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Semi-final preview: France v Spain

Get the lowdown on Friday's WU19 EURO semi-final: how the teams got there, their semi-final pedigree and the players that could make the difference in Lod, Israel.

France celebrate after victory over Sweden
France celebrate after victory over Sweden ©Sportsfile

FRANCE v SPAIN, 20.30CET

These two sides have a formidable semi-final pedigree, with France winning six out of their eight previous fixtures and Spain with a 100% win record after three ties. They approach this last-four fixture in Lod as perhaps the two form teams at the WU19 EURO and there is unlikely to be much between them, as there has not the last four times they have met – France won them all 1-0. Les Bleuettes are thre-time winners of this title; Spain's sole triumph came in 2004.

Story so far – France
The only side with a 100% record, France have made serene progress. Marie-Charlotte Léger scored and missed a penalty in the victory over Denmark, and was on target again as Les Bleuettes eased to a 4-0 win against hosts Israel next time out. Through with a game to spare, a 1-0 triumph over Sweden sealed top spot and stretched their run of clean sheets to six. The loss of Delphine Cascarino to injury was a blow but Gilles Eyquem has made good use of his squad – only reserve keeper Romane Bruneau has not had a game.

©Sportsfile

Story so far – Spain
Spain laid down a marker in their opening game, even if a 4-0 victory over Norway did not tell the whole story – many of the teams' match stats were identical but tellingly it was Jorge Vilda's side that took their chances. England gave them more of a scare before two late set-piece goals earned a 3-1 win and all but sealed a place in the last four. Spain's finishing deserted them against Germany, though, as they slipped to a narrow defeat that consigned them to second in the group.

Key players
France: Cindy Perrault (goalkeeper, Lyon), Hawa Cissoko (defender, Paris Saint-Germain), Marie-Charlotte Léger (forward, Metz)
Spain: Marta Turmo (defender, San Gabriel), Alba Redondo (midfielder, Albacete), Nahikari García (forward, Real Sociedad)

Previous meetings: France won 5, Spain won 1, draw 0

Other semi-final: GERMANY v SWEDEN, 18.00CET

Tickets cost 10ILS (€2.50) and are available at the stadiums or via this link. The site is in Hebrew.

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