Euro 2022: England will benefit from huge home crowds which rivals won’t have experienced, says former No.1

The Lionesses go in search of glory on home soil as the tournament starts on Wednesday at Old Trafford

England kick off their Women’s European Championship adventure in Manchester against Austria this evening, with former international goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis believing home advantage could play a crucial role.

Sarina Wiegman’s team will be hoping to go the distance and earn Wembley glory over the coming weeks.

And with over half a million tickets already sold for the tournament, they are set to play in packed stadiums the length of the country, which Brown-Finnis believes will be a new challenge for some players at Euro 2022.

England’s players, though, should revel in the support and harness the excitement it generates.

“The fact it’s on home turf, not only will it suit them, it will have an advantage because it will give them a little bit of extra motivation, a little bit of extra buzz about seeing 75,000 kids with their faces painted and [fans] wearing their shirts,” Brown-Finnis, who won 82 caps, told BoyleSports Euro 2022.

“But also, having been talking about dealing with huge crowds. I’m not sure if every other team will have played in front of a stadium with 75,000 fans in it. There will certainly be individual players who would have never been in a situation like that.

“Not only will it spur them on, it might have a negative effect on other teams which will work in England’s advantage.”

Brown-Finnis also backed boss Sarina Wiegman to “take England to the final” as she did with Netherlands at the World Cup in 2019, while highlighting Lauren Hemp as a stand-out candidate to guide the Lionesses to victory.

“She’s just one of the world’s best players right now. She’s super exciting, she’s everything you’d want from a young dynamic player. Skills where she can score as well as be a provider, a great link, great options.

“I’m loving everything about Lauren Hemp at the moment, her personality is fantastic as well as being very humble and down to earth.”

Among England’s challengers will be France, Spain, Netherlands and Germany, she added, while labelling Euro 2022 “the strongest and most in-depth European Championships ever seen”.

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