The three battles that stand between England and the semi-finals

An all Manchester duel on England’s left-hand side, Lucy Bronze up against a new Barcelona team-mate while Georgia Stanway will be tasked with breaking up play… the three battles that stand between England and Spain and the semi-finals

  • Lionesses’ quarter-final with Spain is likely to be decided by key battles
  • The midfield will be an area that both sides will look to dominate early on
  • Lauren Hemp will face up against Ona Batlle in a Manchester reunion out wide
  • While Lucy Bronze and Mariona Caldentey will do battle on Spain’s left side
  • It will be the job of Georgia Stanway to keep Aitana Bonmati quiet in midfield

The Lionesses face up against Spain on Wednesday evening in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash between two of Europe’s heavyweights. 

Lauren Hemp vs. Ona Batlle, Lucy Bronze vs. Mariona Caldentey, but to name a few. There are going to be a number of key battles that should England wish to progress, they will have to come out on top in.

Sportsmail, here, runs you through all of the key individual clashes that will likely decide the game in Brighton on Wednesday evening.  

England right-back Lucy Bronze has had to do little defending so far this tournament

Lauren Hemp vs. Ona Batlle

It’s a Manchester duel with City winger Hemp going up against United right back Batlle. Hemp gave Batlle a torrid time in the Women’s Super League last season and will be looking to do the same again tonight. 

Batlle is a good reader of the game and is a threat going forward. 

But she has struggled to deal with Hemp’s pace in the past and could get caught out if Spain continue to play their high line. 

The England winger has just one goal in three games and we’re yet to see the best of her in this tournament, but Wednesday is the perfect game for her to shine. 

Lauren Hemp’s presence on the the left hand side could cause Spain trouble throughout

Ona Batlle was given a torrid time by Lauren Hemp last season and could be vulnerable again

Lucy Bronze vs. Mariona Caldentey

England’s right back has not had to do too much defending in this tournament so far but she will need to be aware of her new Barcelona team-mate drifting into the wide left area. 

Caldentey may start more centrally but she likes to pick up free spaces and could target Lucy Bronze’s side if the defender ventures into attacking areas. 

The Spaniard is arguably her side’s biggest threat going forward and Bronze will have to be at her best to ensure she is not allowed time and space to cause problems.  

Bronze and Mariona Caldentey will be team-mates at Spanish side Barcelona next season

Georgia Stanway vs. Aitana Bonmati

The midfield contest will be key in Wednesday evening’s game and it will be Georgia Stanway who will be tasked with stopping Barcelona’s playmaker from dominating. 

Stanway, England’s box-to-box midfielder, will need to try to break up play as well as get forward to help support the attack. 

Keira Walsh will also be key in the centre of the pitch but England will want her on the ball instead of Aitana Bonmati, so it is up to Stanway to try to keep the Spaniard quiet.

Georgia Stanway has the difficult job of ensuring Spain’s midfielders do not dominate the ball

England will be looking to prevent Aitana Bonmati from getting on the ball on the night

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