England will draw rookies Northern Ireland, Norway and Austria in the group stage of the 2022 Women’s Eurocup, while champion Netherlands will take on world No. 2 Sweden.
- England, hosts, tied in the group favorable for the tournament, starting July 6
- The two best teams in the group are guaranteed a place in the quarterfinals
- The Lionesses will face a tough-looking Group B team if they progress
England have been drawn into the same group as Northern Ireland, Norway and Austria for the 2022 Women’s Euros.
The delayed competition kicks off on July 6 when hosts England take on Austria at Old Trafford. The Lionesses will then play Norway at The Amex, home to Brighton, and Northern Ireland at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. The top two teams in the group are guaranteed a place in the quarterfinals.
Northern Ireland is making its debut in the tournament and is the lowest ranked team in the competition. England recently beat Kenny Shiels’ side 4-0 in a World Cup qualifying match at Wembley and will face them away from home in April, just three months before they meet at the Euro Cup.
England recently beat Northern Ireland 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley.
Winner A vs Runner-up B
Winner B vs Runner-up A
Winner C vs Runner-up D
Winner D vs Runner-up C
Austria is also in the same World Cup qualifying group as England and Northern Ireland. They were limited to a 2-2 draw with Northern Ireland earlier this week and will face the Lionesses at the Stadium of Light next month.
Norway, whom England beat in the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals, is likely to be England’s toughest match. They are ranked 12th in the world, four places behind England in eighth place.
Champion Holland is in Group C and will face second-place Sweden, Russia and Switzerland, while Germany and Spain have reunited in Group B. They are joined by Denmark and Finland. France, Italy, Belgium and Iceland make up Group D.
England boss Sarina Wiegman was the Netherlands coach when they won the competition at home in 2017, which included a semi-final victory over the Leonas.
England boss Sarina Wiegman was the Netherlands coach when they won the competition in 2017.
The 52-year-old has enjoyed a perfect start to her reign in charge with four wins in four games and hopes that form will continue until next summer.
The final will take place at Wembley on July 31 and the semi-finals will take place at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane and Stadium MK, home of Milton Keynes Dons.
England last hosted the Women’s Euro Cup in 2005, but Hope Powell’s team was eliminated in the group stage after defeats by Sweden and Denmark. That tournament consisted of just eight teams with two groups of four, but the number of countries increased to 12 in 2009 and 16 in 2017.
The Lionesses never won the competition, but reached the final in 2009, where they were defeated by Germany. They also reached the unofficial Eurocup final in 1984, but were defeated on penalties by Sweden.
UEFA expects a record audience next summer and the ballot is open until 6pm on 16 November, with prices ranging from £ 5 to £ 50. The remaining unsold tickets will go on sale in February.
Juan Mata, Ruben Dias, Kelly Smith and Karen Carney helped run the draw in Manchester.