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England head to Wembley: Lionesses on brink of history as they face Germany at Euro final
31 July 2022, 07:33 | Updated: 31 July 2022, 07:36
England's 'fearless' Lionesses will take on Germany in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley later today as they aim to bring back the Championship silverware for the first time in front of record crowds.
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Some 90,000 fans are due to flood Wembley Stadium this afternoon for England's highly-anticipated clash against Germany, while millions more watch from homes, pubs and fan zones.
The game is expected to daw in the biggest home TV audience on record for a women's football match.
The record number of UK viewers for a women's game is nine million, which was set during England's semi-final defeat by the United States in the 2019 World Cup, according to the ratings organisation Barb.
The England squad will be playing for a piece of history when the match kicks off at 5pm - hoping to secure the first major tournament title for an England team since 1966 and bring back the Championship silverware for the first time.
They will have the support from the huge home crowd at Wembley as they face Germany, who have won the title eight times, as well as 21 of the 27 meetings between the two teams.
But England did win the last time the teams played each other in February and the Lionesses have also won 17 of 19 games since Sarina Wiegman took over as coach in September.
Speaking ahead of the historic match, Sarina said her players "don't fear anyone" and they are "prepared for everything".
"When you reach the final, then you are one of the best teams in the tournament. I think we have a very good team too, and we don't fear anyone," she said.
Asked about preparations for the possibility of a penalty shoot-out, Wiegman added: "We have practised penalties, we are prepared for everything."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tweeted his support for the team, as has Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who watched England's 4-0 win over Sweden in the semi-final.
Mr Johnson urged the Lionesses to "bring it home" alongside a photograph of England flags adorning Number 10.
He also told the team in a letter that they had inspired girls and women to "know beyond any shadow of a doubt that football is not just for boys".
Sir Keir said his daughter was among those inspired by the team.
He said: "As a parent, I know how vital it is to see strong, successful role models in sport.
"What you and your team have accomplished this summer will not just be celebrated as a great moment for English football but as one that encouraged and inspired young women like my own daughter."
Ahead of the 5pm kick-off on Sunday, an all-female RAF flypast will take to the skies.
Flanked by two Typhoon fighter jets, a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft crewed by three women will soar over the north-west London arena.
For those watching at Wembley, the main road up to the stadium will be a no drinking zone due to the chaos which overshadowed last year's men's final.
Thousands of ticketless fans forced their way into the stadium ahead of England v Italy in summer 2021 - though this year's final is expected to attract a different audience.