insists fans should buckle up for an exhilarating ride.

She said: “To be honest I didn’t expect Sweden to blitz people out of the park, it’s not her style. I actually advised them to win the tournament if it wasn’t England.

“They didn’t blow my mind with their performances, but what made them so strong is their defensive organisation.

Karen Carney of England in 2019 at the FIFA World Cup

“I think the teams they played against didn’t suit their style and unfortunately playing England might suit better.

“Sweden is better when they have spaces they can walk into, when they have transition spaces. England will dominate the ball, so those spaces will open up. We are an expansive team. We like to play with maximum width.

“But even if there will be chances for Sweden, I still have faith that our team will defend properly when those chances arise.

“Millie Bright was a revelation and Leah Williamson hasn’t really been tested yet – touch wood. It will be difficult to break them down, but I think we have enough quality to get the desired result.

“I think we’re getting very nervous again, even more so than against Spain!”

Sarina Wiegman has yet to change her starting XI for each of the Lionesses’ victories in this tournament, instead relying on the bench to use energy in the closing stages.

In the quarter-finals, Ella Toone came on for Fran Kirby in the second half and proved a crucial player in the 84th minute with the equalizer that kept England in contention.

Performances like Toones have put increasing pressure on whether Wiegman should make those initial changes, but Carney believes in the process and believes this hiatus will be no different.

She said: “I think [Wiegman] gonna keep it the same I would flip it by asking “Would the starters have the same effect as the subs?”

“So if Ellen and Fran came, would they have the same effect? I do not know.

“What people seem to forget is the work Ellen and Fran are doing to tire out the opposition. Games only open from 60 minutes plus at the highest level.

“So is there any reason to change what has worked for England? The younger players probably want to start, but this opponent is very different and physical and we have to be aware of that.

“This team is breaking records and looking good. I think you look forward, take every moment as it comes, stay process oriented and they have every chance to get there.”

Fans can now buy tickets to experience a history-making tournament that aims to unite football and communities and amplify the growth of women’s football. www.uefa.com/womenseuro/ticketing