Everything to know ahead of Women's Euro 2022

Women’s Euro 2022 is fast approaching as hosts England are joined by 15 nations for what is set to be a fierce battle: Everything to know ahead of the competition

  • The eagerly-anticipated Women’s Euro 2022 is now quickly approaching 
  • England are hosting the tournament, with 10 venues in nine cities to be used 
  • The group stages get underway on July 6, with the final at Wembley on July 31 
  • Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know beforehand

Domestic football has finished for another campaign and, following a quickfire batch of Nations League fixtures, tournament football is once again on the horizon as the eagerly-anticipated Women’s Euro 2022 swiftly approaches. 

The tournament, hosted by England, will get underway on July 6, with the Lionesses opening proceedings against Austria at Old Trafford, one of 10 stadiums in use throughout. 

As was the case with the men’s European Championships last summer, the final – taking place on July 31 – will again be held at Wembley Stadium, where England will hope to win the tournament for the first time. 

The Women’s Euro 2022 is now right around the corner, running from July 6 to July 31

England are hosting the tournament, with the final set to be played at Wembley Stadium

England will be joined by a further 15 nations for the 16-team tournament, with Portugal gaining a spot after Russia were removed amid Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

Holders the Netherlands, who saw off Denmark in the 2017 final, are once again among the favourites to prevail, though they face fierce competition from England, Spain and France. 

With the tournament edging ever closer, Sportsmail gives you all the essential information you need.  

There will be a total of 16 teams competing, initially split into four groups of four. 

The group stages get underway on Wednesday, July 6 and run through to Monday, July 18, with the top-two teams from each progressing to the knockouts.   

Unlike the men’s European Championships last year, there will be no safety net of a best third-placed team to fall back on.  

Hosts Netherlands beat Denmark to win their first European Championship back in 2017 

However, like the men’s European Championships, there again won’t be a third-place play-off clash as the tournament reaches its conclusion. 

The knockout stages, which start with the quarter-finals, will begin on July 20, with the last-eight clashes coming to an end on July 22. 

The semi-finals will then be played over two days on July 26 and July 27, taking place at Bramall Lane and Stadium MK respectively. 

The sold out final showdown at Wembley will then be held on July 31. 

What are the groups?

The draw for the tournament was made in October last year, with England – who weren’t required to qualify being the hosts – automatically placed into Group A. 

There, they find themselves up against familiar opposition in fellow Brits Northern Ireland, alongside Austria and Norway. 

They will have to face Norway’s star forward Caroline Graham Hansen of Barcelona, who could pose the Lionesses a handful of problems.  

The draw for this summer’s eagerly-anticipated tournament was made in October last year

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

Group B is undoubtedly the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’, with Spain and Germany going head-to-head. Previous finalists Denmark are also in the mix, alongside Finland. 

Group C initially included Russia in the October draw, before they were removed from the competition in May this year. Portugal, who had lost to Russia in the Euro play-offs, were drafted in as their replacement. 

Finally we have Group D, where France are widely expected to take top spot.  

  • Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
  • Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
  • Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
  • Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland

How are England placed going into the tournament?

England are in a strong position heading into the tournament, with (relatively) new manager Sarina Wiegman at the helm. 

Wiegman guided the Netherlands to Euros victory last time out in 2017, defeating England in the semi-final en route. 

The 52-year-old was named Best FIFA Women’s Coach for her 2017 triumph and also led the Netherlands to the final of the Women’s World Cup two years later, where they were beaten by the United States. 

England are unbeaten since the arrival of Sarina Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to Euro glory last time out

Wiegman became manager in September last year, and England are still to lose under her management. 

They also won the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup – which included Euro favourites Spain – in February, and the Lionesses are going strong in their World Cup qualifying campaign. 

Under their new manager, England have won all eight qualifying fixtures, including a quite stunning 20-0 victory over Latvia. 

In fact, England have scored a whopping 68 goals in their eight qualifiers to date and are yet to concede a single goal.

England legend Steph Houghton is out of the squad for the Euros after failing a race to be fit

In terms of the squad, the big news from England’s recent announcement was that Steph Houghton did not make the cut, having failed in a race against time to be fit for the tournament. 

Niamh Charles, Katie Zelem, Lucy Staniforth and Sandy MacIver are the other unlucky players to miss out on a place in the final squad.

There is room, however, for Fran Kirby – who has not played since February due to a fatigue-related illness. Jill Scott has also made the squad despite not playing since March.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Aston Villa), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jill Scott (Aston Villa, loan from Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal)

Forwards: Bethany England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Ellen White (Manchester City)

What venues are being used?

The venues in use for the competition have become a notable talking point, given the disparity in the capacities at the different grounds. 

The Wembley final is already sold out in what will be a record attendance for the showpiece, while two of England’s group stage games – alongside two quarter-final clashes – are at full capacity. 

There’s then also Old Trafford, where the first match of the tournament will be played, alongside Premier League ground St Mary’s Stadium and Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.  

The opening game of the tournament between England and Austria will take place at Old Trafford

Yet, there are also two grounds which will have less than 10,000 fans in attendance. 

The first is the Academy Stadium, which will operate below full capacity at 4,700 seats due to UEFA’s ban on standing.

The second is the 8,100-seat Leigh Sports Village, which is hampered by the same restrictions. 

Below are the 10 stadiums in full, which, as stated, are based in nine different cities.  

  • Bramall Lane – capacity: 32,702
  • Brentford Community Stadium – capacity: 17,250
  • Brighton & Hove Community Stadium – capacity: 31,800
  • Leigh Sports Village – capacity: 8,100
  • Manchester City Academy Stadium – capacity: 4,700
  • New York Stadium – capacity: 12,021
  • Old Trafford – capacity: 74,879
  • Stadium MK – capacity: 30,500
  • St Mary’s Stadium – capacity: 32,505
  • Wembley – capacity: 90,000

How to watch the matches

All 31 games will be shown live on BBC for those watching in the United Kingdom.

Viewers will be able to stream the matches, which will kick-off at 5pm or 8pm throughout the tournament, either on the BBC Sport website or on their BBC iPlayer app.

Sportsmail will also be covering the bulk of the action live, including every England match, so you can follow along with us.

As for those watching from outside of the UK, you can find find the relevant TV information HERE.

What do the odds say?

World Cup winner odds 

  • Spain: 5/2
  • England: 4/1
  • France: 5/1
  • Netherlands: 5/1
  • Germany: 15/2
  • Sweden: 17/2

*Odds as per Betfair

Though England are hosts, they come in only second in the bookies’ odds to win the tournament, sitting behind Spain. 

The Spaniards have two of the best players in the world on current form in Alexia Putellas, who won the 2021 Ballon d’Or trophy, and team-mate Jennifer Hermoso, who finished as runner-up.  

Putellas, Hermoso and a number of players in the Spain team play for a brilliant Barcelona team, one who won the Champions League last year, before losing out to Lyon this year. 

However, while they are perhaps the technically best team in the tournament, they will have to get through the Group of Death to even make the knockouts. 

Aside from Spain and England, France, who have star forward Marie-Antoinette Katoto in their squad, are also among the favourites. 

Their team will undoubtedly be weaker without midfielder Amandine Henry, who, despite enjoying a fine campaign – including a goal in the Champions League final – cannot get a look-in under Corinne Diacre. 

Holders Netherlands are also one to watch, with Germany and Sweden both dark horses.  

Spain have 2021 Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas in their ranks and come into the tournament as favourites

Who are the Golden Boot contenders? 

There will be an abundance of world class attackers at the upcoming tournament, with the battle for the prestigious Golden Boot prize set to be fierce. 

Manchester City’s Ellen White is England’s most potent threat up top, having established herself as one of the elites in the women’s game. 

White made history in April as she scored her 50th goal in England colours in a 10-0 demolition job against North Macedonia. 

There are some who suggest, having endured a tough season, that her goalscoring touch is now on the decline, but the prolific forward will no doubt look to silence any doubters in the coming weeks. 

She has been dealt a blow in the build-up to the competition, however, having tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, forcing her out of the friendly against the Netherlands on Friday.

England’s Ellen White is among the favourites to win the Golden Boot award, but she has been forced to temporarily withdraw from the camp having tested positive for Covid

She will face fierce competition from the likes of Vivianne Miedema of the Netherlands

White will face hefty competition from a number of notable names, however, including Arsenal and Netherlands forward Vivianne Miedema. 

She played a crucial role as the Netherlands won the tournament in 2017, scoring four times in the knockouts and since becoming her nation’s top scorer. 

Also in the mix will be Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, who has not played international football since 2017, having refused to do so due to what she perceived as a lack of support for the women’s game from the Norwegian Football Federation.

She has since won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or and secured two Champions League crowns with her club side Lyon.

France’s Katoto and Spain’s Putellas are also contenders for the award. 

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

 




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