England and Northern Ireland to meet in group stage of Women’s Euro 2022 | Women’s Euro 2022

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England face a clash between the home nations at next summer’s Women’s Euro 2022 after being drawn in a group with Northern Ireland. The hosts will face tournament debutants Kenny Shiels at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton in their final stage match.

The draw gave a very familiar feeling for England, who are in the same World Cup qualifying group as two of their opponents, Austria and Northern Ireland. They also face Norway, which they beat in the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals.

“It’s so nice,” England head coach Sarina Wiegman said of Northern Ireland. “I hope it will be sold. We’ve played them before of course – it’s also an amazing stadium. It’s good for everyone because we want to do well, we want to have our fans, but for Northern Ireland to have their fans too, that’s great.

England face Austria next month in a World Cup qualifier and Northern Ireland in April, which could provide vital information ahead of the home tournament. England beat Shiels’ side 4-0 on Saturday in a sign of their superiority. “These are countries that we know very well,” said Wiegman. “Austria and Northern Ireland are in our World Cup qualifying group and Norway which I know very well because I have played them a lot with the Netherlands.

There was a roar inside the Manchester Victoria Warehouse, a stone’s throw from Old Trafford, when Northern Ireland was drawn to England, which angered Shiels. “The English all clapped and yelled ‘We have Northern Ireland’ because it’s an easy game for them,” he said. “But we have to separate the three games and do our best in the first game, then think about the second, then the third.”

Quick guide

Women’s Euro 2022: answers to key questions

Spectacle

When is the tournament?
It opens Wednesday July 6 at Old Trafford and ends Sunday July 31 at Wembley.

What stages are used?
Brentford Community Stadium
(three group matches and a quarter-final)
Brighton Amex Stadium (two group matches and a quarter-final)
Leigh Sports Village (three group matches and a quarter-final)
Manchester City Academy Stadium (three group games)
Manchester United Old Trafford (a group game)
Milton Keynes Dons MK Stadium (three group matches and a semi-final)
Rotherham New York Stadium (three group matches and a quarter-final)
Bramall Lane of Sheffield United (three group matches and a semi-final)
Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium (three group games)
Wembley (final)

How to get tickets?
Applications by ballot are open at 7:00 p.m. BST on October 28 via uefa.com/tickets. Tickets are expected to go on general sale in mid-February 2022. Tickets start at £ 5 for under 16s and £ 10 for general admission.

How does the tournament work?
The 16 teams are split into four groups of four and the top two from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

Which teams are in which group?
group A England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland
Group D France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland

How many previous euros were held?
This is the 13th edition of the tournament. It has been won seven times by Germany, once by West Germany, twice by Norway and once by Sweden and the Netherlands. The Netherlands start, ending a six-game winning streak in Germany.

Photograph: Yves Herman / X00380

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Defending champions the Netherlands are in Group C, where they face arguably the best team in the pot two, Sweden, which is second in the world rankings behind the United States. Neither team will be particularly worried about facing Switzerland and Russia in the section.

Eight-time Germany (formerly West Germany) is joined in Group B by Spain, who are widely regarded as black horses, Denmark and Finland. France and Italy will expect to exit Group D, although Iceland and Belgium occupy the respectable 16th and 19th places respectively in the world rankings.

England lost in the Euro 2017 semi-final to the Netherlands, which were led at home by Wiegman, an experience England hope to influence their campaign.

Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium, with a capacity of 76,000, will host the England tournament opener against Austria on 6 July. Wiegman’s side will then face their most delicate game on paper against Norway on July 11 in Brighton. England will expect a safe passage to the round of 16, where the advancing teams from Group A will meet the qualifiers from difficult Group B.

“To buy tickets!” said Wiegman. “The opening game is going to be huge. When the crowd gets there, it will be our 12th wife behind us. We just want the fans to help us have a great performance. “

As hosts there is a certain level of expectation for England and they will look to replicate last summer’s men’s exploits by qualifying for a final at Wembley, even though July 31st seems a long way off. England were twice vice-European champions, in 1984 and 2009.

More than 150,000 tickets were sold in a pre-ballot sale and UEFA is hoping for a significant new turnout, especially for the Nations home game in Southampton.


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