This week, one of the biggest women’s soccer tournaments in the world after the World Cup and Olympic Games will get underway at Old Trafford in Manchester. Hosts England will face Austria in the opening game of the Women’s 2022 European Championships.
A total of 16 teams, including another Home Nations team in Northern Ireland, will be competing in the tournament, which has seen the total prize money on offered for the teams doubled since the last tournament in 2017.
Bet365 Sport is already taking bets on who will win the tournament, as well as who will win the opening games in each of the four groups, and you can expect to find more bets available, both pre-match and In-Play, as we progress through the tournament.
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Let’s now learn a little more about the tournament and what we can expect from some of the teams and top players involved in it, before we give you our top tips for who we think will battel through to the final on the 31st July.
Let’s begin with a look at some key information about the tournament.
Euro 2022 Women’s European Soccer Championships – Information
Dates – 6th – 31st JulyVenue – England (10 venues in 8 host cities)Holders – Netherlands (won in 2017)Teams Competing – 16VAR – YesSquad Size – 23 players (of which 3 must be goalkeepers)Prize Pool – £16 millionTie Breaker Order – Head-to-Head, Goal Difference, Goals Scored in Head to Head Games between tied teamsGames Shown Live – BBC TVOfficials – 13 Referees, 25 Assistant Referees, 15 VAR Officials, 2 Support Officials.Host Cities – Wigan & Leigh, Manchester (2 stadia), Sheffield, Southampton, Brighton & Hove, Milton Keynes, Rotherham, London (2 stadia).
The draw for the tournament was made several months ago and produced the following groups. Each group also displays the six games set to take place to decide the final positions of the four teams in each group.
Euro 2022 Finals Group Stage
Group A Matches
Wed 6th July – 8pm – England v Austria (Old Trafford)Thu 7th July – 8pm – Norway v Northern Ireland (St Mary’s)Mon 11th July – 5pm – Austria v Northern Ireland (St Mary’s)Mon 11th July – 8pm – England v Norway (Brighton & Hove Community Stadium)Fri 15th July – 8pm – Northern Ireland v England (St Mary’s), Austria v Norway (Brighton & Hove Community Stadium)
Group A sees both Home Nations drawn together but England will have to wait until their final game to lock horns with Northern Ireland. By then the Lionesses will be hoping to have secured qualification after their opening games with Austria and Norway.
The Norwegians are likely to be England’s main challengers in the group and in truth, the two teams should make it through relatively comfortably with Austria and Northern Ireland battling it out to avoid bottom spot in the group.
Star Players To Watch In Group A
Ada Hegerberg (Norway – Age 26) 70 caps, 42 goals (Lyon)Maren Mjelde (Norway – Age 32) 153 caps, 19 goals (Chelsea)Guro Reiten (Norway – Age 27) 66 caps, 16 goals (Chelsea)Lucy Bronze (England – Age 30) – 90 caps, 10 goals (Barcelona)Ellen White (England – Age 33) – 107 caps, 50 goals (Man City)Fran Kirby (England – Age 29)) – 57 caps, 15 goals (Chelsea)Beth Mead (England – Age 27) – 39 caps, 22 goals (Arsenal)Simone Magill (Northern Ireland – Age 27) 70 caps, 21 goals (Everton)Manuel Zinsberger (Austria – Age 26) 79 caps 0 goals (Arsenal)Nicole Billa (Austria – Age 26) 79 caps, 43 goals (1899 Hoffenheim)
Group B Matches
Fri 8th July – 5pm – Spain v Finland (Stadium MK)Fri 8th July – 8pm – Germany v Denmark (London Community Stadium)Tue 12th July – 5pm – Denmark v Finland (Stadium MK)Tue 12th July – 8pm – Germany v Spain (London Community Stadium)Sat 16th July – 8pm – Finland v Germany (Stadium MK), Denmark v Spain (London Community Stadium)
Of all the groups in the opening round of this tournament, Group B is arguably the most difficult with three teams more than good enough to reach the quarterfinals and beyond, plus a team starting to develop on the international stage in Finland.
Spain are the joint favourites in the competition so they should be considered the best chance of winning the group here but you can never count 8-time Champions Germany out and Denmark were finalists back in 2017. It should be a real tussle between those three teams.
Finland may struggle in such lofty company but they’ll have a say in who goes through I’m sure.
Star Players To Watch In Group B
Alexandra Popp (Germany – Age 31) 114 caps, 53 goals (VfL Wolfsburg)Lea Schuller (Germany – Age 24) 39 caps, 25 goals (Bayern Munich)Sara Dabritz (Germany – Age 27) 86 caps, 17 goals (PSG)Pernille Harder (Denmark – Age 29) 134 caps, 68 goals (Chelsea)Sanne Troelsgaard (Denmark – Age 33) 166 caps, 55 goals (Reading)Signe Bruun (Denmark – Age 24) 23 caps, 15 goals (Manchester United)Esther Gonzalez (Spain, Age 29), 23 caps, 15 goals (Real Madrid)Alexia Putellas (Spain, Age 28), 100 caps, 27 goals (Barcelona)Linda Sallstrom (Finland, Age 33) 103 caps, 46 goals (Paris FC)
Group C Matches
Sat 9th July – 5pm – Portugal v Switzerland (Leigh Sports Village)Sat 9th July – 8pm – Netherlands v Sweden (Bramhall Lane)Wed 13th July – 5pm – Sweden v Switzerland (Bramhall Lane)Wed 13th July – 8pm – Netherlands v Portugal (Leigh Sports Village)Sun 17th July – 5pm – Switzerland v Netherlands (Bramhall Lane), Sweden v Portugal (Leigh Sports Village)
Group C should see the tqo quality teams from this group make it through and that is Netherlands and Sweden. The Dutch are defending Champions but their team has been struggling a little for form of late but they are a quality team who can turn on the style when required.
Sweden should be the comfortable qualifiers alongside the Dutch and they are good enough to push the Netherlands for top spot in the group. That first game for both teams between the two will likely decide who finishes top of the group, should one team win it.
Switzerland will pip Portugal for third, with the Portuguese only replacing Russia after they were expelled from the competition after the invasion of Ukraine.
Star Players To Watch In Group C
Caroline Seger (Sweden – Age 37) 230 caps, 32 goals (Rosengard)Stina Blackstenius (Sweden, Age 26) 77 caps, 26 goals (BK Hacken)Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden, Age 28) 66 caps, 22 goals (Barcelona)Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands – Age 25) – 111 caps, 94 goals (Arsenal)Lieke Martens (Netherlands – Age 39) – 136 caps, 55 goals (PSG)Sherida Spitse (Netherlands – Age 32) – 202 caps, 43 goals (Ajax)Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (Switzerland – Age 31) – 133 caps, 67 goals (Barcelona)Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland – Age 31) 121 caps, 53 goals (PSG)Claudia Neto (Portugal – Age 34) 131 cas, 19 goals (Fiorentina)
Group D Matches
Sun 10th July – 5pm – Belgium v Iceland (Man City Academy Stadium)Sun 10th July – 8pm – France v Italy (New York Stadium)Thu 14th July – 5pm – Italy v Iceland (Manchester City Academy Stadium)Thu 14th July – 8pm – France v Belgium (New York Stadium)Mon 18th July – 8pm – Iceland v France (New York Stadium), Italy v Belgium (Man City Academy Stadium)
Group D should be France’s to win as they are by far the most accomplished of the teams drawn into this group and I would expect the French to top the group with maximum points.
However, who joins them in the next round is more open to debate and there’s not a great difference between Iceland, Italy and Belgium, which could make the battle for second spot the most interesting aspect of this group.
So back France to win the group relatively comfortably, but I think there is better money to bet on the team to qualify alongside France, with Italy probably being the slight favourites to finish second, but I think Belgium could spring a surprise.
Star Players to watch in Group D
Janice Cayman (Belgium, Age 33) 126 caps, 47 goals (Lyon)Wendie Renard (France – Age 31) – 131 caps, 33 goals (Lyon)Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France – Age 23) 30 caps, 25 goals (PSG)Delphine Cascario (France – Age 25) 42 caps, 10 goals (Lyon)Cristina Girella (Italy – Age 32) 78 caps, 46 goals (Juventus)Sara Gama (Italy – Age 33) 126 caps, 5 goals (Juventus)Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir (Iceland – Age 21) 19 caps, 7 goals (Vfl Wolfsburg)
Knockout Phase Of The Tournament
Quarter Finals (8pm Kick Offs)
QF 1 Wed 20th July – Winner of Group A v Runner Up Group B – Brighton & Hove Community StadiumQF 2 Thu 21st July – Winner of Group B v Runner Up Group A (London Community Stadium)QF 3 Fri 22nd July – Winner Group C v Runner Up Group D (Leigh Sports Village)QF 4 Fri 22nd July – Winner Group D v Runner Up Group C (New York Stadium)
SF 1 – Tue 26th July – Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 3 (Bramhall Lane)SF 2 – Wed 27th July – Winner QF 2 v Winner QF 4 (Stadium MK)
Sun 31st July – Winner SF1 v Winner SF 2 (Wembley)
Our Betting Prediction
To Win Outright – England – 9/2 joint favourites