The 2017 Women’s European Championship gets underway in Utrecht on Sunday, as the Netherlands – this year’s hosts – face 2013 Semi-Finalists Denmark. And with 16 sides in action, some of the world’s top talents are in action over the course of the next month.
After much discussion at Ladbrokes News HQ, we’ve whittled our long-list down to the top five players to watch in Holland. So, without further ado…
Anja Mittag (Germany)
Just the 50 goals for midfielder-turned-forward Mittag in the colours of Die Nationalelf, with the Women’s Champions League’s all-time top scorer every bit as productive for the national side as she is at club level.
Having netted eight times in the past year for Germany, the 32-year-old also led VfL Wolfsburg to the Frauen Bundesliga title last term. With a wealth of tournament experience also under her belt – including playing in two World Cup Finals’ and two Olympic Games – expect Mittag to be key for the 15/8 favourites in this competition.
Sarah Bouhaddi (France)
The French goalkeeper has conceded just four times for Les Bleus in her last 21 outings – a quite incredible record, on which France built their success in qualifying for this tournament.
Having played in back-to-back Champions League-winning sides at Lyon in the past two seasons, she’s also done it on the biggest stage at club level. The question now is whether she can lead France – who won 2017’s SheBelieves Cup – to their first ever Final at a major tournament.
Ellen White (England)
When the Lionesses stunned the United States with a 1-0 victory in New Jersey during the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year, it was – predictably – the Aylesbury-born striker who made the telling contribution with a spectacular volleyed winner.
That took White’s England tally to 20 goals, though she’s gone on to net three more since. An energetic, tricky and creative foil for fellow striker Toni Duggan, the 28-year-old will also be key in creating the opportunities this summer – as well as taking them.
Rachel Corsie (Scotland)
It’s not often you find a centre-back who can boast 16 international goals, but then again, the classy-but-powerful Corsie isn’t your average defender.
The 27-year-old has shone stateside in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) since joining Seattle Reign in 2015, and has been a crucial rock and organiser in the Scottish defence. They may be 66/1 outsiders to lift the trophy – but if they are to mount a serious challenge, Corsie will be key.
Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
The 2016 winner of UEFA’s Best Women’s Player in Europe award, it’s hard to believe the Norwegian is still just 22-years-old. Especially with the most impressive strike rate on the continent – racking up an astonishing 112 goals in 97 outings for club side Lyon.
Add to that the fact she’s previously netted for Norway against several of this summer’s Euros rivals – England, Germany and Spain – and there’s reason to believe Hegerberg can be the top performer in the Netherlands this summer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing