Women’s Euro 2022 draw: group by group guide | Women’s Euro 2022
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
England v Austria will be the first game in a historic tournament for the Lionesses at Old Trafford on July 6, a nation they will also face next month in a 2023 World Cup qualifier.
Sarina Wiegman’s first major tournament as head coach will also see England take on familiar opponents in Norway, which they played at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, and Northern Ireland, who are also in their sights. World Cup qualifying group and will ensure a match to capture the imaginations of fans in at least two UK countries.
Martin SjÃ¶gren’s meeting with Norway will bring back fond memories, especially for Lucy Bronze, who has scored superb goals in the tournament’s two previous matches.
England’s draw could have been a lot worse on paper – they avoided Sweden and Spain – but they are in line to face one of Europe’s best strikers, Barcelona’s Caroline Graham Hansen.
Austria had an impressive run to the semi-finals in 2017 as an underdog and will be able to call on Hoffenheim star Nicole Billa. Irene Fuhrmann’s team and Kenny Shiels’ Northern Ireland host a dress rehearsal with the Lionesses facing both as the tournament approaches.
Wiegman said: âThese are countries that we know very well. Austria and Northern Ireland are in our group for the World Cup qualifiers and Norway which I know well because I have played them a lot with the Netherlands. You just have to play any team in your squad and that’s it.
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
This will take on the unwanted ‘Group of Death’ slogan with Germany and Spain facing off at the Brentford Community Stadium on Tuesday July 12th.
The German side of Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had a stranglehold on the European Championship but were eliminated in a shock loss to Denmark four years ago. They will also face Anna Signeul’s Finland.
The German squad is filled with exciting young talents and the experienced quality of players such as Dzsenifer Marozsan.
Spain, despite being in pot two, will be one of the black horses of the tournament under the leadership of Jorge Vilda, with many players from the Barcelona triple squad, including the player of the year of the ‘UEFA Alexia Putellas, one of the favorites for the Ballon d’Or.
Denmark also cannot be taken lightly following their run to the Euro 2017 final, especially given the offensive threat from Chelsea’s Pernille Harder. Their head coach Lars SÃ¸ndegaard said: âIn a way we knew we were going to be underdog. I hope we can surprise and I know the players are totally convinced that there is something they can do. I think we all dream of it.
Finland will use their underdog status to try to cause a shock under the guidance of an experienced coach at Signeul, who guided Scotland to the Euro in 2017.
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland
The Netherlands will open their title defense under new leadership when their England head coach, currently with NWSL Portland Thorns side, Mark Parsons, takes charge of an eye-catching opener against medal-winning Sweden. Olympic silver, at Sheffield United’s Bramall Street.
There will be a lot of intrigue as to whether the Netherlands can succeed again, with Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema looking to support the Golden Boot she won in Tokyo at the Summer Olympics.
Sweden continue to improve under the leadership of Peter Gerhardsson and have won medals in the last two major international tournaments. He said: âThere is always pressure. If you want to take action, become a good team, you have to take care of it, but I think that does not mean that you are going to win the championships.
Switzerland and Russia join them, and it should be a great opportunity for the first two teams to progress. Switzerland are coached by Nils Nielsen, who led Denmark to their historic final in 2017, and Russia qualified as one of the lower ranked nations.
The match between the current European champions and the Olympic silver medalists will make headlines as the two seek to assert their authority over the squad in their opener.
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
France will try to end their wait for Europe’s biggest trophy with an exciting generation of new talent. Head coach Corinne Deacon can call on players including young Paris Saint-Germain striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who was controversially absent from the France team during their Home World Cup in 2019.
They will face an improving Italy, whose coach Milena Bertolini has done a solid and consistent job as the team look to recapture their glory days and challenge the more established teams.
Belgium and Iceland will look to emulate the recent relative successes of their men’s teams, with Roberto MartÃnez in the draw. Icelandic fans will remember the incredible spirit of their men’s team at the European Championship in 2016.
The group is expected to provide the opportunity for France to gain the much-needed momentum and it remains to be seen whether Deacon will recall some of the nation’s biggest names.
She said of the draw: âWe are neither happy nor unhappy. Now we know the teams we are going to play and that is the main thing. We need to take advantage of the time we have left before the tournament. The teams are set in place now, that’s a good thing and we can start working.