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2022 UEFA Women’s Euro England: Group A Preview

The 2022 edition of the UEFA Women’s Euros is just weeks away and we are in for a treat of a summer filled with women’s football. Group A consists of hosts England, Last edition’s finalists Norway, Austria and debutants Northern Ireland.

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Last updated: 01.07.2022
2022 UEFA Womens Euro England Group A Preview

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The 2022 edition of the UEFA Women’s Euros is just weeks away and we are in for a treat of a summer filled with women’s football. The Euros will boast some of the top players not only in Europe but in the world to carry their nation towards glory. It promises to be an exciting tournament.

There are 16 nations in four groups who are beckoning for the trophy with the chance for seasoned veterans and new talents to own the stage. We take a look at all of the groups with teams aiming to produce their best in this stage to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Group A consists of hosts England, Last edition’s finalists Norway, Austria and debutants Northern Ireland.

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England

Being the hosts, England will always carry a lot of pressure on their shoulders in an aim to go all the way and win the trophy in front of home support. There is an additional task to suppress their disappointment the last time they hosted the tournament back in 2005. Also, the Three Lionesses haven’t been in the final of the contest since 2009. Sarina Wiegman’s players believe this could be their year to overturn those miseries boosted by their manager’s title success with her old side Netherlands in the previous edition in 2017.

Since Wiegman’s appointment last year in September, England haven’t lost a single game drawing only twice and conceding only thrice. They have scored a flurry of goals in that period including a 5-1 win over the Netherlands in the recent pre-tournament friendly. England also faced Austria and Northern Ireland in the World Cup qualification games beating them 1-0 and 5-0 respectively so it won’t be a problem for them to move into the quarterfinals of the Euros by topping the group on the back of this incredible run. The main challenge for them will be Norway although England have emerged victorious in the last two meetings in a major competition.

There is a blend of experience and youth in the squad with star striker Ellen White set to make her third Euro appearance becoming the all-time top scorer with 50 goals. Midfielder Jill Scott will make her fourth appearance partnering captain Leah Williamson while Arsenal’s Beth Mead will be the source of creativity for the side.

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Hannah Hampton, Ellie Roebuck

Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes, Lotte Wubben-Moy

Midfielders: Fran Kirby, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh, Leah Williamson

Forwards: Bethany England, Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead, Nikita Parris, Alessia Russo, Ellen White


Austria

The Austrians are desperate to repeat their stunning feat in their debut Euro campaign in 2017 where they reached the semifinals of the competition. They also topped their group that time ahead of France so Austria can do the damage to the favorites in their second appearance too. The players from the 2017 campaign have stayed intact with more talented players being called up in the ranks. Coach Irene Fuhrmann was a part of the managing team in the previous edition so she will know these crop of players well.

Eyes will be on Bayern Munich’s Sarah Zadrazil to take this team forward in the competition but she is one of many who can light up the show for Austria. Midfield partner Barbara Dunst is eager to make the most of her chances with her nation after not playing a single minute in the dream run in 2017. Scoring goals is also not expected to be an issue with Nicole Billa filling into now retired all-time top scorer Nina Burger’s shoes, pulling herself to the second on the list with 53 goals. She is more of a striker this time around than the attacking midfielder role she played in 2017. Once again Viktoria Schnaderbeck will lead the team from the back with goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger ready for her shot stopping duties.  

With England looking to be too bigger force to handle at the moment, Austria will be vying for the second spot with Norway being their rivals for it. An exciting encounter to watch on the last match day of the group if these two are locked in such a battle going against each other. The spirit and the determination of the squad will be crucial to take them over the line making this tournament a memorable one as well.       

Goalkeepers: Isabella Kresche, Jasmin Pal, Manuela Zinsberger

Defenders: Celina Degen, Marina Georgieva, Verena Hanshaw, Katharina Naschenweng, Katharina Schiechtl, Viktoria Schnaderbeck, Carina Wenninger, Laura Wienroither.

Midfielders: Barbara Dunst, Jasmin Eder, Laura Feiersinger, Julia Hickelsberger, Marie-Therese Hobinger, Maria Plattner, Sarah Puntigam, Sarah Zadrazil

Forwards: Nicole Billa, Stefanie Enzinger, Lisa Kolb, Lisa Makas

Norway

Austria, on their day, could be a difficult opposition to face and England could have an easy ride in the group but Norway could easily turn the corners with their deadly attacking threat. The big news for the two times champions is that all-time Women’s Champions League top scorer Ada Hegerberg has returned to the squad adding more firepower. She recently led Lyon to an elusive eight Champions League title, scoring in the 3-1 win over Barcelona in the final. Caroline Caroline Graham Hansen and Guro Reiten will assist her in the forward line in a feared setup. All these is an aid for coach Martin Sjogren to persist with his attacking style of play system.

Maren Mjelde has returned from her long injury layoff to captain the side. It also comes as another welcoming news for Sjogren to have her influence in the tournament. Interesting thing to see is who dons the number one shirt for Norway at the Euros with first choice Cecilie Fiskerstrand ruled out through an anterior cruciate ligament or ACL injury. Mikalsen, Pettersen and Skoglund have quite a competition between them to confirm that spot.  

Norway ease past their qualifying round by winning all of their games available, scoring 34 goals and conceded only once. They also enter the Euros with the right momentum collecting wins in their previous five games which includes a 2-1 win over last edition’s finalists Denmark in a friendly. The 1987 and 1993 winners of this tournament have the zeal to match those results with their distinct attacking force. Scoring goals were an issue for the team in 2017 however it shouldn’t be a problem now. It makes them the favourites to advance to the quarterfinals if not topping the group but surely grabbing the second place.

 

Goalkeepers: Aurora Mikalsen, Guro Pettersen, Sunniva Skoglund

Defenders:  Anja Sønstevold, Maria Thorisdottir, Tuva Hansen, Guro Bergsvand, Julie Blakstad, Synne Skinnes Hansen, Maren Mjelde, Anna Jøsendal

Midfielders: Ingrid Syrstad Engen, Vilde Bøe Risa, Amalie Eikeland, Lisa Fjeldstad Naalsund, Frida Maanum, Elisabeth Terland, Guro Reiten, Karina Sævik

Forwards: Caroline Graham Hansen, Celin Bizet Ildhusøy, Sophie Roman Haug, Ada Hegerberg


Northern Ireland

Newcomers in the Euros have shown they can make a feast of their outings like the regulars in the tournament so Northern Ireland come with hearts to make their debuts a remarkable one. Another part of their story is they are the lowest ranked among all the teams in the tournament with a challenging group making the task even harder. If their unexpected qualification to the main stage anything to go by, then they very well could spring a surprise.

Very few could have tipped Northern Ireland to grace this stage but losing only two games, pipping Wales in the qualifiers on goal difference in the second place and winning the playoffs against Ukraine helped to accomplish their objective. They did everything with some players still not full time professionals. It should go down as a fantastic achievement. The pandemic caused a lot of disruption on the way in the qualifiers as for most nations in the Euros although they fought that hurdle as well reaffirming the spirit in the side. The travelling support will be there to cheer them on in the competition proper after not being there during the qualifiers for the same reason.

The strength for the Northern Ireland is their mixture of experience and youth in the squad. There is less expectation on them for being the total underdogs of the tournament so it gives them the freedom to play freely and express themselves properly. The star player for them is most certainly the all-time top scorer and Liverpool star Rachel Furness. The 34-year-old playmaker will be vital to drive her side forward after losing her last two years with a serious knee injury. Julie Nelson and Ashley Hutton have a combined 239 caps for their country so is plenty of experience in the team. Hence, The Green and White Army are unwilling to sit bottom of the table by hoping to create more dreams now in the main tournament.      

 

Goalkeepers: Jackie Burns, Becky Flaherty, Shannon Turner

Defenders: Kelsie Burrows, Rebecca Holloway, Ashley Hutton, Abbie Magee, Sarah McFadden, Rebecca McKenna, Julie Nelson, Laura Rafferty, Demi Vance

Midfielders: Nadene Caldwell, Joely Andrews, Chloe McCarron, Marissa Callaghan, Louise McDaniel, Rachel Furness

Forwards: Simone Magill, Caitlin McGuinness, Kirsty McGuinness, Lauren Wade, Emily Wilson 

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