England Women's Euro 2022 group group contains Austria, Northern Ireland, and Norway. All three teams will be attempting to stop hosts England from progressing to the quarter-finals of the competition.
What can England expect from each side as they look to progress at Women's Euro 2022?
England Women's Euro 2022 group: Austria
England will kick off Euro 2022 against Austria at Old Trafford in Manchester. With the game already sold out, it is sure to be a fantastic occasion - with a familiar opponent. Austria are in England’s current World Cup Qualifying group and the Lionesses faced them last year, coming out 1-0 winners in a tight game.
There are a number of familiar faces in the Austrian squad from the WSL, with goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger, full-back Laura Wienroither, and centre-back Viktoria Schnaderbeck all part of an Austrian contingent at Arsenal (although Schnaderbeck is currently on loan with Tottenham). Meanwhile, striker Nicole Billa will be one for England’s defence to keep an eye on. She has scored 12 goals this season in the Frauen-Bundesliga for Hoffenheim.
England’s second group game will be against Norway at the Community Stadium in Brighton. 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 will be out for revenge, having been knocked out by England at the past two World Cups.
England will have to watch out for Barcelona winger Caroline Graham Hansen, as well as Chelsea winger Guro Reiten. Meanwhile Frida Maanum (Arsenal), Vilde Boe Risa (Manchester United), Maren Mjelde (Chelsea), Maria Thorisdottir (Manchester United), Julie Blakstad (Manchester City), and Amalie Eikeland (Reading) will all be familiar names to viewers of the WSL.
England’s final group game will be against Northern Ireland at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. The lowest ranked team in the competition, Northern Ireland are also in England’s World Cup Qualifying group. England have beaten them with an aggregate score of 9-0 across their two fixtures.
Making the tournament has been a huge achievement for Northern Ireland, who are currently running an ongoing international camp because so many of their squad are part-time players. Their manager Kenny Shiels has recently been shrouded in controversy, however, having said that women conceded more goals in quick succession than men because they are more emotional, after their recent loss to England.
WSL viewers will recognise Everton striker Simone Magill and former Birmingham defender Rebecca Holloway among their team. Central midfielder Rachel Furness will also be one to watch having just helped Liverpool win promotion back to the WSL.
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