England star Bronze ready to stop new Barcelona team-mates as Lionesses target semis
LUCY BRONZE says the prospect of battling Spain’s Barcelona stars brings back memories of a past defeat of France during her Lyon spell.
And the ex-Manchester City ace is fully focused on a push for a Euros semis spot after the Lionesses’ unbeaten group stage run.
Five years ago, Bronze sealed a high-profile Lyon move from Man City after helping England dash France’s European Championship dreams.
Jodie Taylor’s match-winning goal saw the team clinch a 1-0 quarter-final triumph before their loss to the Netherlands in the semis.
Bronze is relishing the challenge of going toe-to-toe with a Spain squad that currently features eight players from the Catalan outfit.
Her last involvement in a Euros duel against Spain was during a 2-0 group stage defeat of their rivals five years ago.
Bronze, who sealed a June move to Barca, said: “I can’t say I know any of them personally, but it will be nice to play against them.
“It’s funny because the last Euros I actually played against France and we knocked them out and I moved to Lyon a few weeks later, so I’ve already been through that awkward situation.
“The team is going to have world-class players that we need to stop regardless of whether they’re (club) team-mates or ex-team-mates. We’re just excited for it.”
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Bronze, who has played in the semi-finals of two World Cups and one Euros, has impressed on England’s right-flank along with Beth Mead.
The full-back is eight international games away from making her 100th Lionesses appearance.
During the 8-0 drubbing of Norway the England ace reportedly made more passes than any other player on the pitch.
However, Bronze is wary of the hosts resting on their laurels after their record-breaking performance.
The England star added: “The quarter-finals is a one-off game
“Regardless of form, it’s about who turns up on the day.
“We’ve had a great last two games, but we narrowly edged past Austria, so we have to show up and do our best.
“The opposite team could turn up and have an amazing game as well, so we have to put to bed our form now.”
The Lionesses’ clash with Spain will see Sarina Wiegman’s side return to the Amex for a second time after trouncing Norway.
The head coach, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, will remain in isolation until she returns a negative test result.
Telegraph Sport reports the England chief was able to watch the team’s training from afar at their base at the Lensbury Hotel in Teddington
Victory on Wednesday for Wiegman’s aces would see them book a spot in a July 26 semis game at Bramall Lane.
And they could face the victors of a quarter-final between the winners of group C – which contains the Netherlands and Sweden- and the runners-up of Group D – either Iceland, Belgium or Italy.
The clash with Spain this Wednesday could see Mead add to her tally of five goals in the tournament.
Bronze said: “It’s quite enjoyable to play behind Beth at the minute, she’s making life a little bit easier.
“But I love having a good relationship with the right winger I’m playing behind and with Stanway next to me, as someone I play with at City.
“I feel quite comfortable playing with this England team.”
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