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Women's Euro 2017: Germany face Sweden as title defense campaign begins

Sweden will be out to avenge defeat in the gold-medal game at the Rio Games, as Germany launch their campaign to win a seventh consecutive European title. Both head into the match confident that they can get a result.

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Germany faces Sweden in Women's Euro 2017

The German camp appeared confident as Steffi Jones' side completed their preparations for their campaign to defend their European title, which begins with Monday's Group B match against Sweden. However, they were also mindful of just how much hard work it will take to get their tournament off to a positive start.

"We'll see which team will win this fight. It's always a battle against Sweden," said Germany captain Dzsenifer Marozsan, who plays her club football for Lyon in France. She also said she expected a tougher time than at previous editions of the European championship.

"Women's soccer is getting tighter, there are more teams, so it will be really hard (to defend the title)," The 25-year-old Budapest native said. 

In the Netherlands, Germany are going for their seventh consecutive European title - and their ninth overall.

Read more - Women's 2017 European Championship: All you need to know

Read more - Women's football: the battle for equality

Germany's women have an excellent record against Sweden, having won seven of their last eight and 13 of their last 15 matches against the Scandinavians. Their most recent encounter came in the gold-medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which Germany won 2-1.

Despite the record, Sweden, who last beat Germany at the 2015 Algarve Cup (4-2), are also confident that they can get a result when the two teams take to the pitch at the Rat Verlegh Stadium in Breda on Monday evening.

"We have a bit of a feeling of revenge when we look at the previous tournaments," said Lotta Schelin, who captains Sweden alongside 33-year-old Caroline Seger. "We've been analyzing their team and what they're doing and we think we can beat them."

 Jones: Euro 2017 comes too early

This will be the first major tournament for new head coach Steffi Jones, who made 111 appearances for Germany as a player. Taking over from Silvia Neid was always going to be a challenge for whoever replaced her, but the transition to a new style of play has perhaps taken a little longer than Jones had expected.

"Of course, we want to be European champions," Jones said. "The players say that themselves. They aren't showing the kind of arrogance I expected at this point. The Euros are coming a bit early for us."

Jones and Germany will need to do without three first-choice internationals, Alexandra Popp, Simone Laudehr and Melanie Leupolz, who were key parts of the national team that won gold in Rio 12 months ago, have been forced to give the tournament a miss due to injury. This presents opportunities for a number of younger players to impress Jones, including Bayern Munich's Mandy Islacker, top scorer in the women's Bundesliga during the past two seasons.

DW will be covering the Women's Euro 2017 on TV, online and on social media from the Netherlands.
 

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MyEuro: Dutch volunteer Nienke

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