England's route to the Women's Euro final and who they could play

England’s route to Women’s Euro 2022 glory: The Lionesses will look to make home advantage count but could be forced to battle past Germany, the Netherlands and Spain to do so… and they need to win Group A to avoid a nightmare route to the final

  • England are on the hunt for a maiden Women’s Euro triumph this summer 
  • The tournament gets underway on July 6, with the Wembley final on July 31
  • England are in Group A and will be highly confident of reaching the knockouts 
  • They could play against Germany and the Netherlands en route to the final
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

England will be looking to make home advantage count as they bid for a first Women’s European Championships triumph this summer.  

The Lionesses come into the tournament, which runs from July 6 to July 31, in phenomenal form, still unbeaten since the arrival of manager Sarina Wiegman last year and looking imperious in their 2023 World Cup qualifying group. 

The tournament is being held in England, with the final – as was the case at the men’s European Championships last year – to take place at Wembley Stadium.  

Sarina Wiegman’s side will look to win a first Women’s European Championships this summer

England, as hosts, are in Group A, alongside Austria, Norway and fellow Brits Northern Ireland 

Just six games stand in England’s way of lifting the prestigious trophy next month, with 16 teams competing in the tournament. 

The group stage draw last October was favourable for England, and they will be supremely confident of reaching the knockouts once more. 

There, it will quickly get considerably harder, with a mouth-watering clash against Germany potentially to come in the quarter-finals. Sportsmail takes you through the full route to the final below. 

England, who as hosts were automatically placed into Group A, will get the tournament underway against Austria, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2017. 

Austria are in England’s ongoing World Cup qualifying group, and England claimed a 1-0 win when the pair met at the Stadium of Light last year. 

They will also face fellow Brits Northern Ireland – also in their World Cup qualifying group – who they have recently beaten 4-0 and 5-0. 

Also in the group are Norway, who they played at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, winning on both occasions. 

Fixtures: 

  • England vs Austria – Wednesday, July 6 at 8pm 
  • England vs Norway – Monday, July 11 at 8pm 
  • Northern Ireland vs England – Friday, July 15 at 8pm

England will face Northern Ireland, who they have comfortably beaten twice in World Cup qualifying 

England also claimed a 1-0 win over Austria in their World Cup qualifier in November last year

The quarter-finals

This is where things get slightly more complicated, as who England will play will depend on whether they finish first or second in Group A, with the top-two from each group progressing to the knockouts. 

If England are to prevail as group winners, they will play the runners-up from Group B on Wednesday, July 20, with the match kicking off at 8pm at the Brighton and Hove Community Stadium. 

Even if England do seal top spot, they will still likely find themselves up against stern opposition, however, with Group B undoubtedly the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’. 

Spain are the tournament favourites and are expected to top Group B, but Denmark – who lost out to the Netherlands in the final last time out in 2017 – and Germany could push them all the way. 

The quarter-finals could see England play Germany, who they beat to win the Arnold Clark Cup earlier this year

It’s Germany who are the more likely to compete with Spain, however, having largely dominated women’s football in recent history. They won six consecutive titles between 1995 and 2013, before bowing out in the quarter-finals in 2017. 

England would be confident going into the clash, however, having beaten Germany to win the the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup earlier this year. 

If England are to finish as Group A runners-up, however, they will take on the winners of Group B which, as stated, will likely be Spain. The match would take place on Thursday, July 21 at the London Community Stadium. 

There’s no doubt that Spain have underachieved in women’s football, with their best outing at the European Championships coming some 25 years ago when they reached the semi-finals. 

However, with key player Alexia Putellas, who won the 2021 Ballon d’Or trophy, pulling the strings, they are now perhaps the technically best side in the tournament. 

England could be forced to play tournament favourites Spain as early as the quarter-finals should they fail to win Group A

The semi-finals

Who England would play in the final-four again depends which route they have gone down, being either as Group A winners or runners-up. 

If England finish as Group A winners and beat the runners-up from Group B in quarter-final 1, they will go on to play the winners of quarter-final 3, with the match taking place at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, July 26. 

Quarter-final 3 will be competed by the winners of Group C and the runners-up of Group D. 

There’s no doubt who the favourite to win Group C is, being reigning champions the Netherlands, who saw off Denmark back in 2017 to win the tournament for the first time in their history. 

They had never made it to a major final before winning on home soil, but two years later they found themselves in another, though this time losing out to USA in the 2019 World Cup showpiece.  

The Netherlands have since lost Wiegman to England, though, with Englishman Mark Parsons taking over. They now remain in a battle for World Cup qualification, currently sat in second place behind Iceland. Only one team in each group automatically qualifies, with the runner-up going into a play-off. 

 Vivianne Miedema and her Netherlands side could meet England in a tricky semi-final clash

Regardless, with Vivianne Miedema in their squad, the Netherlands will be a tough test for any team. 

The Netherlands will likely play one of Iceland or Italy in their quarter-final, with France expected to win Group D. Despite the World Cup standings, they will be favoured to prevail, and potentially meet England in an enticing semi-final.   

England could, of course, also progress to the semi-finals as Group B runners-up, before seeing off Spain in the quarter-finals. 

In this instance, they would play against the winners of quarter-final four – which is between the winners of Group D and the runners-up Group C – on Wednesday, July 27 at Stadium MK. 

As stated, France are the clear favourites to prevail in Group D. And should the Netherlands win Group C, as expected, you feel Les Bleus would have too much for any of Italy, Belgium or Iceland. 

It seems likely, therefore, that England will meet France in the semi-finals should they fail to win Group A.  

England could play against France in the semi-finals if they finish as Group A runners-up

The final

We now finally reach the final, where England will hope to triumph in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, July 31. 

Again, who England will play comes down to which path they took. If England win Group A and subsequently beat Germany and the Netherlands, they will likely come up against Spain or France, who will meet in the semi-finals if everything goes as expected. 

If England finish as runners-up in Group B and therefore need to beat Spain and France en route to the final, they will likely come up against either Germany or the Netherlands, who would meet in the semi-final. 

Full Women’s Euro 2022 fixture list 

*All times in BST 

Group stage

Wednesday July 6

  • Group A: England vs Austria (Old Trafford) at 8pm

Thursday July 7

  • Group A: Norway vs Northern Ireland (St Mary’s) at 8pm

Friday July 8

  • Group B: Spain vs Finland (Stadium MK) at 5pm
  • Group B: Germany vs Denmark (London Community Stadium) at 8pm

Saturday July 9

  • Group C: Portugal vs Switzerland (Leigh Sports Village) at 5pm
  • Group C: Netherlands vs Sweden (Bramall Lane) at 8pm

Sunday July 10

  • Group D: Belgium vs Iceland (Manchester City Academy Stadium) at 5pm
  • Group D: France vs Italy (New York Stadium) at 8pm

Monday July 11

  • Group A: Austria vs Northern Ireland (St Mary’s) at 5pm
  • Group A: England v Norway (Brighton and Hove Community Stadium) at 8pm

Tuesday July 12

  • Group B: Denmark vs Finland (Stadium MK) at 5pm
  • Group B: Germany vs Spain (London Community Stadium) at 8pm

Wednesday July 13

  • Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland (Bramall Lane) at 5pm
  • Group C: Netherlands v Portugal (Leigh Sports Village) at 8pm

Thursday July 14

  • Group D: Italy vs Iceland (Manchester City Academy Stadium) at 5pm
  • Group D: France vs Belgium (New York Stadium) at 8pm

Friday July 15

  • Group A: Northern Ireland v England (St Mary’s) at 8pm
  • Group A: Austria vs Norway (Brighton and Hove Community Stadium) at 8pm

Saturday July 16

  • Group B: Finland vs Germany (Stadium MK) at 8pm
  • Group B: Denmark vs Spain (London Community Stadium) at 8pm

Sunday July 17

  • Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands (Bramall Lane) at 5pm
  • Group C: Sweden vs Portugal (Leigh Sports Village) at 5pm

Monday July 18

  • Group D: Iceland vs France (New York Stadium) at 8pm
  • Group D: Italy vs Belgium (Manchester City Academy Stadium) at 8pm

Knockout phase

Quarter-finals

Wednesday July 20

  • Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B  (Brighton and Hove Community Stadium) at 8pm

Thursday July 21

Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A (London Community Stadium) at 8pm

Friday July 22

  • Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D (Leigh Sports Village) at 8pm
  • Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C (New York Stadium) at 8pm

Semi-finals

Tuesday July 26

  • Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 (Bramall Lane) at 8pm

Wednesday July 27

  • Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 (Stadium MK) at 8pm

Final

Sunday July 31

  • Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2  (Wembley) at 5pm

 

Source: Read Full Article