Northern Ireland’s Euro 2022 group contains Austria, England, and Norway. Northern Ireland are the lowest ranked team in the whole competition, and will have a tough task on their hands if they are to make it out of this group.
Northern Ireland’s Euro 2022 group: Norway
It will be no easy start for Northern Ireland as they face Norway as their first game at the competition. Norway have been handed a big boost heading into the tournament after all-time Champions League top scorer Ada Hegerberg made her international return. Hegerberg had previously stepped away from international duty following a dispute with the Norwegian FA.
Norway have won the Euros twice - in 1987 and 1993 - but their recent international form has not been quite as glowing. They exited the 2017 Euros having lost all three of their group games without scoring a single goal.
Northern Ireland will have to watch out for Barcelona winger Caroline Graham Hansen, whilst Chelsea winger Guro Reiten will also be a threat. Young talents Frida Maanum (Arsenal) and Julie Blakstad (Manchester City) will be hoping to make an impact on the big stage
Northern Ireland’s Euro 2022 group: Austria
Northern Ireland will stay at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton for their second group match against Austria. Northern Ireland and Austria are currently in the same group for World Cup Qualifying and this match will probably be Northern Ireland’s best chance of picking up a result at the tournament. In their most recent meeting, they lost 3-1 to Austria but did draw 2-2 with them back in October.
Northern Ireland will want to watch out for striker Nicole Billa. She has scored 12 goals this season in the Frauen-Bundesliga for Hoffenheim. Meanwhile Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger has had one of the best seasons of her career and will not be easy to beat.
Northern Ireland’s Euro 2022 group: England
Northern Ireland’s final group game will come against England at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. England are also in Northern Ireland’s World Cup Qualifying group, having beaten them with an aggregate score of 9-0 across their two fixtures.
As hosts, England are going into the tournament as one of the favourites and Northern Ireland will be hoping to improve on their results from their past meetings. They did hold them at 0-0 for an hour when they met at Wembley last year, until a Beth Mead hat-trick undid Northern Ireland.
Manchester City winger Lauren Hemp is likely to be England’s biggest threat whilst with Millie Bright, Leah Williamson and Alex Greenwood to choose from, England’s central defensive partnership will be very strong.
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