England coach Mark Sampson in confident mood ahead of Euro 2017 semi-final

Bet365

England play for a place in the final of Women’s Euro 2017 on Thursday night with manager Mark Sampson convinced his players can deliver against the Netherlands.

The Lionesses will do battle against the tournament hosts in front of a partisan, sell-out crowd at the 30,000-capacity FC Twente Stadion in Enschede.

Confidence is soaring in the England camp after making impressive progress through the group stage and then seeing off highly-fancied France in last weekend’s quarter-finals.
Sampson said: “We know we have to produce a massive performance to get a result but I know the players have put the hard work in and done everything they possibly can to prepare for this game.

“It gives you a great sense of confidence to go on the field feeling you have prepared really well and are potentially ready for anything that is going to get thrown at you.”

England’s performances, which have seen them score 11 goals and concede just one en route to the last four, have marked them out as serious contenders for the title, particularly with Germany also eliminated.

Holland also boast a 100 per cent record in the competition but Sampson has been thorough in his preparations.

He said: “We’ll be looking to deal with every single Holland player and make sure we make every single Holland player deal with our threats going forward.

“Every one of our players is highly skilled in the position they play. It’s about making the right decisions on the field and finding solutions. The players are completely equipped to make those decisions and are excited to get on with it.”

England beat Holland in extra-time to reach the final of Euro 2009 but the strides made since Sampson took charge in 2013 have been marked.

They secured bronze in the World Cup two years ago, beating hosts Canada along the way, and then enjoyed a landmark win over world champions USA earlier this year.

Last Sunday’s victory was a first over France for England since 1974.

“I think all of them are world class,” Sampson said of his squad at his pre-match press conference. “The sky is the limit for this group.”
Siobhan Chamberlain is set to take over in goal for the injured Karen Bardsley but Sampson has given few clues as to who replaces suspended midfielder Jill Scott.

“Whoever steps into the job – whether it be a structure change or a personnel change – we feel confident in their ability to get the job done,” he said.

Midfielder Jordan Nobbs is also relishing the occasion.

The 24-year-old said: “To be a part of this squad when we are playing the home nation in front of 30,000 people – what a feeling. We are definitely looking forward to stepping on that pitch and putting on a great performance.”
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