Lauren Hemp v Kosovare Asllani – the stars who could decide England-Sweden Euro 2022 semi
England take on Sweden in a Euro 2022 semi-final featuring a wealth of attacking talent on both teams.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how rival wingers Lauren Hemp and Kosovare Asllani could help decide the first place in Sunday’s final.
Position: ForwardAge: 21Height: 5ft 4inCaps: 26Tournament goals: OneTournament attempts: 11Tournament assists: OneDebut: 2019Club: Manchester City
The Manchester City winger has been a key part of England’s success under Sarina Wiegman and has already contributed in this tournament with a goal and an assist in the 8-0 group-stage rout of Norway. Goals have occasionally been hard to come by but since finally breaking her international duck in style with four in November’s 20-0 win over Latvia, she has eight in her last 13 caps. She was below her best for much of the quarter-final against Spain but after surviving Wiegman’s wave of substitutions, she forced her way into the game and her decoy run opened the path for Georgia Stanway’s stunning winner. Her set-piece delivery could also have a part to play.
Position: ForwardAge: 32Height: 5ft 5inCaps: 165Tournament goals: OneTournament attempts: 13Tournament assists: OneDebut: 2008Club: AC Milan
The new AC Milan signing’s experience is in contrast to Hemp’s youth but their impact has been similar. Captain Asllani’s only goal of the tournament so far came via a penalty against Portugal but she had assists in all three group games to jointly lead the tournament standings in that category. She scored against England in the 2019 World Cup third-place play-off and her ability with the ball at her feet could create a selection headache for Wiegman given the way left-back Rachel Daly was tormented by Spain substitute Athenea Del Castillo in the quarter-final. Like Hemp, Asllani is also a key set-piece taker for a team who thrive on such situations.
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