England will be looking to make home advantage count as they bid for a first Women’s European Championships triumph this summer.
The Lionesses come into the tournament, which runs from July 6 to July 31, in phenomenal form, still unbeaten since the arrival of manager Sarina Wiegman last year and looking imperious in their 2023 World Cup qualifying group.
The tournament is being held in England, with the final – as was the case at the men’s European Championships last year – to take place at Wembley Stadium.
Sarina Wiegman’s side will look to win a first Women’s European Championships this summer
England, as hosts, are in Group A, alongside Austria, Norway and fellow Brits Northern Ireland
Just six games stand in England’s way of lifting the prestigious trophy next month, with 16 teams competing in the tournament.
The group stage draw last October was favourable for England, and they will be supremely confident of reaching the knockouts once more.
There, it will quickly get considerably harder, with a mouth-watering clash against Germany potentially to come in the quarter-finals. Sportsmail takes you through the full route to the final below.
The Group Stage
England, who as hosts were automatically placed into Group A, will get the tournament underway against Austria, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2017.
Austria are in England’s ongoing World Cup qualifying group, and England claimed a 1-0 win when the pair met at the Stadium of Light last year.
They will also face fellow Brits Northern Ireland – also in their World Cup qualifying group – who they have recently beaten 4-0 and 5-0.
Also in the group are Norway, who they played at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, winning on both occasions.
England will face Northern Ireland, who they have comfortably beaten twice in World Cup qualifying
England also claimed a 1-0 win over Austria in their World Cup qualifier in November last year
This is where things get slightly more complicated, as who England will play will depend on whether they finish first or second in Group A, with the top-two from each group progressing to the knockouts.
If England are to prevail as group winners, they will play the runners-up from Group B on Wednesday, July 20, with the match kicking off at 8pm at the Brighton and Hove Community Stadium.
Even if England do seal top spot, they will still likely find themselves up against stern opposition, however, with Group B undoubtedly the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’.
Spain are the tournament favourites and are expected to top Group B, but Denmark – who lost out to the Netherlands in the final last time out in 2017 – and Germany could push them all the way.
The quarter-finals could see England play Germany, who they beat to win the Arnold Clark Cup earlier this year
It’s Germany who are the more likely to compete with Spain, however, having largely dominated women’s football in recent history. They won six consecutive titles between 1995 and 2013, before bowing out in the quarter-finals in 2017.
England would be confident going into the clash, however, having beaten Germany to win the the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup earlier this year.
If England are to finish as Group A runners-up, however, they will take on the winners of Group B which, as stated, will likely be Spain. The match would take place on Thursday, July 21 at the London Community Stadium.
There’s no doubt that Spain have underachieved in women’s football, with their best outing at the European Championships coming some 25 years ago when they reached the semi-finals.
However, with key player Alexia Putellas, who won the 2021 Ballon d’Or trophy, pulling the strings, they are now perhaps the technically best side in the tournament.
England could be forced to play tournament favourites Spain as early as the quarter-finals should they fail to win Group A
Who England would play in the final-four again depends which route they have gone down, being either as Group A winners or runners-up.
If England finish as Group A winners and beat the runners-up from Group B in quarter-final 1, they will go on to play the winners of quarter-final 3, with the match taking place at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, July 26.
Quarter-final 3 will be competed by the winners of Group C and the runners-up of Group D.
There’s no doubt who the favourite to win Group C is, being reigning champions the Netherlands, who saw off Denmark back in 2017 to win the tournament for the first time in their history.
They had never made it to a major final before winning on home soil, but two years later they found themselves in another, though this time losing out to USA in the 2019 World Cup showpiece.
The Netherlands have since lost Wiegman to England, though, with Englishman Mark Parsons taking over. They now remain in a battle for World Cup qualification, currently sat in second place behind Iceland. Only one team in each group automatically qualifies, with the runner-up going into a play-off.
Vivianne Miedema and her Netherlands side could meet England in a tricky semi-final clash
Regardless, with Vivianne Miedema in their squad, the Netherlands will be a tough test for any team.
The Netherlands will likely play one of Iceland or Italy in their quarter-final, with France expected to win Group D. Despite the World Cup standings, they will be favoured to prevail, and potentially meet England in an enticing semi-final.
England could, of course, also progress to the semi-finals as Group B runners-up, before seeing off Spain in the quarter-finals.
In this instance, they would play against the winners of quarter-final four – which is between the winners of Group D and the runners-up Group C – on Wednesday, July 27 at Stadium MK.
As stated, France are the clear favourites to prevail in Group D. And should the Netherlands win Group C, as expected, you feel Les Bleus would have too much for any of Italy, Belgium or Iceland.
It seems likely, therefore, that England will meet France in the semi-finals should they fail to win Group A.
England could play against France in the semi-finals if they finish as Group A runners-up
We now finally reach the final, where England will hope to triumph in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, July 31.
Again, who England will play comes down to which path they took. If England win Group A and subsequently beat Germany and the Netherlands, they will likely come up against Spain or France, who will meet in the semi-finals if everything goes as expected.
If England finish as runners-up in Group B and therefore need to beat Spain and France en route to the final, they will likely come up against either Germany or the Netherlands, who would meet in the semi-final.
Full Women’s Euro 2022 fixture list
*All times in BST
Wednesday July 6
Thursday July 7
Friday July 8
Saturday July 9
Sunday July 10
Monday July 11
Tuesday July 12
Wednesday July 13
Thursday July 14
Friday July 15
Saturday July 16
Sunday July 17
Monday July 18
Wednesday July 20
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A (London Community Stadium) at 8pm
Friday July 22
Tuesday July 26
Wednesday July 27
Sunday July 31