Beth Mead v Alexandra Popp – the stars battling for Euro glory and the Golden Boot
England and Germany go head to head for Euro 2022 glory on Sunday with forwards Beth Mead and Alexandra Popp looking to provide the goals once more.
The pair lead the Golden Boot standings on six goals apiece and – while England super-sub Alessia Russo is the outside bet on four – the result of that battle will go some way to deciding the destination of the trophy.
Here, we compare the in-form duo.
Position: ForwardAge: 27Height: 5ft 4inCaps: 44Tournament goals: SixTournament attempts: 15Tournament assists: FiveDebut: 2018Club: Arsenal
Mead settled England’s first-half nerves with the opener in what became a comfortable semi-final win over Sweden, before assists for Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby’s goals took her clear at the top of the tournament standings in that category. Her hat-trick in the group-stage rout of Norway was another stand-out display and she also scored the first goal of the tournament against Austria – could she yet add the last and most significant? Her overall England record reads 28 goals in 44 caps, with 20 of those goals coming since Sarina Wiegman took over as manager last year.
Position: ForwardAge: 31Height: 5ft 9inCaps: 119Tournament goals: SixTournament attempts: 17Tournament assists: NoneDebut: 2010Club: Wolfsburg
Popp went into the semi-finals one behind Mead in the Golden Boot standings on four, but went one better at that stage with both her side’s goals in their 2-1 win over France. Her movement for the second – essentially pacing out her run-up to the header while the ball was in play – demonstrated the footballing intelligence England will have to beware of alongside her physical presence and finishing ability. Popp, who has scored 59 goals in 119 internationals, missed the last two European Championships with injuries but has made up for lost time on this occasion and Leah Williamson, Millie Bright and Mary Earps will have to be at their best to keep her from spoiling the party at Wembley.
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