Euro 2022 LIVE: England vs Austria early team news and build-up as Lionesses prepare for opener



England vs Austria: Five talking points as Euro 2022 gets underway

Familiar foes

England played Austria in a World Cup qualifier last November, running out 1-0 winners thanks to an Ellen White goal at the Stadium of Light. The home side will be hoping to kickstart their tournament with another victory at a packed Old Trafford.

England vs Austria: Five talking points as Euro 2022 gets underway

England take on Austria in the first match of Euro 2022 at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Here the PA News Agency take a look at some of the talking points ahead of the Lionesses’ opening fixture:

Beginning with a bang

A capacity 74,120 crowd is expected on Wednesday, just over a year after the stadium hosted its first-ever women’s football match. It will be a flagship moment for the sport in England, as the 2005 edition of the tournament – the last to be held in the country – boasted a highest crowd of less than 30,000. Expectations of big crowds are high, with over 500,000 tickets sold, more than double the 2017 edition.

Opinion: As the Lionesses kick off the Euros today, there’s tons to celebrate in women’s football

51 years after the Football Association lifted its absurd ban on women playing football on FA grounds – between 1921 and 1971 – the game’s resurgence is well underway, writes Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom, Lucy Powell MP for our Voices section.

WSL and the England team draw in record crowds and sponsorships. The Women’s Euros and World Cup have finally been granted listed event status, and a welcome announcement from UEFA and the FA on prize money are slowly bringing some parity with the men’s game.

Women’s tennis, Formula 1 and sports across the board and going from strength to strength. Amid the excitement, this is a key moment to capitalise on the momentum behind women’s football, and ensure that young girls who are inspired to pick up a ball today can be the next Lionesses.

In the vacuum left by the government on school sports, there’s some great work going on to open opportunities for girls to access football in schools. But despite the push, they still trail well behind boys in participation. When girls are talented, there isn’t the same infrastructure of academies and scholarships to boost them into the top-flight.

Read the rest of Lucy Powell MP’s thoughts here:

Opinion: As Lionesses kick off Euros, there’s tons to celebrate in women’s football

Many of the ongoing issues stem from a deeper problem with respect for the women’s game

It’s all about the squad: Rachel Yankey knows Sarina Wiegman has Euro 2022 options

Rachel Yankey has joked she would not want to be England boss Sarina Wiegman given the selection decisions she has to make heading into the home European Championship.

The Lionesses’ three warm-up matches ahead of the tournament, victories against Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, saw substitutes and players that came in among starting line-up changes make significant contributions.

The opening fixture of their Euros campaign is on Wednesday when they face Austria at a sold-out Old Trafford.

And former England winger Yankey told the PA news agency: “I think the beauty of this England team is that it will be a squad. It’s all about the squad and I think the Switzerland game proved that, and pretty much all the warm-up games.

“I think it’s really hard to see who would be either starting or coming off (the bench) and making a big impact.”

It’s all about the squad: Yankey knows Wiegman has Euro 2022 options

The Euros start on Wednesday night.

England ‘really ready to go’ as Euro 2022 kicks off

Sarina Wiegman described England as “really ready to go” on the eve of the team kicking off their bid for home European Championship glory.

The Lionesses take on Austria at a sold-out Old Trafford on Wednesday in the opening match of this month’s showpiece.

Wiegman’s side have beaten Belgium 3-0 at Molineux, Holland – who she oversaw winning Euro 2017 on home soil – 5-1 at Elland Road, and Switzerland 4-0 in Zurich in warm-up matches in the past few weeks.

And the manager told a press conference on Tuesday: “We’re just really ready to go. The real preparations for the Euros started on 30 May and we just work from week to week, and from training match to training match.

“After the Switzerland game, we came back, had a little time off and then we started training to get ready for the match tomorrow. And you can feel that everyone’s really ready. We just want to go.”

England ‘really ready to go’ as Euro 2022 kicks off

The Lionesses take on Austria at a sold-out Old Trafford on Wednesday in the opening match of the tournament

England’s opportunity to showcase pedigree on home soil as Continent’s finest awaits

The last time England hosted the Women’s European Championship, only one part of England really saw any of it, writes Mark Critchley.

The eight-team tournament in 2005 was played entirely within the confines of the North West, stretching as far north as Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road but no further south than the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. Germany ran out 3-1 winners against Norway at Ewood Park in front of a crowd of 21,105. England finished bottom of their group, by the way.

Seventeen years later, the next three-and-a-half weeks promise to demonstrate how much has changed since. It all begins in the North West once again – England host Austria at Old Trafford in tonight’s curtain-raiser – and although there is strangely no North East representation, the 10 venues stretch from Leigh down to Brighton, and the tournament will culminate in a Wembley final that has already sold all 87,200 tickets. More than 500,000 have been sold across all of the games.

That is not only a record but double the total sold for the last Euros in the Netherlands five years ago. The worldwide broadcast audience for the 2017 tournament hit 178 million but that too is set to be comfortably surpassed. Whereas Channel 4’s live coverage largely focused on the fate of the home nations then, every match will be available to watch across the BBC’s platforms now. This will be the biggest Euros yet, demonstrating the rapid pace of the game’s progress. And so, it is perhaps only right to stop and take a breath.

Full story:

England’s opportunity to showcase pedigree on home soil as Euro 2022 awaits

The group stage should present no problem for the hosts but there’s just one objective this summer: to go the entire distance

England urged to ‘thrive off any nerves’ ahead of Euro 2022 opener

Ella Toone is hoping England can ‘thrive off any nerves’ as they prepare to launch their Euro 2022 campaign.

The host nation open this summer’s long-awaited tournament when they take on Austria at a sell-out Old Trafford on Wednesday.

With England among the favourites for the title, there is plenty of excitement and nerves surrounding their involvement but Toone hopes to channel all that into positive energy.

“I think for me there’s a lot of excitement,” said the Manchester United striker. “I think all the girls are just excited to get going now.

“When we step out onto the pitch in front of that massive crowd there might be a few nerves but I always think, we play every single day, we do what we love – so thrive off the nerves if there are any but for me right now, I just can’t wait.”

England urged to ‘thrive off any nerves’ ahead of Euro 2022 opener

England kick off the tournament against Austria at a sold-out Old Trafford on Wednesday

Euro 2022 fixtures: Full schedule and venues for England, Northern Ireland and more

Euro 2022 is finally underway after the tournament was postponed by a year due to the pandemic.

England have the chance to claim victory on home soil after falling short at the semi-final stage in the 2019 World Cup and the Lionesses remain unbeaten since head coach Sarina Wiegman took charge.

Spain are considered the slight favourites to clinch glory, while France and the Netherlands will also provide a major threat – although the Lionesses hammered the reigning European champions 5-1 in a warm-up match – while England must nullify Ada Hegerberg and avoid a slip-up against Norway in the group stage.

How can you watch the tournament – here’s the full TV schedule:

Euro 2022 fixtures: Full schedule and venues for England, Northern Ireland and more

Everything you need to know ahead of the tournament this summer

Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas ruled out of Euro 2022 with injury

Spain have confirmed captain and Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas has suffered an ACL injury which will rule her out of Euro 2022.

The Barcelona midfielder, last season’s Champions League top goalscorer, was injured during a training session on Tuesday. La Roja later announced scans had confirmed a rupture of the ACL in her left knee.

A statement on the Spanish Football Federation website read: “Alexia Putellas suffers a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

“The tests carried out on the Spanish international on the afternoon of this Tuesday July 5 2022 at King Edward VII’s hospital in London, have confirmed that the captain of the Spanish women’s national team has suffered a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.”

Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas ruled out of Euro 2022 with injury

The Barcelona midfielder was injured during a training session.

Euro 2022 build-up

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Euro 2022 – with all the build-up to England’s opener against Austria this evening.

The Lionesses are hoping three points will lay down an early marker in Group A, which features Norway and Northern Ireland as well as tonight’s opponents. Austria are ranked 21st in Fifa’s world rankings and come into the fixture in good form after an impressive 1-0 victory over Belgium in their final warm-up match last week.

There is legitimate belief that England could finally win their first-ever major women’s football tournament this summer, especially with home advantage. Sarina Wiegman’s side won all three of their warm-up games and enter the tournament as second-favourites behind Spain.

However, Spain suffered a serious blow on the eve of Euro 2022 with news that their talismanic Ballon d’Or winner Alexis Putellas suffered a knee injury.

Stick with us for all the build-up and early team news.

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