England boss Sarina Wiegman has played down her side’s role as leading contenders to win next month’s Women’s European Championship, insisting the race to lift the trophy will be wide open.
The Lionesses face the Netherlands in the second of three warm-up matches at Elland Road on Friday.
Wiegman knows what it takes to succeed at major tournaments after leading the Dutch to Euro glory in 2017.
She was also in charge of her homeland when they finished runners-up at the 2019 World Cup.
Despite a 12-match unbeaten run in charge of England’s women, Wiegman refused to accept her team would be expected to win the tournament.
“I consider them (England and the Netherlands) as two very good teams and of course we play a home tournament and the Netherlands have the trophy right now,” she said on Thursday.
“But I think the game has developed so much that many countries are favourites, I think it’s going to be a very strong Euros.
“We have Spain, we have France, we have Germany, Sweden are always up there, Norway have always been strong.
“It’s really exciting to see what’s going to happen. It’s not easy to say who’s going to come through because it’s very equal I think.”
It will be the first time Wiegman will face her own country as England boss.
“It’s a very special game, obviously because I’m from the Netherlands and I worked with that team for many years,” she said.
“Now I work for England, so it’s a very special game for me and it’s nice to see the (Netherlands) team again. At the end, it’s just a game, but a special game.”
England beat Belgium 3-0 last week and, after facing the Netherlands, complete their Euro preparations against Switzerland on June 30.
The hosts open the tournament against Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.
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